An interplanetary trader, Samuel, goes through the solar system with an old acquaintance Professor Hess after him. Hess wants to kill him, but he also believes that he can't kill anyone whom he has a problem to resolve with. The problem needs to be resolved, and Samuel makes sure that the problem stays between them by ignoring him to the fullest.
Stunning to look at? Yes. Extremely funny at times? Yes. Fantastic music and musical numbers? Oh yes. Superb acting? Indeed. A great mix of western and sci-fi? Definitely. Great movie? Well, let's see if the rest of the review can answer that question! (Should be pretty apparent, but fuck you!)
Story-wise the movie could be better, mostly because of one part of it. Samuel Curtis is an astronaut who isn't aware that an old friend is after him. But, this friend of his, Professor Hess, can only kill him if they first resolve an issue between them because he only kills people he doesn't have a reason to kill. This means that he kills every single person he stumbles upon in his quest to find Samuel Curtis. Professor Hess is also known as the Birthday Boy, and if Samuel Curtis finally acknowledges that it's his birthday, he's dead. This part of the plot is great. It's the next bit that I'm not sure about. There's a theatre that uses a young man as an act on stage, because he is the only one who has seen a woman's breast. He goes up on stage, does a little song and then tells the audience that it was soft, and leaves. So far so good! But then Samuel Curtis goes there to get him so that he can get him a new home, instead of being used as a freak act of sorts. I'm not sure about some parts, but was Samuel his father? I don't know. This bit of the story didn't do much for me, and it ends up being a very large part of it. It's useful towards the end, but unlike the rest of the movie it just feels misplaced and a bit boring.
I really liked this movie though. It's just great, semi-artsy fun. The musical numbers are all solid and I'm not a musical guy at all. I especially loved the "Hey boy, hey boy" one that is performed in a public bathroom before they snap a picture of the then crapping Samuel, who sits in one of the stalls, and then leaves. The songs are sort of country/southern in style which goes hand-in-hand with the space western aesthetics, and are actually good enough that I'd listen to them on a soundtrack alone. That's rare coming from me (even though I often blast "Cannibal! The Musical" songs).
The comedy is quirky and crude, and is best proved in a scene where an old man takes a microphone and asks "is it just me or do my balls itch?". The joke that follows is one of the best parts of the movie, hands down, but it's hard go into it without telling the whole joke (which doesn't really have a punchline).
I'm not sure what took me so long to watch this movie since I've glanced over the cover over at SubDVD.com for years and years and years. But I'm not gonna grump about that, instead I'm glad I finally ended up seeing this great movie. And I'm very excited to check what Cory McAbee has to offer in some of his other films, most importantly his upcoming "Werewolf Hunters Of The Midwest". Can't be bad, right?