For most of today, I’ve been posting reviews of films that I watched off of my DVR. Well, I’m going to take a brief break from that pattern to tell you about a film that I watched last weekend. It was a low-budget sci-fi film, a real labor of love that the director posted on YouTube. I watched this film with some of my friends from the Late Night Movie Gang: there was me, Kurt Zellner, Holly Wilson, Janeen Worrall, Phil Kaine, Michael McDow, and Jes Coolbaugh. For the most part, we enjoyed this film.
The name of the movie was Space Trucker Bruce. I’m trying to think of the best way to explain the plot and it’s not easy. It’s a very episodic film and I think it could actually be argued that there really isn’t a plot per se. Instead, there’s just a lot of stuff that happens. Some of it is connected and some of it isn’t but the randomness of it all is part of the film’s charm.
Space Trucker Bruce takes place in the far future. The Earth has colonized the solar system. Humans and human businesses have taken over space. Bruce (Karl Sears) is a space trucker. He’s currently in the process of hauling 20,000 tons of hog fat from Earth to a space station. It’s a lonely job, to be honest. At the start of the film, Bruce doesn’t have any human companionship. He does have a robot, though it’s possible that the robot might actually just be a trash can. You’ll have to watch the film to know for sure. He has several books to read, including a few by the noted Catholic historian Garry Wills. He also has movies, which apparently hardly anyone watches in the future. (Bruce is one of the few people in existence to still know what Star Wars is.) There’s also a tub of cream cheese that has apparently come to life and which keeps encouraging Bruce to do some really bad things. Or at least, we assume that the cream cheese has come to life. Could Bruce just be crazy?
During the journey, Bruce gets some human companionship when he picks up a hitchhiker named Max (played by the film’s director and writer, Anton Doiron). Max is an affable if occasionally neurotic guy. He has a hard time adjusting to Bruce’s laid back personality but, on the plus side, Max is willing to watch movies.
The rest of the film — well, I guess the simplest way to put it would be that Bruce and Max have various adventures while making their way to the space station. Except, they’re not really adventures as much as they’re just stuff that happens. Calling them adventures would suggest that Bruce and Max were really active participants. For the most part, they both spend the majority of the film just relaxing in the ship and occasionally responding to stuff that happens. I mean, if the ship is about to be destroyed then sure, Bruce and Max are going to try to stop that from occurring. But, for the most part, Bruce and Max are just kind of hanging out.
And that really is the film’s charm. This is a low-budget film that proudly embraces the fact that it’s a low-budget film. The sets and the special effects manage to look cheap and effective at the same time. There’s a real charm to the fact that the director wanted to make a space epic and he managed to do it, despite not having much money. Even the amateurish acting become charming after a while. To say that the actors were stiff would be an understatement. But, at the same time, Karl Sears was perfectly cast as Bruce. He just was Bruce in much the same way that Anton Doiron just was Max. There are some films that you appreciate just because they actually managed to get made and seen. Space Trucker Bruce is one of those films.
Space Trucker Bruce is available, for free, on YouTube. It’s not a film for everyone but here’s the thing. If it’s not for you, you’ll know after the first ten minutes. However, if you’re still watching after those ten minutes then you’ll probably enjoy this odd little movie.
Here’s the trailer!
As for the film, it can be watched here: