The American Astronaut

There are good movies and there are bad movies. Then, there is The American Astronaut. This is by far the most original, most bizarre movie in recent history. It is a western that takes place in space. It is in black and white (ignore the above pictures). And, it is a musical. The American Astronaut defies any sense of logic, and is a prime candidate for immortality as a cult movie. However, it is a little too esoteric even for that designation. All this comes from the warped mind of Cory McAbee. McAbee wrote, directed, and stars as Samuel Curtis, captain of his own spaceship.

There is a convoluted plot about Venus. Women are the only inhabitants of Venus, and they require one man for their reproductive needs. When their man dies, there must be a replacement. Curtis is going to Jupiter to pick up the Boy (Greg Russell Cook) who will be the replacement. This boy is special, because on Jupiter, a planet inhabited only by men, he is the only man to have seen a female breast. Wait, it gets stranger. Curtis originally arrived with a cat to trade for a woman. What he doesn't know is that Professor Hess (Rocco Sisto (Frequency, Illuminata), an old friend who happens to kill everybody Curtis meets, is hot on his trail. The dress and many of the setting look like they come straight out of the old West.

It makes no sense, and that's probably what McAbee wants. The song and dance numbers are campy fun (The Woman with the Glass Vagina is one of the song titles) but sometimes border on the annoying. The same goes for the acting. Sisto prattles on about people forgetting his birthday, and Curtis and Cook are sometimes amusing and sometimes frustratingly obtuse. This film embodies the independent lack of money ethic. The sets are bare bones, sometimes looking like large warehouses with just a little bit of furniture. There are no space special effects. All scenes filmed in space are just pictures of spaceships (which look like old railroad cars). Overall, The American Astronaut gives mixed emotions. People should admire Curtis for his courage to put whatever the heck he wants to on screen. However, watching this movie feels exasperating at times. It all feels like one big inside joke. Now, only if everybody else was in on it.

Mongoose Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hou, 31 minutes, Black and white, Not Rated but contains some language, a PG-13 or R.

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