4.8/10
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Space Trucker Bruce (2014)

In a future where earth has colonized the solar system, a lonely trucker hauling 20,000 tons of hog fat from Earth to the Titan Station picks up an easily bored hitchhiker. Together they ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Karl Sears ...
Bruce
Anton Doiron ...
Max
Amelia Jenkins ...
Jane Doe
Cachet Garrett ...
Katie
Shadow Meienberg ...
Beach Girl 1 / Extra
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In a future where earth has colonized the solar system, a lonely trucker hauling 20,000 tons of hog fat from Earth to the Titan Station picks up an easily bored hitchhiker. Together they struggle to survive an encounter with a mysterious dark object. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy | Sci-Fi

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March 2014 (USA)  »

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All the sets were created by Anton Doiron in his house. The hallway set was built in his back yard. One day, while Anton was at work, the wind blew the hall over and destroyed it. Anton called Karl (Bruce) in a panic and he brought over scrap lumber and helped rebuild it. See more »

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This is my kingdom
by JolantaGalka
purchased from Pond5.com
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Low budget and mediocre acting don't stop it from being enjoyable
30 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Note: I am NOT affiliated with anyone involved on this film. This is an independent review.

I discovered this movie through an Internet comment by its creator that linked to it on YouTube. It is definitely a flawed work, though many low-budget works tend to be out of necessity. That being said, once you get past the somewhat unconvincing acting and the fact that practically the entire ship is obviously made of spray-painted corrugated cardboard, it actually has a lot of charm to it. To illustrate: someone in the same room (who doesn't have the tolerance for crappy productions that I do) started off with a dismissive "what are you watching?" and by the halfway point was actually watching the movie.

First, the bad because there's surprisingly not a lot of that: this movie's low budget is visually obvious and the acting is not very convincing. For some people the acting will be a deal-breaker, but the movie is a comedy and the funny stuff is not damaged by it (and sometimes it even works better.) It is painfully clear that the vast majority of the ship is cheap stuff that was painted to look like ship stuff. Some of the characters and their traits are just plain weird for no real reason; that is, the quirks never prove important later and aren't funny. It would have been nice to have more character development overall. I don't recall ever seeing a single non-CG shot with any camera motion; the whole movie seems to have been shot with a tripod, though it's arguably better that way because so many other low-budget films suffer from annoying constant hand-held camera shake from start to finish. There are obvious problems in execution that will turn general audiences away, labeling this as a "bad movie." With the bad side taken into account, everything else is surprisingly good! If the budget was really only $10,000 then the people behind this movie should be running the financial side of a national government. There's quite a bit of low-budget 3D CG (several complex spaceships and planetary bodies) that works quite well. Something like 90% of the inside environment is made of spray-painted and duct taped cardboard...but these people are MASTERS of cardboard construction! It's so painfully obvious that the place is made of cardboard and fiber packaging materials and duct tape and random hardware store parts and yet there is so much thought put into it that one can't help but admire it all. I've noticed everything from an old credit card reader spray-painted to match the cardboard to the back plate of an old flat-panel TV attached to the wall to an aluminum ladder with string lights attached.

Sure, the acting isn't great...but it's good enough that the comedy generally works and the character quirks are sometimes better off with the bad acting than they would be with Shatner-grade expressiveness. The movie causes the viewer to frequently question the sanity of the characters, sometimes feeling more like low-budget horror more than low-budget comedy. The story itself isn't the greatest screenplay ever made, but it's decently put together. Conflicts get resolved in a reasonable time frame and in a satisfying way. There's some interesting commentary on modern life if you're paying enough attention to notice it. The color in the movie could have used grading (all the colors feel pretty flat) but the lighting is good and makes up for it. I would have liked some more occasional background music but the overall sound design is so good that I wasn't distracted by bad sound...well, except for a couple of klaxons that would abruptly stop in the middle of a loud sound instead of finishing out the sound and going quiet.

The books you catch them reading are pretty funny too. There are a lot of random "ha!" moments to be had, and that's a lot of the charm in the movie. I do wonder where all those Popsicle sticks came from.

Bottom line: if you give it a chance and look past the initial "bad movie" impression, there is a diamond in the rough within Space Trucker Bruce. It isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea because the "standards" set by multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbusters have made us think that frenetic pacing, cookie-cutter "Save the Cat!" story beats, and extremely expensive 3D CG are what make a movie good. For those who can get past the fact that this isn't a high-dollar Transformers or comic book movie, it's fun to watch and definitely worth 87 minutes of your time.

The director has posted the film on YouTube for free at the following URL if you'd like to watch it: https://youtu.be/kcOaAqGBWLo


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