Current trends in genre movies lean toward zombies, war, and the Apocalypse, but I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the benefits of humor in science fiction. Sure, our future planet may be filled with trash, our scientists mad, and our educational standards in decline, but at least we should be able to laugh about it. What is humor, if not a way to cope with (and thereby begin to address) our problems? I spend Saturday nights watching B movies of the science fiction and fantasy persuasion for just that reason. With that in mind, I settled in to watch Space Milkshake.
Starring Robin Dunne (Sanctuary), Billy Boyd (The Lord of the Rings), Kristin Kreuk (Smallville, Beauty and the Beast), Amanda Tapping (Stargate, Sanctuary), and George Takei (Star Trek) as the voice of Gary the duck, the film allows each of these actors to emphasize their comedic strengths.
The story is a classic crucible, sci-fi style. The setting is a future Earth where space debris is a serious problem, addressed by permanently-crewed orbital stations tasked with space lane maintenance. Geosynchronous trash trucks, if you will. While living on one such station our cast of hapless sanitation workers find their lives disrupted by a rubber duck from space. Needless to say, there’s more to the little yellow duck than meets the eye.
George Takei does a wonderful turn as Gary; he is now my gold standard for voicing mutant rubber duckies. The rest of the acting team delivers as well. Kreuk is perhaps the weakest link here but her job is also one of the hardest, given that her character doesn’t speak for a significant portion of the film. And while it’s hard to imagine bathtubs would be feasible on such a future space station, it does allow for a tension-filled scene with Amanda Tapping in a bubble bath with the aforementioned duck. What could be better?
This was my best B-movie Saturday night in a long time. Space Milkshake is a low-budget film with sets and special effects to match, but the movie is well put-together and the actors all appear to be having a terrific time. This is quality B-movie material, and I mean that in the best of ways. Think My Name is Bruce. The movie is also sprinkled with shout-outs to classic science fiction and fantasy like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings, and is prime material for homegrown drinking games, should your proclivities lean in that direction.
Space Milkshake is pure comic entertainment. And no, I don’t understand the title, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment. If you have a soft spot for science fiction that embraces goofy fun, and enjoy well-scripted, conscientiously-acted movies, you should see this film.
Bottom line: if you like science fiction, have a goofy sense of humor, and are ready to be entertained, break out the popcorn and enjoy a deliciously funny Space Milkshake.
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