Monday, July 9, 2012

The American Astronaut (2001)

Directed By: Cory McAbee

Starring: Cory McAbee, Rocco Sisto, Gregory Russell Cook

The Main Review: The American Astronaut is a 2001 sci-fi-western-musical featuring the music of The Billy Nayer Show. It follows Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee), an inter-planetary trader, who is asked by his acquaintance, the Blueberry Pirate, to return a dead man on Venus to his family on Earth. Before he can do that, Samuel has to ride around in his spaceship with a Real Live Girl, The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast, a boy in a bodysuit, and some truly fantastic and bizarre music. All the while, he's followed by his crazy, obsessed nemesis Professor Hess (Rocco Sisto). And, guess what day it is! It's the professor's birthday!
 Yeah, this is the most normal movie I've ever seen. Total normalcy - right here. Check it. 

So, the opening is Professor Hess telling us about the bar on the asteroid Ceres, onto which our hero will soon be landing and doing business. (Also, there's a dance contest there that night!) Curtis is shown arriving with a cat that he trades to the owner of the bar for a Real Live Girl in a cloning device (Please note: the Real Live Girl is in, basically, a box and needs to be grown and raised before she can really do anything). The bar owner tells Curtis to stay for the dance contest, which he agrees to. He then goes to the bathroom, gets sung at by two men sent by the Blueberry Pirate, who take his picture while he's on the toilet.

Curtis is kind of thrown by that experience for a little while, but, when he realizes it was his old friend Larry Blueberry who had that picture taken, he seems to forgive the whole incident. The Blueberry Pirate, who is a galactic fruit thief, tells him that the Women of Venus recently lost their King and his family on Earth want him back. To get the man's body back, a new, young man must be provided for the women. The Blueberry Pirates suggests that Curtis trade the Real Live Girl for The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast - who is currently living on the mining planet of Jupiter and boosting morale by giving terse descriptions of of his famous titular experience. From there, he can take The Boy to Venus, retrieve the dead king, and collect a handsome reward. Curtis agrees and he and the Blueberry Pirate pair up for the dance contest, which they win.
Professor Hess was at the Ceres bar as well and spotted Curtis. Once our hero leaves, Hess confronts the Blueberry Pirate in the bathroom, tells him it's his birthday, then kills him. He goes on to kill everyone else in the bar, except for the cat, and then goes out after Curtis.

Samuel Curtis gets to Jupiter and sees The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast perform. He trades the Real Live Girl for The Boy and leaves the planet. Professor Hess comes soon after and, once again, kills everyone, taking the Real Live Girl. He sings a party song and then leaves. He calls Curtis on the phone and has him listen while he feeds the Real Live Girl to the cat he got from the bar. Curtis later explains to The Boy that Professor Hess kills for no reason. If he has an actual reason to kill someone, he can't do it because it would leave an issue unresolved.
The two of them stop off in a barn that's just floating around in space. A group of mutated farmers are living there with a boy they raised (poorly) who they just call Bodysuit. In exchange for some cigarettes and chocolate, Curtis agrees to take Bodysuit to Earth.

Here's Where It Gets Spoilerific: They make it to Venus. Curtis sings Cloris - the apparent queen of Venus - a song about a woman with a vagina, but notices that Professor Hess is there. He figures that Hess wants to kill The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast, so he swaps Bodysuit for the dead man instead. The Women of Venus just love Bodysuit, despite his disorderly conduct and foul smell, and Professor Hess meets someone he has every reason to kill. He vows to be Bodysuit's father and raise him into a good man, so he can kill him. Curtis and The Boy take off together.
Scenes To Watch Out For: The Hurts Donut joke. 

The Boy's performance of "A". And really, all of the songs in this are phenomenal. "Hey Boy" and "The Girl With The Vagina Made of Glass" are two more of the really stunning performances. And "Party."

Anything Else: This movie is shot so interestingly. The lighting is brilliant. And, as I've already said, the music is really great. While this movie might be so bizarre there isn't a word weird enough to cover it, it's really fantastic and (if you can find a copy) it should be watched.  

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