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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 29.03%
Average: 3.23%
Pretty Bad: 3.23%
Total Crap: 22.58%

2 reviews, 19 user ratings

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American Astronaut, The
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by Chris Parry

"Great music, great visuals, very funny, extremely original."
4 stars

American Astronaut is a real love it or hate it film. Back in the day, when indie film was pure and ideas driven, film such as this sprang forth - unreleasable, avant garde, but the kind of stuff that keeps an audience guessing and brings forth new ideas to the world of film. American Astronaut is an unapologetic kickback to that era, with abundant style and originality and a decidedly non-commercial end-result.

Sam Curtis (McAbee) is a space trader, a lonely and dirty profession. Curtis has a cargo to deliver, but he's being pursued by the evil Professor Hess - a psycho who kills without reason - meaning that if he has reason to kill you, he can't. If that sounds odd, well get used to it because American Astronaut is a non-stop weird-out.

Cory McAbee wrote, directed, starred in and did most of the music in the film (with his band The Billy Nayer Show) and he scores on every count. The film has a real gritty look, similar to Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, the dialogue is never too knowing and the music just terrific. McAbee is a complete weirdo, but he knows how to make a movie. Give the guy a bigger budget and you're looking at the next David Lynch.

Having said that, as a feature American Astroanut has problems. Some scenes go far too long and the ending seems a little too easy. It will always be a problem when a movie has set musical pieces that some will grow tiresome, and there are certainly sequences in American Astronaut that suffer that fate. Despite some great songs ("The Girl With The Glass Vagina" not being one), there are times when art gets in the way of narrative.

As an artistic venture with no pretense at a commercial market, American Astronaut may well have succeeded. But even though it's a potential cult video release, a film must be judged alongside all others. In that respect, Cory McAbee's opus doesn't quite score the strike it would like, despite those people (myself included) who would call McAbee a potential next big thing.

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originally posted: 02/16/01 06:56:28
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/21/16 brian Hilarious, inventive, GREAT music, unfortunate pacing. Cult hit! 4 stars
1/19/13 brian Love it or hate it? Well, I love parts of it and hate other parts, so OK. 3 stars
12/14/06 ELBSeattle This is one of the strangest, funniest, catchiest, smartest things I've ever seen. 5 stars
10/01/06 Dane Henas Music& art direction good. Lyrics awful. McAbee, and awful actor smiles at the oddest times 2 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper It's a cross between Flash Gordon and Plan 9 From Outer Space with lots of LSD. 1 stars
11/11/04 Nick Stevenson Stunning. Eric Snider sounds like a bitter film maker... 5 stars
1/11/02 Andrew Carden Really Funny...Could Be Considered To Be One Day Known As A Lost Movie 5 stars
10/31/01 zing zing da like a pernod enema taken on Titan 5 stars
10/23/01 Boomshanka Certainly not for everybody, but you have to respect originality, and this has it. 4 stars
10/15/01 April It cracked me up in many places, and the music rocked. I loved it! Very creative!! 5 stars
10/15/01 Andrew amazing, funny, captivating, and one of the most creative films I've ever seen 5 stars
10/12/01 Maz Dee Snyder can go blow the Pope. This movie rocks! 5 stars
10/02/01 mrs. hess perfection achieved 5 stars
9/24/01 Cupcakefarm Best movie I saw at Toronto 5 stars
9/17/01 Mark Visser pure escapism 5 stars
8/28/01 Cookie Exceptional film. Funny, creative, wacky, a spectacular production. 5 stars
8/07/01 Emily Absolutely wonderful film! I want to see it again and again. 5 stars
8/03/01 Pernell Studebaker Beautiful. A fairytale for the fringe. 5 stars
4/25/01 d mikal johnson absolutely original cult film candidate 4 stars
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Directed by
  Cory McAbee

Written by
  Cory McAbee

  Cory McAbee
  Rocco Sisto
  Gregory Russell Cook
  Annie Golden
  James Ransone
  Joshua Taylor

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