Wednesday, September 04, 2013

It's A Republic One-Reeler Serial, Sort Of

     I think he's got the "art movie" set stonkered.  Cory McAbee's Stingray Sam is a singing cowboy serial moved to outer space -- and not the majestic "This...Is..SPAAACE!" of Star [Trek] [Wars] (choose one) films, either.  Nope, it's a kind of beat-up, rundown, well-worn space, where bandit/escaped convict Stingray Sam has found a niche as a lounge singer in one of the has-been clubs in the has-been resorts on Mars.  It is there that the Quasar Kid, his former partner in crime, finds him and shares the news that they've both been offered a chance to pay their debt to society by rescuing a little girl who's been kidnapped....

     Intended for "viewing on all platforms," it consists of a half-dozen ten-minute episodes, which mix black and white live-action story with soft-color Terry Gilliamesque collage-animated exposition/backstory and include one song per (from metal to lullaby!).  The sets are about exactly at the level of a Saturday serial (okay, the spaceship's less busy and a bit slicker than the ones flown by Rocky Jones, Space Ranger) and effects, likewise.  Stingray himself is a reluctant hero, possibly a bit dim, and the plot is hauled along by main force, generally as personified by the entirely un-kid-like Quasar Kid.

     It's a film that doesn't take itself too seriously, that can't leave Chekov's "gun over the mantlepiece" alone for even a couple of minutes, and I thought it was fun.

     My friend the Data Viking did not; the largely as-found sets and a plot that required nearly all the characters to be idiots grated on him and he disliked the musical interludes.  (I can sympathize, as most musicals make me want to stop up my ears until the plot resumes -- still, just one "Officer Krupke" makes up for a lot.)

     So YMMV.  Is it an old-time pulp brought to the screen, or film stock best used to prop a wobbly table?  A dessert topping?  A floor wax? It's cheap enough to find out: the first two episodes are free.


Ygolonac said...

Thankee kindly!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is.....

perlhaqr said...


(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Thanks for the pointer, looks fun! And I could sure use a bit more fun in my life.