By Stacey Gillard
It’s the 22nd century and increased space traffic around Earth has caused a large amount of space debris in orbit around the planet which needs to be cleared up. Enter Anton, captain of the Orbital Sanitation Station Regina whose mission is to dispose of the space garbage in a timely and efficient manner. Portrayed brilliantly by Billy Boyd (LOTR trilogy), Anton is power hungry and demanding of his crew, but really has no control over any of them and has very little clue about how anything on the station works.
Anton is fighting to salvage his relationship with Valentina, played by the ever amazing Amanda Tapping (Stargate: SG1, Sanctuary). Valentina is tired of being trapped on the station and is looking for a way out of both the job she’s stuck in and the relationship she regrets. Tapping is usually cast in roles as a strong character, confident and in control of her surroundings. I loved seeing her floundering. She was cranky and miserable and the comedy during the interactions between her and Boyd was stellar!
Robin Dunne (Sanctuary) plays Jimmy, a rookie engineer who falsifies his qualifications in order to get on board the station and fulfil a dream. Dunne does a fantastic job of making Jimmy inept, klutzy and with no ability to stand up for himself against Anton’s attempts at dictatorship. The rest of the crew have no patience for his awkwardness but behind their backs he’s slowly becoming a confident hero.
As soon as he’s on board, Jimmy develops a crush on the beautiful but irritable Tilda (Kristin Kreuk – Smallville, Beauty and the Beast). However, after ignoring orders from Earth, the Regina brings on board a mysterious artifact which emits a strange light and Tilda is suddenly replaced by a robot. This goes unnoticed by the crew (even though she stops talking and acts really rather oddly!) and until they realize they have no contact with Earth any more, they are unaware anything has changed.
While the crew rush to figure out why there appears to be no space traffic around Earth at all, a rubber duck possessed by an ex boyfriend of Valentina’s is running rampant and mutating into a monster that could spell the end of them all. Yes. A rubber duck! Gary, the duck, is voiced by George Takei which just makes his appearance even more spectacular! His mutation and obsession with Valentina bring the movie to its exciting climax as the forelorn crew are forced to work together to save, well basically, the universe.
The cast alone makes this movie a sci-fi fan’s absolute dream. Intentionally bad special effects are reminiscent of the B movies of the 70s and 80s (although it should be noted that when they’re not trying to be bad, the effects are actually very impressive). Self deprecating humour is rampant, slapstick comedy is delivered with impeccable timing. Valentina’s criticism of Anton’s “abnormally hairy feet” was a fantastic meta moment and I can only imagine Robin Dunne’s delight when he got to deliver a line originally made famous by Han Solo – “we’re all fine here – how are you?”
If you are watching this movie expecting to see the next big sci-fi blockbuster you will be sorely disappointed. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, this is a 90 minute plunge into the ridiculous. If you’re looking to be highly entertained and enjoy so many belly laughs you’ll feel like you’ve been doing ab crunches, then this is definitely the movie for you.
Space Milkshake is now available for digital download at http://www.spacemilkshake.com!