And yes, it may also be the only sci-fi, musical-western in existence too. But whether it's best of a genre or just one-of-a-kind, this black and white, fiercely independent film written, directed, and starring Cory McAlbee (and his band the Billy Nayer Show) pushes the boundaries of music and film making.
The plot, in their own words: “Space travel has become a dirty way of life dominated by derelicts, grease monkeys, and hard-boiled interplanetary traders such as Samuel Curtis. We follow Curtis on his Homeric journey to provide the all-female planet of Venus with a suitable male, while pursued by an enigmatic killer, Professor Hess.”
With its gritty, DIY style (from a time before “indie” film was a business model) and dusty rock ballads, The American Astronaut has no contemporary. Maybe Space Balls directed by Ingmar Bergman? “Dr. Strangelove” in space? This 2001 film has no equal.
The Billy Nayer Show will play the Downtown Indie on October 29th, but if you want to hear some of the outlandishly catchy songs, like the “Girl with the Vagina Made of Glass” from The American Astronaut, check them out here:
The Girl With The Vagina Made of Glass:
The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breasts