If you clicked on this hoping for information about Game of Thrones Season 7, you’ll going to be sorely disappointed. I’m sorry for misleading you — I can sense how pissed off you are already — but allow me to take this opportunity to suggest something inarguably better than Game of Thrones Season 7 will inevitably be: the 1996 film Space Truckers, starring Dennis Hopper, Steven Dorff, and dominated by our very own Tywin Lannister — Charles Dance.
You could spend the off-season aimlessly exploring the filmography of your favorite Game of Thrones players — maybe Nikolai Coster-Waldau in the aberrant and maligned Gods of Egypt, or that Emilia Clarke romantic dramedy that is offensive to paralyzed people. Or you could jump right to the good stuff, and watch Charles Dance — sadly, no longer vastly improving GoT every week since his departure in Season 4 — in his best role of all time, even before Tywin and Karellen in Syfy’s Childhood’s End.
Before Dance was HBO’s favorite British character actor, he filled out his paycheck with a lot of weird sci-fi side roles, outside of smaller prestige movies. He shows up in Alien 3 and The Last Action Hero. Space Truckers was, in some sense, not far outside of his comfort zone.
The zany, violent, creepy, and utterly enjoyable B movie — which follows Dennis Hopper and a crew of nincompoops, including Dorff, who shuttle precious cargo through space on floating interstellar big-rigs — makes sense conceptually once you realize it’s a Stuart Gordon flick. Gordon is the sci-fi/horror prankster behind Re-Animator, the finest H.P. Lovecraft film adaptation and an ‘80s-B-horror essential, and many other off-the-wall cult films including Castle Freak and Fortress.
Dance plays a scientist, Nabel, who creates a cyborg war machine that he cannot control. His treasonous business partner orders it to kill him, but it doesn’t quite finish the job. Years later, he’s managed to literally pull himself together again, enhancing his mangled anatomy with spare robot parts and odd bits of machinery, and become an evil space pirate. If this movie had done better — it cleared 1.6 million on a budget of 25 million! — he would have made an incredible toy.
Here he is, with his standard Nazi-chic leather uniform off:
Green ooze pumps through him, and he makes a loud, inexplicable squelching sound when he walks around. In demeanor, however, he’s still soft-spoken, heavy-breathing Tywin-styled Dance — the height of dignified evil.
Nabel’s Achilles heel — at least, one of them — is insatiable lust. At one point, he captures Hopper’s character’s fiance and former space-truck-stop waitress Cindy (Entouage’s Debi Mazar) and lures her to his boudoir. And that’s why I’m writing this article.
The world needs to know about the precise moment in cinema when a half-plastic, Frankenstein’s-monster Charles Dance winds up his Nerf-gun-sized mechanical penis like a lawnmower.
“I rebuilt everything… every organ,” he explains, by way of introduction.
“I emit a low-amp, electrical wang pulse, designed to drive women wild with pleasure,” he boasts, bionic cock a-whirring. Yes, he says “wang.”
This scene is one of the great forgotten moments in cinema. Why we don’t see it in Oscar retrospective reels next to “Rosebud!” and the falling snowglobe, or George Bailey coming home to the Christmas party I’ll never understand.
Savor it, in all its puerile glory, below:
If you thought you’d never find a Dennis Hopper film where someone else in the cast managed to out-weird him, think again. And show me a scene in Game of Thrones this good and I’ll eat my hat — or rather my Global-Guts-slime-filled member! Who needs two more stupid seasons of that show anyway?