Space Jockey (lost Phil Tucker film; 1953)
Space Jockey is an unfinished, unreleased film by infamous film director Phil Tucker, dating from 1953.
Backstory[edit | edit source]
Phil Tucker (1927-1985) is an American film director mostly known for directing the 1953 science-fiction movie Robot Monster, which starred one of the most infamous monsters of sci-fi cinema, Ro-Man - an alien looking like a gorilla wearing a diving helmet - and often listed among the worst movies of all time. However, it got a cult following after many years, and has become a B-movie icon on its own right.
Tucker directed other exploitation movies, such as Pachuco (1957) about two Mexican-American hoodlums going to Mexico and Cape Canaveral Monsters (1960), about people turned into zombies by alien parasites.
Lost film[edit | edit source]
Tucker revealed that, shortly before making Robot Monster, he started working on a movie that he never finished: Space Jockey.
Himself describes this lost film as "probably the worst film ever made", "a real piece of shit" while he views his other films as "okay". Considering the infamous reputation that Robot Monster has, this brings a lot of speculation to many vintage B-movie fans.
To this day, no copy, footage or sample of Space Jockey has reemerged. Tucker himself was unable to recover a print.
The movie's title is similar to a famous nickname given to a deceased character in the 1979 Alien movie and a 1947 novel by Robert A. Heinlein. However, it is unknown if it is only coincidental.
Resurfacement[edit | edit source]
Anders Runestad, who authored the book I Cannot, Yet I Must: The True Story of the Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time: Robot Monster, wrote in 20th July 2020 on forum Classic Horror Film Board that he recovered the script of Space Jockey. A copy was found in the possessions of Donnis Stark Thompson, a cast member of the film, and her son, Tok Thompson, decided to share it with Runestad.
The script is planned to be published around 2021.