The American Astronaut is a 2001 space-western/musical, directed by and starring Cory McAbee. The film was released on DVD in Spring of 2005. The band Billy Nayer Show, helmed by McAbee, wrote and performed the film's soundtrack.
The film is set in a fictitious past, in which space travel is pioneered by roughnecks. The logic of space travel is not addressed, and most technology was designed for the film to appear as if "it could be repaired with a hammer". Samuel Curtis, an interplanetary trader, is approached by an acquaintance of his, the Blueberry Pirate, with a mission. He is to provide the women of Venus with a new king for mating. In exchange for this new stud, they will relinquish their currently deceased king, whose family is offering an immense reward for his body. Curtis sets off in search of the perfect replacement, the Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast, and soon discovers that his old nemesis Professor Hess is hot on his trail.
Space travel has become a dirty way of life dominated by derelicts, grease monkeys, thieves, and hard-boiled interplanetary traders such as Samuel Curtis (Cory McAbee), an astronaut from Earth who deals in rare goods, living or otherwise.
His mission begins with the unlikely delivery of a cat to a small outer-belt asteroid saloon where he meets his former dance partner, and renowned interplanetary fruit thief, the Blueberry Pirate (Joshua Taylor). As payment for his delivery of the cat, Curtis receives a homemade cloning device already in the process of creating a creature most rare in this space quadrant – a Real Live Girl.
At the suggestion of the Blueberry Pirate, Curtis takes the Real Live Girl to Jupiter where women have long been a mystery. There, he proposes a trade with the owner of Jupiter: the Real Live Girl clone for the Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman’s Breast (Gregory Russell Cook). The Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman’s Breast is regarded as royalty on the all-male mining planet of Jupiter because of his unique and exotic contact with a woman. It is Curtis’ intention to take The Boy to Venus and trade him for the remains of Johnny R., a man who spent his lifetime serving as a human stud for the Southern belles of Venus, a planet populated only by women. Upon returning Johnny R’s body to his bereaved family on earth, Curtis will receive a handsome reward.
While hashing out the plan with the Blueberry Pirate, Curtis is spotted by his nemesis, Professor Hess (Rocco Sisto). Possessed by an enigmatic obsession with Curtis, Hess is capable of killing only without reason; that is, unless his intended victim is someone with whom he has unresolved issues. Hess has been pursuing Samuel Curtis throughout the solar system in order that he might forgive him, then kill him. Along the way, Hess has executed each and every individual to come into contact with Curtis.
Unaware of this danger, Curtis sets forth on his mission.
After retrieving The Boy Who Actually Saw A Woman’s Breast from Jupiter, Curtis is contacted by Professor Hess, who makes his intentions known.
Fearful, Curtis and The Boy look for a place to hide. They come across a primitive space station constructed by Nevada State silver miners from the late 1800s. Inside they discover a small group of miners still alive, their bodies crippled and deformed by space atrophy. Unable to return home for fear that Earth’s gravity would kill them, two of the miners mated and give birth to a boy known as Body Suit (James Ransone). He has been raised in a suit of hydraulics to simulate Earth's gravity with his parent's intention of him eventually being sent home. In trade for supplies and sanctuary, Curtis agrees to deliver Body Suit to Earth.
Once they land on the lush planet of Venus, the terrain dramatically changes, and Curtis is inspired by a plan.
- Greg Russell Cook as The Boy Who Actually Saw a Woman's Breast
- Joshua Taylor as Blueberry Pirate
- Tom Aldredge as Old Man
- Peter McRobbie as Lee Vilensky
- Bill Buell as Eddie
- Mark Manley as Henchman #1 (Hey Boy!)
- Ned Sublette as Henchman #2 (Hey Boy!)
- Joseph McKenna as Doorman
- Doug McKean as Silverminer Jake
- Bentley Wood as Young Johnny R.