In philosophy, there’s an idea called solipsism, which states that all we know for sure is that we exist following the logic of “I think, therefore I am.” Taken to the extreme, solipsism can refer to the belief that reality is an illusion, and the mind is the only thing that exists. As time goes on, I’m becoming increasingly convinced that everything is an illusion created by mind. How else could I explain Stingray Sam, a musical western scifi comedy about two outlaws trying to rescue a kid from a wealthy doofus who lives on a planet that bears his namesake? I found the film on Netflix, as if it was waiting for me, knowing that I love ridiculous movies. How could it know me so well unless I was subconsciously creating the very world around me? …or maybe it was just because Netflix has a Suggested Movies list tailored to my tastes.
Stingray Sam is a strange and entertaining pastiche of musicals, westerns, and scifi films blended with a surreal sense of humor and presented in an episodic/serial format. The story, such as it is, focuses on the adventures of Stingray Sam and the Quasar Kid, a couple of convicts from the former prison planet Durango who are out to save the daughter of a famous carpenter from Fredward, the wealthy offspring of Frederick and Edward, two scientists who perfected a method for impregnating men. Each episode mixes scenes with Stingray and Quasar trying to find out where the little girl is/trying to rescue her, a musical number, and scenes of photocollages over which David Hyde Pierce narrates, giving us the bizarre but relevant history of the Stingray Sam universe. At first I didn’t know what to make of it, but as with many strange and amusing films I found myself drawn into it, just enjoying the silliness. My only complaint is that I wished it had gone on a little longer; the movie is only an hour. If you enjoy quirky independent comedies and genre mash ups, I suggest you pick up a copy of Stingray Sam or watch it on Netflix.