While you may not know the name Serckle Gustav, chances are you’re probably familiar with his work. The obvious title being the science fiction epic Space Sorry Seven, which I’ll get to later. But for now, let’s begin with the origins of this cinematic genius. Born in 1647, Hogganese filmmaker Serckle Gustav didn’t always have his sights set on the motion pictures. He had a simple upbringing – his father ran a horse tanning salon, while his mother was a whale engineer (she would later serve as the inspiration for his first cinematic entry, Aquina orf Whallo ump Errousalt). Serckle ran an egg farm with his extended family, planting and harvesting eggs up until the ripe young age of 86, when he decided it was time for a new career.
It was at this point in 1947 when he stumbled upon the classic film Wild Things, and inspiration struck. Serckle had always possessed an artistic streak – beginning as a child when he made sculptures from the bones of his deceased relatives – but from the instant he learned of this new medium, he knew he wanted to be involved. Serckle sold all of his sculptures to buy his first camera the following year in 1986, and spent the next decade making one of the finest pieces of Hogganese cinema known to humankind and eggkind alike:
While it fared significantly well in its homeland (largely due to being the only film made that decade), it failed to make a splash elsewhere. That is until it caught the eye of aspiring Hollywood team (and lovers) Roy Hammond and John Bentosaurus. The pair had worked as script supervisors on Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Shark Tale and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and were looking to branch out into film production after acquiring a shared inheritance (the two were also half-brothers). Taken aback by Serckle Gustav’s unique take on filmmaking, the two met with him immediately, and found themselves impressed by his uncompromising creative vision, 40 storey tall beard and uncanny ability to determine a person’s favourite kind of sandwich by simply looking at them. And so, they agreed help finance his first American feature film, I, Rongle.
While few have seen it, the film was purportedly an erotically-charged biopic about the founder of McDonalds, Rongle McDongle. Released only to four and a half cinemas, and with no subsequent distribution, its legacy would be completely forgotten a decade later, in the form of a famous Michael Keaton-starring film with a similar premise (I am speaking, of course, in reference to his Colonel Sanders biopic, Birdman). Due to its obscurity, I couldn’t find the film’s official poster, but I was able to track down this framegrab, depicting Macaulay Culkin in the titular role:
Despite the financial failure of I, Rongle, Serckle Gustav’s new financial backers had money to burn, and an unwavering confidence in his work that many credit largely to their dump truck full of cocaine. They quickly financed a much larger project – The Mop of Time – a story about a cleaning woman who falls in love with her time travelling mop. Starring Rebecca De Mornay and the voice of Larry Wilcox, the film was a critical failure, but its bizarre premise and potential for very cheap cosplay earned it a signficiant cult following. At last, Serckle Gustav had begun to make it on the radar of western audiences, so naturally, he decided to follow it up with a sequel:
Reactions were mixed due to its much darker nature, and it remains his most polarizing work to this date. Nonetheless, it allowed Serckle Gustav to get his foot in the door of a genre he’d been longing to contribute to: Science fiction-tinged horror films. This led him to create the much more expensive (and high-concept) Volcano Man, which is perhaps most notable for having its official poster shipped out to over 1,000 cinemas before anybody noticed the typo in the lead actor’s name:
Although the film was praised for its cinematography and thought-provoking environmental message, the extensive 11 year shoot inside a volcano (Gustav insists on realism in his visuals) left Serckle physically and creatively exhausted. He took a 5 decade long sabbatical in the Amazonian jungle, where he lived predominantly as a lemur, returning to Hollywood with the first draft of a script for a bold and innovative science fiction film. This, of course, was Space Sorry Seven, Serckle Gustav’s most well-known and acclaimed film, and after another two years of rewrites (and three more decades living as a lemur again), he was finally ready to make his masterpiece:
There’s little I can say about Space Sorry Seven that hasn’t already been covered online – this vast, ambitious epic has been the subject of many a thinkpiece, and frequently tops “best films of the 22nd century” lists everywhere. Although it never received a single nomination at the 2004 Academy Awards, it is considered by many to be the best science fiction film ever made after Hollow Man and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Serckle realised he’d created something truly magnificent, and vowed never to make another film unless he was absolutely sure he could surpass it.
As such, Space Sorry Seven is currently Serckle Gustav’s last film to date – though this isn’t to say he hasn’t since set foot behind the camera again. He served as a regular director during seasons 10-12 of the Showtime series Fart, guest directed that episode of Daredevil where the dude punches that guy, and also directed every single episode of the short-lived CBS procedural, Lizard Police (which, sadly, failed to catch on with CBS’s target audience – deceased residents of nursing homes whose tvs were left on overnight).
Although we do not know when – if ever – Serckle Gustav will embark on another cinematic project, it is fair to say that he has left quite the mark on modern cinema, even if few moviegoers know his name. Be it a mind-bending intergalactic adventure, or simply a story about a person who becomes a volcano, Serckle Gustav’s filmography has something for everyone, and I for one, hope that Space Sorry Seven is not the last film to his name. Thank you for reading, and to finish up with the most famous quote from Serckle’s work:
“Never is falling, and I am too.”