Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Ahhh 'Stranded'… why doth thee even exist?  Now I've heard some awful things about director Roger Christian's little sci-fi film 'Stranded', most of these bad things leading off with Christian having directed 'Battlefield Earth' which I guess is something the poor man will never be able to live down, but I'm here to tell you that I honestly didn't think that this movie all that bad to be honest with you.  But I'm of the thought process that if you are going to make a low budget movie of any genre, particularly the sci-fi / thriller genre, and considering that making the millions back that weren't spent in the first place isn't a priority… then go for it.  I mean give us something we haven't seen before, or at least haven't seen that often.  Take a chance!  Good or awful, this is what will separate you from the pack.  Something new.  'Stranded' does not do this.  It steals from classics which is like the LAST thing a low budget movie should do, and this what you get… abuse.  And now I'm in a position where I can't defend you.

Somewhere on the moon, there is a base doing some experiments.  Think 'Moon' for instance.  A meteor shower hits this base totally wrecking stuff, but no worries because Col Gerard Brauchman (Christian Slater) is on the job, and he's incompetent.  Col. Bruachman sends his crew to do stuff, say like Dr. Ava Cameron (Amy Matysio) to shut down something, Dr. Lance Krauss (Brendan Fehr) to start up something and engineer Johns (Michael Therriault) to whine about something.

While checking stuff out, Ava finds a rock that looks like it has growth spores on it.  Why she grabs it and carries it back to the lab is beyond me, but this is what she does.  Lance runs some tests on the spores, but Ava makes the mistake of cutting her finger on the test tube, and doesn't
Back to the FCU
Let Chris know how Wrong He Is
Don't Be Square...
Like Totally Twisted Flix!

tell anybody.  Ava Cameron… worst space scientist ever.  Of course Ava gets sick, but she also gets pregnant and soon she births a crazed alien baby.  That likes to breast feed.   Think 'It's Alive' mixed with high, unintended comedy.

Ava is trying to tell these people that she just gave birth to something, and this something has already bitten Bruce the whiner.  Nobody believes her though.  Now I'm no doctor, and I get that Doc didn't have his test equipment and all, but a pregnant woman is a pregnant woman.  And when you see her a few minutes later and the big thing in her belly is gone and it can't be found… something is out there.  But Doc and the Colonel?  Worst Doctor and Colonel of a moonbase ever. 

Anyway, apparently this thing has the ability to mimic creatures, and on this day it's mimicking Bruce the whiner which it has bitten.  And it's picking them off one by one.  But not really, now that I think about it.  What does this 'Thing' want?  I guess to make it back to Earth and do something.  I don't know what though.  I mean I guess it could infect everyone but it doesn't seem to have that kind of power.  It doesn't seem to have any powers really.  I think if it makes it back to earth it will just be a mean old monster and stomp stuff.  But I'll tell you the last thing we should do, and that would be rescuing anybody on that moon base.  That would be the absolute height of irresponsibility.  Don't do it!

The reason I say that 'Stranded' should've mixed it up with its narrative is because this film has a lot going against from the word 'go'.  We like the use of miniatures as sets, but when they look like toys, that's a bit of an issue.  Christian Slater's my main man and all, but when a brother is making roughly eight Direct to DVD movies a month, you probably aren't going to get his best effort which would've prompted me to look in the direction of another fading star.  And of course when your narrative is lifting vital plot elements from 'The Thing' and 'Alien', amongst others… so we can understand the disdain that many have displayed toward this little movie. 

But personally… we didn't hate this movie.  Yes, I opened this little article pondering why this movie even exists, and true enough, it doesn't need to exist considering it adds absolutely NOTHING to the genre of sci-fi, but all things considered I did find 'Stranded' to be a reasonably competent, reasonably entertaining time waster.  A bored Christian Slater still manages to bring a certain amount of intensity, if on the strength of his eyebrow arching alone, our director did the best he could to squeeze as much action out of the limited sets as humanly possible, and while he didn't always succeed, the effort was apparent.  The movie also boasted real world SFX as opposed to bad CGI, and we will take real effects, even if they are subpar, over bad CGI any day of the week.  And of course this movie could turn into a classic drinking game, when you get some friends over and play Name That Movie! 

What can I tell you?  While we're not actively recommending anyone run out and actually view 'Stranded',  but for the few of us kind of in tune to this kind of low budget, blasphemous nonsense, it has its positives.  Still no need for it to exist, but since it does… at your own risk.
Don't Be Square... Like Totally Twisted Flix!
Real Time Web