“Stranded” is Story Challenged

Stranded POSTER


This science fiction thriller starts out well, but burns and crashes when it goes to a familiar place.  Although Stranded does have some good actors and the sets are pretty cool, it’s the recognizable story that makes it a copy cat.  However, if you like films about a stranded group of astronauts that get attached by an alien, then this is your cup of tea.

Stranded on the moon after a meteor shower hits their base, four geologists lead by Colonel Gerard Brauchman (Christian Slater) are cut off from the Earth with no communications.  To make matters worse, their oxygen has had a mishap that finds crew member Ava (Amy Matysio) exiting the base camp to make a repair on the ventilation system.  On the way back to the camp she picks up one of the meteors for a sample to investigate.  When the space rock turns out to harbor a virus, a nasty life form that gets into Ava’s circulatory system a creature is borne that’s hell bent on destruction.

Christian Slater as Brauchman and Amy Matysio as Ava

Christian Slater as Brauchman and Amy Matysio as Ava

The film plays the Alien game with almost an exact story except for the birth and shape of the creature that’s trying to kill everyone on board the lab.  If it weren’t for the popularity of Alien this film may have slid by, but once the birthing takes place, it’s the same old story.

Director Roger Christian (Battlefield Earth) does his best to mask the copy cat film with a creepy alien that’s a might scary at times, but it’s not “Mother” and she can’t be out repulsed. The special effects make-up crew makes their creation a hideous mass of slimy skinned brutality and the geologists are no match for the entity that’s determined to take over the lab and beyond.

Christian Slater as Colonel Gerard Brauchman in STRANDED

Christian Slater as Colonel Gerard Brauchman in STRANDED

While the story seems to be the bugaboo here, it’s actually enough to put the film on a watch for the DVD.  Even Christian Slater seemed to have doubts as he walks through his role with an unemotional performance that’s not like the professional actor.  Maybe the producers offered him a percentage instead of an A-list salary and after seeing where the film was headed realized that getting the film done in a week was not fast enough.

Stranded has not been rated by the MPAA but does contain some language, violence, gore and a birthing scene.  While this may be run of the mill science fiction, there were many cool things about the sets and the escape pod that I liked. Be cautious when deciding to allow immature children see the film as it does have some scenes that may be inappropriate

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you were born well after the release of Alien then take a chance on Stranded. (D)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Christian Slater, Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio and Michael Therriault
Directed by: Roger Christian
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
MPAA Rating: Unrated    
Running Time: 1 hr 28 min
Opening Date: July 26, 2013
Distributed by: RLJ/Image Entertainment

“Stranded” opens in Los Angeles, New York and some top regional markets  

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