Directed by Roger Christian
Distributed by Image Entertainment
From the director of Battlefield Earth comes… something worse?
As rat-brained as Battlefield Earth is, it does possess some undeniable camp value. There’s almost as much, maybe even more, unfathomable stupidity on display in Roger Christian’s return to the science fiction genre, but it’s the wrong kind of stupid. I found the stupidity of the characters in Stranded to be nothing short of infuriating. What isn’t stupid is most likely going to prove boring and unimaginative to anyone who has ever seen Alien or Aliens or Alien 3 or Alien: Resurrection or, just to change things up a bit, Prometheus.
A meteor shower cripples a lunar mining outpost, leaving its three-man and one-woman crew without power and dealing with a CO2 leak.
That’s not their big problem. The big problem is the idiot woman thought nothing of bringing aboard a piece of a meteorite with some sort of living space organism on it with no concern that it could prove to be a potential biohazard threat. She proceeds to cut her hand on a vial containing a sample of this organism and neither shows any alarm for her own safety nor feels the need to inform anyone of what happened. Yet, when Colonel Christian Slater chastises her over both instances for not following proper protocol, she more or less calls him an authoritarian jerk.
Seconds after getting cut, she’ll start feeling woozy and spontaneously become about six months pregnant. The Colonel and Dr. Brendan Fehr will spend a considerable amount of time acting like complete lunkheads, decreeing every strange thing that happens on the station to be the result of hallucinations and aggressive behavior brought on by breathing too much carbon monoxide.
Except for her giving birth to an alien space baby; that the doctor proclaims to be the result of her having developed a massive cyst in her abdomen that suddenly grew to massive proportions and burst, all in a matter of hours. He declares that to be the only logical explanation with such confidence, scoffing at the very notion of alien infection, even though he knows full well that they’ve brought a living extraterrestrial organism on board, a sample of which had already begun growing in the lab.
The Colonel orders her to be locked down in a room under quarantine. A wise decision, assuming he had any comprehension how the concept of quarantine actually works. If someone is believed to be infected with a pathogen that could potentially infect others, you wisely put them in a sealed room, and anyone that goes inside should be wearing some sort of protective gear (face mask, gloves, scrubs, biohazard suit, etc.). They keep going into the room without any protective gear, repeatedly, including Slater, who then yells afterwards about how they need to keep her quarantined. He does it so many times it practically becomes a running joke.
Was there supposed to be something in the script explaining that the gas leak was the source of their constant stupidity that got lost in translation from script to screen?
The Colonel’s an idiot. The doctor’s an idiot. The woman’s an idiot. The last guy is the least idiotic of the three, thus explaining why the Colonel and the doctor keep telling him he’s just coming unglued because of the carbon monoxide. But once the newborn 1970’s It’s Alive alien hand puppet bites him (“You just cut your hand on glass,” explains the doctor in one of many moments of stupefaction that made me want to hurl a brick through my TV screen), he starts going conveniently insane for real.
By now I was so fed up with how asinine these characters were I already hated this film, and keep in mind just about everything I’ve described happens within the first half-hour alone. The best to be said for the remainder is that it isn’t as insulting to the intelligence as it is a generic retread that proves quite dull.
A micro-budget sci-fi movie striving for realism despite “Space 1999” miniature effects and unfathomable stupidity on the part of a cast of four, straining to stretch out a plot so basic you could practically explain the entire film from start to finish in a logline, peppered along the way with failed attempts to add some psychological underpinnings: Stranded only succeeds at being one of the worst movies of 2013.
Science fiction fans have seen every aspect of this movie done before, many times, to death. Those looking for a fun creature movie will only get a few moments of albino alien hand puppetry and a few seconds of an admittedly decent looking practical effects alien creature at the very end. Even as far as bad movies go, I would happily sit through every blue-tinted Dutch angle of Battlefield Earth again before ever even considering another viewing of the crap-lousy Stranded.
1 out of 5
1 out of 5