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  Stranded Spore Us The Gory Details
Year: 2013
Director: Roger Christian
Stars: Christian Slater, Brendan Fehr, Amy Matysio, Michael Therriault, Mark D. Claxton, Ryland Alexander, Lyndon Bray
Genre: Horror, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the future, a base has been established on the Earth's moon where a mining operation manned by four workers has been drilling for some weeks, and is now halfway through its schedule, with the staff there mostly present in an overseeing capacity in case anything goes wrong. As it does today, when the surface is struck by a fierce meteor storm which sends the base into an emergency situation, the Colonel, Brauchman (Christian Slater), barking out orders to instruct the others on how to cope while attempting to contact his superiors to alert them...

Well, isn't that exciting? This was the first science fiction movie from director Roger Christian since he'd given the world Battlefield Earth, a gift about 99.9999999999% of those who saw it wanted to give back almost immediately after watching it. So as you can imagine the anticipation for another potential turkey of egregious magnitude was far from eager, but somehow Stranded was released as a British-Canadian production, the latter nation supplying the ready-built space station set where Christian could mount his movie, and even made it to a few cinemas in spite of having "direct to DVD" written all over it.

Not least because a certain Mr Slater was starring, an actor who had seen his career as a leading man take a vertiginous drop in status, to the extent that you wondered what the quality of the scripts he rejected was if ropey stuff like Stranded was what he accepted. Here was what appeared to be an unofficial remake of Norman J. Warren's minor cult trashfest Inseminoid with the influence of all those Roger Corman rip-offs of Alien strongly felt, right down to the dinky miniatures that you saw every time the shots were from outside the base. Honestly, Gerry Anderson's seventies series Space: 1999 was looking better at that distance than anything here, even if the plot could have easily have taken place on Moonbase Alpha.

So what was on offer was an obviously impoverished production (when was this standing set built, anyway? The mid-sixties?) where Slater found himself suffering the ignominy of talking into a pocket reading lamp pretending it was a radio transmitter and having to battle against carbon monoxide poisoning, which presumably meant in the future someone had left the engine of their car running somewhere on this hi-tech base, either that or the script got mixed up with carbon dioxide which would be more likely if the oxygen was running out thanks to all the meteorite holes. One of said space rocks was not the kind you put on your tongue to make them crackle and fizz, however.

Nope, it had "spores" on it, and those spores under laboratory conditions turned into a pool of vomit which infected the sole female crewmember, Ava (Amy Matysio), causing her, in a development which practically rolled its eyes and went "Women, eh? Cuh!", to fall pregnant with a starbeast. This being sci-fi, or at least low budget sci-fi where time was tight, she's almost ready to drop the sprog within a couple of minutes of screen time, in between traumatic visions of a rubber baby, so soon a humanoid has been unleashed and is skulking around, biting another crewmember, Bruce (Michael Theriault), who goes a bit wonky and so forth. This was the sort of movie where characters not only mentioned airlocks every five minutes but the things actually became a plot point, with the remaining uninfected staff (Ava recovers with remarkable swiftness) trying to shove Bruce out of one, only to accidentally explode somebody. Or implode. Doesn't end well, anyway. Much like the movie, which doesn't so much build to a climax as run out of plot. Music by Todd Bryanton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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