Monday, January 05, 2009

Stuck (Review)


Stuck (2008)

Directed by Stuart Gordon

An old urban legend goes that after an all night drinking binge, a man discovers the body of a little girl embedded in the car's grill.

My sister's friend's uncle's cousin's roommate told me that.

We totally dismiss these outrageous urban legends as exagerrated works of fiction but how about if they were somewhat true?

A movie based on an urban legend that is based on an actual true story is hard to pull off. I mean there is a movie called Urban Legends for goodness sakes that sucked.

But what horror maestro Stuart Gordon has accomplished with Stuck is a credit to the Reanimator director. Stuck is simple, chilling and effective in everything that is put on the screen. A monumental film that satires who we are and what we would do in the most extreme situation. And it's got gore too.

Boring Plot-O-Matic

Brandi is a hard-partying, overworked, nursing assistant desperate for a promotion at the retirement home where she works. After a night of drug-binging and partying, she accidentally hits a certain Thomas Bardo a deadbeat and recently evicted man who gets stuck in the windshield of her car.

Not wanting to call for help since she is driving under the influence, Brandi, chooses not to get Thomas medical help and instead drives home and leaves him clinging to his life in the windshield of her car. While Brandi frantically tries to decide what she is going to do, Thomas, tries to free himself knowing his time is running out.

Awesome Review-O-Matic

It's the driving force of the characters that makes Stuck so effective. The hot Mena Suvari, is brilliant as Brandi, the nursing assistant turned semi killer. We feel for Brandi, she's not Hitler evil but out to protect herself. Her lack of indifference is quite amazing to watch as she attempts to cover up her heinous crime (I used heinous in a sentence!).

Stephen Rea as Thomas Bardo, the unfortunate hit and not run victim is awesomly portrayed by Rea. In a suspension of disbelief that Tom is still alive after getting stuck in a windshield, his actions are not all superpower, adrenaline charged comeback story of the year.

He slowly tries to get out of his situation by pleading for help, reaching for a cell phone and fixing his bum leg. He's alive and barely. He's not MacGyvering his way out of this but doing everything possible to make sure he's breathing at the end. So somewhat realistic, your cringing after every close call.

The cat and mouse game by Brandi and Tom is frightening in its realism and in its outrageousness. Gordon gives us his trademark black humor in this chaos in the form of pimped up drug dealer boyfriend of Brandi's named Rashid (Russell Hornsby).

He plays the bad ass mac daddy who has to help Brandi get out of this true urban legend and his transformation is outright hilarious going from ghetto superstar to clueless, frightened bumbling petty criminal.

The dialogue and converfunnies are right on. Gordon knows his audience and includes funny rationales between all the characters.

The classic moment is the actual hit which runs in scary slo mo. So funny and slick at the sametime I was LOLing as Brandi drove around Providence with a man sticking out of her windshield.

Each scene seemed to toy with our expectations. Everytime you think help would arrive for poor, stuck Tom, we get sideswiped into a different direction.

Poor Tom can't catch a break.

Check out a scene from Stuck as Tom tries to call for help and gets a audio cameo from Jeffrey Combs.

By the end, I wanted our anti-tagonist Brandi to pay for what she did, but somehow still be intact. Maybe she could just pay a fine. But some sense of justice is dished out and all the main characters are brought to their ends as they should.

Stuck brings back Gordon to the horror limelight once again as I'll admit I abandoned him a while ago. I'm glad this will get him on the radar. The fact that this is a loosely based on a true story is scary shit. Stuck questions the world we live in, satirizing would we do the right thing in the most fucked up situation. I'm glad I don't have to make that choice.

Gore-ipedia (if you want to be shocked don't read)

Windshield slicing and gut dicing
Ocular trauma
Burned beyond recognition

Nude-ipedia (because you like boobies)

Mena Suvari boobiness!!! Yes!!! (with extra on the top and bottom simulated sex scenes!)
A ho's full frontal body boobs and etc.

WTF moment

The slo mo hit of Tom being lodged into Brandi's windshield. Classic shit.

The Jaded Viewer's Final Prognosis

I really thought this movie was a straight to the DVD used bin flick. But I must admit I was dead wrong. I was mesmerized for 80 or so minutes and was applauding by the end. Stuck hit on all cylinders of what a good horror movie is suppose to be.

1.) Outrageous premise
2.) Somewhat believable characters
3.) Gratuitous nudity
4.) Splatter and gore
5.) Satire intelligent enough for the horror fan to understand
6.) An ending now satisfies the story

When you add it all up together, Stuck accomplishes all of this and more. Stuart Gordon exploitation masterpiece should be seen by all horror fans. Now thats its on DVD, put this on top of your Netflix q immediately.

It will be Stuck in your head weeks later after watching it.


The Trailer

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  1. ... and here I thought your WTF moment would have been the catfight between Suvari and the naked ho :-)

    Seriously - I totally agree with you on this one - Great Review!

  2. Thanks for the thumbs up.

    This is #4 on my top 10 list.

    That catfight was awesome. Can you say Bitch slap!!

    Plus you get to see Mena Suvari totally nude.

    Good times.