Aug 19, 2008


Stuart Gordon is the maestro of murder behind Fortress, Re-Animator, Edmond, and Dolls. His short resume can be summed up into quality horror and suspense films. Edmond was a penetrating view into a man whose mental state plummeted in an array of stylized violence and madness. He takes a bit of those personal emotions evident in Edmond and sticks them into Stuck - the story of something almost normal happening and escalating into the insane.

Stuck is primarily based off a true story with some fictitious elements thrown in the mix. A nurse (Mena Suvari) specializing in senior citizen care gets offered a promotion to NA Captain. A parallel plot line is introduced by a man named Tom. After his company downsized, he was left without a job and eventually became homeless.

After a horrible day when luck shined the other way, these characters meet when drug-induced Partying up one night, Brandi takes a hit of ecstasy and drinks alcohol. On the drive home, she hits poor Tom, sticking him right in the windshield, and drives home. She doesn't tell anyone that a man is stuck in her windshield and tells no one. As you can imagine, still being alive, survive is the only thing on Tom's mind and he will at all costs.

Stuck takes the best attributes of all horror films and stirs them together. We have cringe-inducing scenes of small glass fragments stuck in Academy Award winner Stephen Rea's sides and we have nerve-wracking suspense as he struggles to get attention while once normal Brandi is struggling against a frequent downfall as her relationship to thug Rashid, her job, and her friendships are challenged.

Many objects of Stuck can be considered racial "fattening" of the film. When we later meet Rashid, he climbs out of his SUV while blaring rap music. As the camera pans away from the vehicle, the scene shifts only to focus on the Cadillac symbol. Unintentional? I beg to differ. We then have the little Mexican kid who finds the man in the garage wriggling free. When he tells his parents, they refuse to call the police for fear of being deported. Humorous? Yes. Racial driven? Of course. Along the way, Stuart Gordon belittles blacks, Mexicans, and homosexuals. Truth be told, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Stuck is a marvelous little film that had a limited theatrical run courtesy by Image Entertainment and THINKfilm. After this stint, no doubt it will recede into rental chains only to sadly be passed up. Rather than spend too much time predicting the fate of this gem, I'd recommend this film if you fancy macabre films in which people burn for their sins. Films like Stuck make me glad we have the self-defense clause. It's like a license to kill, but more satisfying.


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