directed by Roger Christian
written by Roger Christian and Christian Piers Bentley
starring Christian Slater, Amy Matysio, Michael Therriault, and Brendan Fehr
How Is It?
It's almost as if they kidnapped a Roger Corman sci fi movie from the early '80s but made it worse. No, really. It's derivative in every possible way, but what sets it apart from most of those films it attempted to parrot, it has no soul of its own. It's a hollow, drab, gray, uninteresting movie. (It's still not as bad as this one, though.)
This is the depressing part: The ensemble of four good actors got stuck with a bad script and a director with a very checkered track record. Nobody was written a character to play. The movie is about four cardboard cutouts stuck in a crippled mining base on the moon. Slater plays the typical base commander. Therriault plays the typical engineer with a drinking problem. Therriault plays the typical level-headed, logical medical officer. Matysio gets the most to draw from out of the gang. She gets to play both the brave, capable first officer as well as the damsel in distress. It's just that the writing is so bad, so flat that all of their characters have only as much dimension as the descriptions of them you just read.
Behind The Camera
Roger Christian is am industry recognized, award-winning set decorator and production designer. He directed the cult horror classic "The Sender" (1982) as well as the universally decried and derided "Battlefield Earth" (2000). So the sets in this movie looks good, as does the lighting. The moonbase exteriors and other miniatures work are quite good. For the just over $2 million the film was made for, it looks pretty good. Looks. The look of the movie is where all the money wound up. Not enough of it made it into script rewrites, which is as much of a shame as it is becoming more common in movies. The look of a movie is its frame, and the script is the picture, the colors, textures, brushstrokes, and theme. "Stranded" is a frame without anything inside.
It would have been a different movie, could have been a different movie, a good movie, if only the script wasn't so derivative, joyless, and boring and there was anything there to watch. Avoid.