Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stuck on DVD 10/14

The movie Stuck could just as well have been called "Struck" as it tells the story of nursing assistant Brandi Boski (Mena Suvari) who hits a homeless person (Stephen Rea) late at night and finds her life complicated by the fact that she can't quite get rid of him.

It's a grim and gruesome tale--the hit and run accident involves Thomas Bardo (Rea) crashing through Brandi's windshield. Completely freaked out, she just keeps driving with the profusely bleeding stuck halfway inside her car and half outside on her hood.

Life would be so much easier if the homeless--and therefore anonymous--Bardo would just get it over with and die, but despite numerous setbacks that brought him to the fateful time and place of the accident, he refuses to give up.

It's excruciating to watch Bardo impaled on shards of glass as Boski keeps him locked in her garage rather than risk an imminent promotion by taking responsibility for her actions. This is not for the weak of stomach or otherwise squeamish. I found enough of the scenes squirm-inducing enough that I spent a good amount of time averting my eyes. But then what would you expect of director Stuart Gordon whose ouevre is generally horror.

The film explores the idea of choices and consequences and the primal struggle for survival, but I wish more time had been spent on the issue of homelessness. The mindset of how these people are somehow disposable due to their transience is brought up but the loss of humanity that is inherent in their situation could have been hit harder. By casting Stephen Rea as the down on his luck Thomas Bardo, director Stuart Gordon does go a long way towards illuminating the human backstory of the so often faceless and nameless people.

I also wish there had been more interaction between Suvari's and Rea's characters. Given that it's pretty much a cat-and-mouse struggle, it's a shame the two leads don't share more screen time. The DVD version has been cut by about nine minutes from the original festival version. Perhaps those scenes ended up on the cutting room floor. I would have liked to have seen more of a progression from Boski's compassionate nurse to the ruthless and inhumane monster that would allow Bardo to bleed to death in her garage.

The film is based on a true story of a woman who hit a homeless man with her car and let him slowly bleed to death while stuck in her windshield. Director Stuart Gordon called this "the way the story should have turned out." Maybe, maybe not. Truth be told, the ending is a bit over the top and stretching credibility. But ultimately it is a satisfying turn of events in a film that certainly makes you question what you would do in the same situation.

If you want the bells and whistles, get the Blu-ray version. It contains:

  • Audio Commentary Featuring Director Stuart Gordon, Writer John Strysik and Actress Mena Suvari
  • Featurettes: Chante’s Inferno, The Gory Details and Driving Forces
  • Theatrical Trailer
The DVD version contains only the feature.


  1. Wow...I remember this story. I didn't realize they made a film...I may have to rent this one.

  2. It's a pretty twisted tale all right. It you're not adverse to blood, you might enjoy it.