by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)


Stuck is an indie melodramedy (or maybe a pointed black comedy) based on a real incident so incredible that if it were a work of pure fiction, one would never believe it. Court TV described the case as follows:

"Chante Jawan Mallard was driving home from a dance club in Arlington, Texas, in the early hours of Oct. 26, 2001, when she struck 37-year-old Gregory Biggs. The homeless man's upper torso smashed through her windshield. What happened next is almost unbelievable. Except that Mallard admits to it. With Biggs still embedded in the windshield, she continued to drive to her Fort Worth home and parked her 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier in her garage. According to police and Mallard's confession, she periodically checked on Biggs, who remained stuck in the windshield, alive and moaning in pain. Mallard said she apologized to Biggs during the visits, but never made an effort to extract him. Nor did she contact police or summon medical help."

The film's screenplay is not meant as a docudrama. The cinematic version includes plenty of fictional embellishments and a completely different ending, but none of the fictional elements are as strange as the reality you read about in the preceding paragraph.

Director Stuart Gordon and screenwriter John Strysik did a remarkable job of taking that basic story and showing how such a thing might possibly happen, given a recipe that takes the right ingredients from the range of human behavior and mixes them in the right combination. Selfishness, extreme intoxication, panic, and ignorance form a powerful concoction.

I am impressed by this film. On the one hand, it manages to be a legitimate drama, a powerful morality play about a real case of extreme human behavior. On the other hand, it draws on the sleaziest elements of genre films and exploitation cinema to make an exciting tabloid story filled with plot twists and dramatic tension in scene after scene. Because of the economical screenplay and efficient direction, the film never lost me for a minute. What are those sleazy elements? From the world of horror films, there are the severe injuries to the homeless man and there is plenty of gallows humor. From the Tarantino-inspired world of the cavalier black comedy, there are heartless actions which leave us wondering whether to laugh or cry, and there is gangsta rap blaring out its ugly themes. From the world of erotic thrillers, there is gallows lust. The best thing about those lurid elements is that they really don't seem trashy in context. Every punch is completely appropriate, even necessary, to deliver the knock-out. For example, the main sex scene takes place in the bedroom of the driver's house while the victim is still struggling for life, pinned inside the windshield of the car in the nearby garage. The scene carries a tremendous emotional punch. The driver is ignoring the man's plight even while she is racked with guilt. She screams every time she pictures the homeless man going through her car window, while her oblivious partner pumps madly away and mistakes her screams for lust.

Perhaps best of all, the writer managed to come up with an ending for the film that is both satisfying and completely appropriate - and if you think about it for a bit, you'll realize that was no easy task.

Stuck is essentially a straight-to-vid because it grossed only $67,000 and never reached more than 16 theaters. That's a shame because it is original enough, profound enough, and accomplished enough to have earned a decent theatrical run. Although it is a film which very effectively combines the visceral and the psychological and was a crowd-pleaser at some genre festivals, I can understand why distributors were loath to take a chance on such a dark movie, but I can also understand why it is rated 8.2 at IMDb, an incredible 8.6 from the top 1000 voters, a tough crowd which gives the exact same 8.6 grade to The Godfather!

OK, maybe it isn't the Godfather, but it is the rare genre film which entertains and also has something worthwhile to say. I'd put it up there in the same league as "A History of Violence."


* features to be announced







71 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)
61 (of 100)


8.2 IMDB summary (of 10)


Box Office Mojo. Total gross $67,000. Never in more than 16 theaters.



In a spirited and offbeat sex scene, Mena Suvari shows her breasts repeatedly, plus brief glances at her other goodies.

Sharlene Royer shows about everything that can be shown without pulling an NC-17. This happens when Suvari pulls her out of bed stark naked and kicks her ass out into the hallway.




Ex-boyfriend discusses disposing of the body

Court TV summary

Wikipedia summary



Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: