Commander Konstantin Veshnyakov (Pyotr Fyodorov) is doin’ the Major Tom bag back round ‘83. Well on the way back home, Veshnyakov has the unpleasant discovery that they are not alone in the capsule. One crash landing, an amazingly worse for wear co-pilot, and incarceration in a secret facility later we learn that our hero is a host to a parasitic alien that gives him remarkable regenerative abilities… but, like he has to have a giant space creature inside of him, just a-ridin’ around…
Enter: Tatyana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina), a hot shot psychiatric doctor with unconventional methods of treating patients, who’s brought to the facility by hard-ass Colonel Semiradov (Fedor Bondarchuk) to look after our deadly duo.
The problem is, the longer Klimova is at the secret base… and I mean, she couldn’t leave even if she wanted to… the more she learns that there are many more secrets involved than just an alien-infested spaceman… and living through the project’s conclusion may be impossible!
First it must be stated that director Egor Abramenko (working from a screenplay provided by Oleg Malovichko and Andrei Zolotarev) has created a rock-solid, old-school style creature feature full of space exploration, alien beasties, and a reliance on science to deal with any monstrous menace that may wander down the pike. Sputnik immediately feels in ways familiar, but the extra layers of emotional character exploration, (especially in regards to the roles played by leads Akinshina and Fyodorov, who it must be said act their collective asses off in this one) and shadowy government biz keeps things fresh.
And since this is one of your sci-fi styled creature pics, you can bet demons to donuts that the filmmakers spent some time crafting a creepy fellow that looks equal parts sting-ray, spider, and kangaroo… sorta… just trust your’s cruelly, it’s a cool one, and while it is realized with CG on a budget, it looks absolutely top-shelf!
Sputnik is just the kind of thing that fans of Stranger Things (especially in regards to the era and parasite subject matter) will doubtless dig on; it’s suspenseful, filled with alien menace, and navigated by characters you give a damn about!