‘Sputnik’ Review: Russian ‘Alien’ Homage Is a Gripping and Gross B-Movie

‘Sputnik’ Review: Russian ‘Alien’ Homage Is a Gripping and Gross B-Movie
Alien” casts a big shadow on “Sputnik,” a slick Cold War alien invasion thriller from first-time director Egor Abramenko, so much that it threatens to swallow the movie whole. Fortunately, Abramenko sneaks in a fresh angle before the chest-bursting extraterrestrial mayhem takes charge. Launching with a slick and eerie first act, “Sputnik” initially feels like the kind of slow-burn laboratory thriller that rarely gets made these days, yet feels timelier than ever. Russian machinations? Medical phenomena that confound modern science? You don’t say!

Sadly, the analogy doesn’t go much further than that. But made all the more intriguing by the period backdrop that carries connotations of its own. It’s 1983, and after a trio of cosmonauts slam back to earth under dubious circumstances in the dark of night, one winds up dead, another in a coma, and a third can’t remember what happened. That’s Konstantin Veshnyakov
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