In 1983, The Soviet Union’s spacecraft named orbita-4 made an emergency landing for unknown reasons. Brain specialist Klinova heads to the All-Union Scientific Reasearch Institute to analyze the symptoms of the surviving astronaut, Veshnyakov. As she examines Veshnyakov, who keeps getting worse and recovering again, she finds that an alien parasite had permeated his body and returned to earth in the emergency landing. Having identified the symbiotic relationship between Veshnyakov and the parasite, Klinova comes up with a plan to save him.
Sputnik, which translates as ‘companion’, symbolizes the former Soviet Union’s ambitious space program of the 20th century, suggested by the relationships between Klinova and Veshnyakov, and that of Veshnyakov and the parasite. This film masterfully integrates elements of sci-fi horror redolent of Alien, including the female hero, extraterrestrials and undersea claustrophobia, with touches of thriller and action genres too. By using the motifs of body invasion and unbidden psychological collusion, a subtle criticism of the oppressing Soviet Union and the ultimate victory of humanism are heavily addressed. (Jin PARK)