Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Survivalist (1987)

The Survivalist: An ode to gun worship and paranoia in a world gone mad.

"The only difference between Vincent and me is he's a high-minded guy. He can afford high ideals and I'm a country boy who can't. I can't even afford reality, and reality's shit!"

There are so many things to love about this film:

  • The way the US turns into a lawless country full of murder, mayhem and chaos after a small suitcase nuke is detonated in the arse-end of Siberia. Why?
  • How.. slowly... can... the... Presidential... Spokesman... speak?
  • The National Guardsman (Marjoe Gortner) in charge of the "sector" is allowed to ride around on a chopped hog. A while later we discover that the National Guard are a bike gang who ride chopped hogs and dirt bikes!
  • The hero (Steve Railsback) is so wee and little compared to the testosterone injected walnut sacks normally in films from this period.
  • The police hide and do nothing while the city burns.
  • Cliff De Young - one of those faces you immediately recognise and say "What do I know him from?"
  • Sandra Lea is absolutely awful as Railsback's wife. Really, really bad.
  • Inappropriate and ill fitting music.
  • Seems to be based on The Survivalist books by Jerry Ahern I read when I was a kid. They just changed the hero's name and he doesn't wear mirror shades.
  • Marjoe Gortner's hair.
  • Marjoe Gortner is awesome!
  • What to do if you ever feel threatened by bikers riding too close: drive, on purpose, over a conveniently placed dirt ramp, roll your truck, then burn to death as it explodes for no reason.
  • Why are dozens of men and a helicopter tasked to find Steve Railsback?
  • The doctor's hissy fit when he tries to go his own way.
  • Cars explode for no reason.

One of my favourite scenes is at 1:14:30. I can't say anything else without giving the whole plot away, but... how the fuck do you think he's going to react you morons! Watch it and you'll see what I mean.

The Survivor is a little slow at times but overall it's great fun with exploding cars, lots of guns, biker soldiers, a likeable cast and Marjoe fucking Gortner!

I've a link to it on my Trash on youtube list if you fancy watching it.

Original letterboxd review

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