Director - David Hemmings (Werewolf, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color)
Starring - Robert Powell (Frankenstein, Tommy), Jenny Agutter (An American Werewolf in London, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and Joseph Cotten (Screamers, The Abominable Dr. Phibes)
Release Date - 1981
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Tortured with guilt...why did he survive an impossible crash?"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
I first found myself becoming obsessed with horror when I was in middle school which was roughly around the time that Raimi released Spider-Man. I was picking up a copy of Spider-Man on DVD at Wal-Mart when two men approached me and told me to check out two movies from the same director. They pointed at Evil Dead and Bruce Campbell vs. the Army of Darkness. I was familiar with Evil Dead by that point but the DVD of Bruce Campbell vs. the Army of Darkness was a new one to me. I bought them both and when I got home I learned that the second film was just a special release of Army of Darkness. Either way, I was a fan of both films and was glad I grabbed them. A few years later, I was a sophomore in high school, and I met another horror minded teen and we became friends. We became friends after he noticed my Evil Dead sticker on my folder. After we started talking horror he mentioned he had just ordered a copy of The Survivor on VHS. He showed me the VHS cover and I was not impressed. That was 12 years ago now and Severin released the film on blu. They did not use the artwork I saw then but something very different and way more impressive. This was the first time I actually wanted to see the film after hearing about it. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way. Thanks guys!
The film follows pilot Keller (Powell) who is the only survivor of a plan crash where over 300 people were killed. While the crash is looked into he begins to question why he is alive and how he is able to survive an inferno that killed 300 others. The deeper he looks into the mystery the more he learns that his surviving may be connected to the supernatural.
I wasn't expecting a splatter flick when I tossed in The Survivor. I was, however, looking forward to a moody horror film with chocking atmosphere and some tension. Sadly, the film didn't really have that. The story is very fun but if you have seen Carnival of Souls you can see the ending coming a mile away. The acting for this one is pretty damn good. I really enjoyed seeing Jenny Agutter in a genre role. Most of you may remember who from her performance in the classic John Landis horror film An American Werewolf in London. She was great in that film and, to be honest, she is gorgeous. She one again delivers a great performance in The Survivor. Robert Powell is a very strong lead and quickly sets out to show why he was cast in his role. I really enjoyed his performance and seeing him in this film may inspire me to check out his other films. The story for this one is oddly similar to Carnival of Souls only the car crash has been replaced with the aircraft. Not much in the way of originality. The story also suffers from poor pacing. Some of the scenes drag on for what seems like hours which can easily put the viewer to sleep. I should know. Finally, those of you wanting blood and gore will not find it here. We do get a few charred bodies that look good but that is the extent of the carnage this film boasters. Overall, The Survivor was a bit of a let down in some regards. If you have nothing else to watch it can fill that hour and a half mark very well but has no replay value at all. Collectors will want it but the casual horror fan will not enjoy it.