Cult-Trash-Badass-Cinema -and more…

SURVIVAL QUEST (1989)


Starring Lance Henriksen, Mark Rolston, Steve Antin, Michael Allen Ryder, Paul Provenza, Ben Hammer, Dominic Hoffman,Traci Lind, Dermot Mulroney, Catherine Keener, And Reggie Bannister.

Directed By Don Coscarelli.

This I have chosen mostly due to the fact that it has Lance Henriksen in it.

There aren`t much movies left in the filmography of Henriksen that I would say are worth seeing that i haven`t.  I have seen a lot of his work, even a few really bad ones, where Lance was the only good thing about it.

And i am not really dying to see his cameos in the sequels of Pumpkinhead.

But here , his role is rather big, so no excuses not to take a look at it….

The film is about a group of people from the city, who are going on a survival trip with Hank(Henriksen) as their guide and teamleader.. They are about to learn to live in and survive nature.

Most of them young adults, the only exception here is Hal(Ben Hammer), who is well beyond his 20s.

There also is a young convict along for the trip, who I belive may get parole if he does well or something..I didnt pay that much attention to that part, sorry.

But on the same plane into the wilderness of the Rockies are a bunch of  para-military dudes, who have a different view of training in the wilderness. Basically a bunch of testosterone –filled jerks, which  are led by Jake( Mark Rolston), a guy who comes across as the ultimate military psycho . They are laughing at the Survival Quest group, and its obviously only a matter of time, before they clash in the wilderness….

But it all begins pretty harmless, with Hank`s  group taking off into the beautiful mountains.

Hank teaches them not only in basic survival skills, but also to work together as a group. After a bit of teasing each other, they grow more and more into  a group that looks out for each other.

Thats the goal-to make it together, not against each other. The convict surprises with a good amount of fitness. I liked all of the characters in that group, and it really helped to like them, cuz later in the film, when the action starts, it wouldn`t have had  the same impact if you don`t. The psycho gang of militia jerks is close by, and at some point they clash into each other. Hank clears the situation, but the anymosity remains….

Soon that anymosity turns deadly…..

I dont wanna spoil the rest for you. But I wanna say that I had a little problem with the fact that these militia bullies, who all are still teens pretty much, are so easily made to shoot and kill innocent people.  But see it for yourselves. All said n done, its a well-made film with beautiful scenery, likeable characters and a story that is a bit above the average.

There are two versions, a vhs version and the dvd version, that has a different score and a different edit. The score in the VHS version was nice, but it often felt wrong, it didn`t really pay tribute to the more dangerous situations. I will look at the DVD version , too, to see what and if it changed for the better  with a different score.

If you like adventure stories and Lance Henriksen, this is a good  choice to spend 90 minutes. And its far from the overly violent films with a similar premise that came out since 2000, while still delivering a good amount of action.

Director Coscarelli is famous for his Phantasm movies, the Beastmaster films, Bubba Ho-Tep and several other  movies.

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2 responses

  1. Wow, I’ve never heard of this. And the fact that Coscarelli did this is kinda baffling too. lol. Great review! I’ll have to check and see if it’s available on Netflix!

    February 22, 2012 at 12:59 AM

  2. Direct to Video Connoisseur

    This is on Watch Instantly here in the States, so I may check it out.

    February 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

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