Written with the depth of a 1960s sword-and-sandal epic, THE SURVIVOR is a coarse blend of futuristic sci-fi and jungle adventure. A juvenile expression of machismo, it barely squeaks by as entertainment for the non-discriminating.
In the near future, President Bradford (Richard Herd) is shanghaied from the space colony that is now the United States. On ravaged planet Earth (now an abandoned penal colony), Bradford learns that his son Kyla (Richard Moll), convicted for an attempted overthrow of the US government, plans to
use the presidential access code to summon a rescue ship for himself and his cut-throats. Unfortunately, Bradford's ship is sabotaged and he's forced to land miles from the vessel which carries his Secret Service agents. Other passengers include Bradford's physician Dr. O'Shack (Pat Asanti), his
personal aide Devin (Lisa Robin Kelly), his grandson Daniel (Jasper Schellekens), and his security chief Sentar (Stewart Finlay McLennan), who is secretly Kyla's ally.
Hostile Earth is overrun by two factions: Kyla's prison clan and a savage, superstitious tribe. While Kyla's forces seek leverage by attempting to locate Daniel, Bradford's staff searches for their leader with the reluctant help of Tarquin (Xavier De Clie), a rebel convict who disdains membership
in either Earth faction.
While Tarquin guides his party past unfriendly natives to Kyla's enclave, Kyla's men kidnap Daniel. Having coerced Bradford into signaling for a getaway ship, Kyla commences the thermonuclear destruction of his domain. Because Daniel has stolen a honing device, the rescue vessel lands far away
from Kyla's troops, who are preoccupied with invading savages. After Dr. O'Shack sacrifices himself to kill Sentar, Bradford, Daniel, Tarquin, and Devin escape prior to the explosion of Kyla's fortress.
Anti-climax tumbles upon anti-climax as this feebly motivated saga wends its way through the prison planet. Shot on half a shoestring, THE SURVIVOR takes place in a leafy forest that suggests a wildlife preserve more than a scorched Earth. Leading man Xavier De Clie kickboxes authoritatively, but
his presence suggests watered-down Olivier Gruner (who is himself a watered-down Jean-Claude Van Damme). Even on a certain stripped-to-bare-essentials genre level, THE SURVIVOR squanders its meager action-movie assets. Sans big budget spectacle, the film whoops and hollers and sweats and strains
to little effect. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1997
- Rating: NR
- Review: Written with the depth of a 1960s sword-and-sandal epic, THE SURVIVOR is a coarse blend of futuristic sci-fi and jungle adventure. A juvenile expression of machismo, it barely squeaks by as entertainment for the non-discriminating. In the near future, Pre… (more)