Now days we have lots of knuckle-heads running around saying that the government needs to be overthrown. It's become mainstream and instead of American terrorists, now they are wealthy republicans who have made a fortune with the governments help, but are just mad that a black democrat is in the White House. Back in the '80s it was so much simpler. Half-cracked loonies who stock-piled guns, water and cans of Beenie-Weenies because they were sure that the world was going to be nuked and it would be every man for himself and there would be no laws keeping your average citizen from raping and killing whoever they liked. Utopia, right? Back in the early '80s, the waning days of "Men's Adventure" novels, there were a series of 29 post-nuke survival books written by Jerry Ahern titled "The Survivalist". This series has been said to be the basis for the film, but having not read the books, I can't say for sure, but from what I can tell, the relationship, if it's not in title-only, certainly isn't an official one.
Jack Tillman (Steve Railsback) has been waiting for this day and starts stockpiling firearms and family members in his cabin, while his learned friend gives him the low-down on the situation: "this is all just another bunch of bull-crap from Washington. Another tax hustle." His friends, of course, are skeptics of Jack's "survivalist lifestyle" but suddenly come around to Jack's sweaty, paranoid way of thinking after being robbed by local townsfolk who have decided that the end is nigh. Jack is reluctant to loan out one of his eight shotguns (three more than he has family members) to a friend, but finally does it because he's a hell of a guy.
|Railsback vs. Gortner...|
Texas isn't big enough for these two assholes.
Jack acts as if the world has ended, even though nothing more than martial law has actually happened. No bombs have fallen, no foreign troops have invaded American soil, nothing but Americans going nuts and killing each other... and that is probably the most truthful speculation this movie makes, even though it's not trying to. Matter of fact we, the audience, are supposed to be on Jack's side, we are supposed to like Jack even though for the most part what he is doing is morally, even Biblically, reprehensible and amoral, the script contorts logic to the breaking point to create legitimate reasons for his rather unconcerned fury. After finding his son, he finally has a ROADWARRIOR-lite showdown with the biker-reservists at speeds of up to 20 miles an hour!
|My reaction to the film.|