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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not as bad as would seem

Author: sbryant-10 from United States
18 April 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Look, sure the acting is horrible. Well, let me clarify. Mike Norris has the acting range of a broken sling shot, but the rest of the crew isn't so bad. That is if you can get over the fact that the one of the characters is affectionately named, "SugarBear." Quite honestly I watched this movie with one main purpose.....Deborah Goodrich. She certainly makes it worth while....even giving the audience a brief glimpse of her lace underwear!!! I have been infatuated with her since, "Just one of the Guys." In my quest to breathe in every moment of sweet Deborah, I actually found the movie to be remarkably watchable. Unlike Remote Control, another Deborah Goodrich gem, Survival Game has a semi-real plot. On Mike Norris....His acting is so bad that it is pretty funny, and actually adds to it oddly enough. No one can tell me that Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Segal has any better range. Sure they are better at squinting through emotional moments, but come's an action movie. Plus Deborah makes it all worth it in the end.

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Bland quasi-entertainment.

Author: Comeuppance Reviews from United States Minor Outlying Islands
20 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mike Hawkins (Mike Norris, in what is perhaps a Tony Danza-like situation where he can only play guys named Mike to avoid being confused) is a young adult who loves nothing more than to hang out at "War In Peace Survival Camp" and stage mock battles, wars and "survival games". Even the founder of WIPSC, a man inexplicably named Sugar Bear, who was in "Nam with Mike's dad (Bernard), keeps telling Mike to make more of himself and go to college. That's also what his parents tell him. But Mike just wants to keep on Survival Gamin'.

Meanwhile, Dave Forrest (Cassel) gets out of prison after 17 years. Forrest is a man after the fashion of Timothy Leary - a 60's-era guru who invented an LSD-like drug called "Forrest Fire". All he wants to do is talk to his poster of Jimi Hendrix and just chill with some good vibes, man. But his daughter C.J. (Goodrich) gets into a car accident with Mike, and the two of them end up going on the run because some evil gangsters are convinced the Forrest family has a multi-million dollar stash of drug money. So they kidnap Dave and C.J., and only one man with the proper survival skills can save them from the gangsters...MIKE HAWKINS! Survival Game is very dumb, and has frighteningly little action. What action there is happens to be pretty goofy indeed. It seems this whole venture was cooked up as a cash-in to the Norris name in the go-go 80's. We actually like Mike Norris, this isn't a slam on him, but this movie is pretty half-baked. It becomes an uninspiring hostage drama at a certain point and the pace slacks big time. What this movie needed was to ramp up the action, violence and intensity. It seems director Herb Freed was unfamiliar with the techniques of action cinema at the time. Though this movie was released in '87, his next movie after this one was Subterfuge (1996), the Matt McColm non-classic. Subterfuge is more entertaining than this, but that should still tell you something.

Perhaps in keeping with the 60's-era characters like Dave Forrest, there are plenty of songs on the soundtrack from that time. The Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" makes an appearance, but you truly haven't heard "Louie Louie" until you've heard it as the background music while Mike Norris runs through a department store in true "Scooby Doo" style. The song plays in its entirety, no less. Getting every penny out of it, apparently. As for the original music, there's a theme that sounds EXACTLY like "Axel F". Harold Faltermeyer should sue. But hey, it was the 80's. It was a different time. A time when carbon-copy action movies with carbon-copy music hit video store shelves and no one complained and life was good. If the theme of this movie is nostalgia, it truly has come full circle.

Released by Media, it's hard to truly throw our weight behind Survival Game, but its inoffensive, bland quasi-entertainment might appeal to someone.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The worst action movie yet!!!

Author: Jason C. Atwood from Suffolk, Virginia
15 December 1998

Boy, have I been seeing some real action turkeys lately! Last week, I saw KICK OR DIE. A few days later, I saw LIGHTBLAST. And now, nothing could've prepared me for SURVIVAL GAME after pressing "PLAY" on my VCR. That was when I started to choke on my sandwich real bad. It's probable that Media, distributor of this film, wanted to cash in on the Chuck Norris movies with heavy publicity. The same goes for this one, with Mike taking over his father's place. I guess the Norris family tree wouldn't have been the same without him. He may seem painful with only a single blow to the abdomen, but I say "Nice try, kid!". High-impact action thrills are not what's in store, sorry to say. It's another duplicated rip-off of tough and buff "strong dude" flicks from the 80s, and does worse by the minute. An embarrassing moment comes to mind the scene with Mike and his girlfriend getting chased by criminals in a department store while the song "Louie, Louie" is playing! What's with the father getting drugged up by memories of LSD? It's best that you forget this one entirely, even if you're a Norris fan. Quite awful! Another way to drain out some precious time!

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