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Surviving the Game (1994)

6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 7,314 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 27 critic

A homeless man is hired as a survival guide for a group of wealthy businessmen on a hunting trip in the mountains, unaware that they are killers who hunt humans for sport, and that he is their new prey.

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(as Ernest Dickerson)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Walter Cole (as Charles Dutton)
...
...
Wolfe Sr.
...
John Griffin
...
Derek Wolfe Jr
...
Hank
...
Security Guard
Lawrence C. McCoy ...
Hotel Clerk
...
Taxi Driver
Jacqui Dickerson ...
Taxi Passenger
...
Homeless Father
Frederic Collins Jr. ...
Homeless Child
Steven King ...
Mercedes Driver
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Storyline

Mason, who lives on the streets, wants to cease his life when on the same day his two best friends die: His dog and an older man with whom he shared his food and roof. Just in time Cole, from a charity organization, can prevent his suicide and also offers him a quite well paid job as servant for a hunting party in the Rocky Mountains. Mason accepts the job and flies with them to a hut in the wilderness where they prepare everything for the four rich businessmen who want to hunt something special. Mason does not yet know that he is the victim of their sports that should lead to the basic insticts of man, but they did not count with his cleverness... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The rules are simple: kill or be killed. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anthropino thirama  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,400,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,690,013 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Almost all of the scenes that are depicted in the "city" are filmed within a two block area in downtown Wenatchee, Washington. The area filmed was in a two block perimeter of Mission, Orondo, Palouse and Columbia streets with the majority of the film scenes in the alley way behind the Liberty Theater off of Mission St. This area also includes the infamous Bruce Hotel which is still there today; however it has not been a hotel since the early 2000 and is now Bruce Transitional Housing for the homeless. See more »

Goofs

When Mason fights Wolfe Sr, it's still pretty dark, but in the shot of Burns driving away there's quite a bit of light. We see one shot of Mason shouting - dark again - and then Mason too gets on an ATV - and suddenly there's a lot more light. See more »

Quotes

Jack Mason: [Aiming the gun at Burns] BANG!
Jack Mason: Game over.
[Unloads the gun, discards bullets.Drops the gun and starts walking away]
Burns: [Burns gets up, picks up the gun, sees one bullet and loads it] It's my lucky day. Hey, Mason!
Jack Mason: Burns, there's something you should always do when you find a gun.
Burns: [Close up of gun, camera pulls in tight: we see barrel is obstructed] Say goodbye.
Jack Mason: [Burns fires - the gun explodes, killing Burns instantly] ALWAYS check the barrel.
[Walks off into distance]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kicking and Screaming (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Doing the Best I Can
Written by C. Marshall and R. Matthews
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Seen it all before, but we still want MORE!
26 June 2008 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

The "manhunt" action/suspense premise may perhaps be nearly as old as cinema itself, but it's also one that practically always guarantees a bloody good time! I've seen several film versions of the hunting-humans concept and loved them all; except for one (the abominable 60's bore "Bloodlust!"). Irving Pichel and Ernest B. Schoedsack's original 30's classic "The Most Dangerous Game" undoubtedly remains the greatest version, but I particularly love how there exist numerous variations on the theme, like an excessively violent one set on a futuristic prison island ("Blood Camp Thatcher") or a super-sleazy one where they exclusively hunt scarcely dressed girls (Eddie Romero's "The Woman Hunt"). "Surviving the Game" is a rather rudimentary re-working of the premise, but nonetheless a very effective one with a downright awesome cast listing and a handful of genuine shocks. Jack Mason is an embittered and suicidal homeless man who loses his last will to live when both his dog and best friend in one day. The sly businessman Thomas Burns lures Mason to the wilderness with a false job promise, but instead he and his maniacal rich friends simply intend to hunt down Mason like an animal and kill him for sports. Mason may be suicidal, but he still wants to decide for himself when he dies, and so he successfully fights back. "Surviving the Game" is quite a gruesome and nihilistic-toned film; definitely not for people with vulnerable stomachs. The violence is pretty gratuitous and served without any form of morality, but what else do you expect from a B-movie. As indicated above, the film's main trump is the cast and particularly because each and every cool actor depicts a marvelously eccentric character. I can't even pick a favorite performance between F. Murray Abraham (as a sinister Wall Street big shot), Gary Busey (as an out-and-out deranged FBI psychiatrist), the overacting John C. McGinley (as a frustrated hunter with a vengeance) or of course Rutger Hauer as the mega-bastard. Ernest Dickerson – formerly a skilled cinematographer – does an admirable job directing his first long feature and he went on making the vastly entertaining Tales from the Crypt movie "Demon Knight". The forestry filming locations are impressive, the story doesn't contain any dull or unnecessary padding sequences and the level of suspense is continuously kept high. I don't know about you but that's everything I look for in an action movie.


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