6.1/10
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62 user 30 critic

Surviving the Game (1994)

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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.

Director:

Ernest R. Dickerson (as Ernest Dickerson)

Writer:

Eric Bernt
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ice-T ... Jack Mason
Rutger Hauer ... Thomas Burns
Charles S. Dutton ... Walter Cole (as Charles Dutton)
Gary Busey ... Doc Hawkins
F. Murray Abraham ... Wolfe Sr.
John C. McGinley ... John Griffin
William McNamara ... Derek Wolfe Jr
Jeff Corey ... Hank
Bob Minor ... Security Guard
Lawrence C. McCoy Lawrence C. McCoy ... Hotel Clerk
George Fisher ... Taxi Driver
Jacqui Dickerson Jacqui Dickerson ... Taxi Passenger
Victor Morris ... Homeless Father
Frederic Collins Jr. Frederic Collins Jr. ... Homeless Child
Steven King 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The thrill is the kill. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anthropino thirama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,727,256
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released less than a year after Hard Target, with a similar plot about homeless people being hunted for sport. See more »

Goofs

After they wake Mason and chase him out of the house Burns racks the pistol and fires at Mason's feet. The pistol's slide locks back indicating that it fired its last round. Burns then fire it again and the next shot you can see that the slide is still locked back, again indicating that there are no more bullets. He then fires it for a third time without reloading or racking the slide. He should have been able to only fire the first shot, the other two shots were impossible. See more »

Quotes

Cole: The only thing I miss up here is a sport page. I'm so used getting up, having my morning coffee and opening up the sport page.
Burns: I don't read newspapers anymore. They're like a mirror of the world's ugliness. I like beautiful things.
Doc Hawkins: [Doc gets up very enthusiastically] I'm ready to go. Let's go
Burns: Relax, Doc, digest your food.
Doc Hawkins: Wasting time.
Burns: We gotta give him some more time.
Doc Hawkins: No.
Burns: Think of this as foreplay.
Doc Hawkins: Nevermind foreplay, I'm talking about...
[Sharply interrupted]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Deadly Game (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Goldberg Variations
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as Bach)
Performed by Harry Cohen
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User Reviews

 
Good action film with a perfect cast
6 April 2000 | by tp320See all my reviews

There are a few effective concepts in action films which are used over and over again. "Surviving the Game" uses one which was over 60 years old when the movie was made and still works like a charm. Made in 1932, "The Most Dangerous Game" is a movie about a group of people who are hunted for sport. Over the years this concept has been successfully used in big films like John Woo's "Hard Target" (which premiered less than a year before this film) as well as in DTV-films like the Lorenzo Lamas-actioner "Final Round".

The formula works. Although these films rarely offer anything new (you pretty much know the ending before the film has even started), they are very entertaining if the hero is someone who you want to win and the villains are suitably evil. "Surviving the Game" fills this order and throws in some energetic action sequences directed by Ernest R. Dickerson (I also enjoyed his "Bulletproof" a lot).

Ice-T is the hero here. When the film starts, he has no money, no family, no friends and is ready to kill himself. But when he receives a job as a hunting guide from a wealthy businessman (played by Rutger Hauer), he wants to put his life in order again. But after a good meal where Ice meets the rest of the hunters (including Gary Busey and Charles Dutton), the hunt begins and he suddenly realizes that he's the prey. Now, he must use all his strength and wit to survive.

The cast is perfect. While there are no huge stars, these people know the genre and obviously had a great time filming this movie. And there isn't any fault in the production values either. There are beautiful sceneries, a good score by Stewart Copeland and some neat stunts. The script by Eric Bernt (Virtuosity, Romeo Must Die) creates some quite interesting villains and the dialogue, while not perfect, works reasonably well. Luckily Bernt knows that he's writing an action film and doesn't even try to include any deep relationships or hidden meanings in his script.

At the end of the day, this is a good action film which is guaranteed to entertain a fan of this genre for 90 minutes. It's not the best action film ever but it's definitely above-average. This one gets an 8.


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