When Richard Pine is stranded on an island after the cruise ship he was on sinks, to what lengths will he go to stay alive?
Inspired by the short story by Stephen King. Survivor Type is, well, I hate to say it, a found footage story. In the very beginning, we see a recording of a boring conference, plus a couple vacation pictures, as filmed from Richard Pine’s (Gideon Emery) handheld video camera, and I thought, “Please, don’t let the whole movie be shaky cam.”
Thankfully, it wasn’t. Luckily, Dr. Pine, a surgeon, finds rocks on his deserted island to prop the camera up on for his video diary. In fact, that’s all he finds: no dirt, no grass, no animals, just rocks. Considering that the first aid kit inconveniently comes with no food, he realizes very quickly that he’s screwed. To make matters worse, while hunting a seagull, he breaks his ankle. With no available medical care and infection setting in, the foot has to be amputated. He’s hungry, oh so hungry, and what else is he supposed to do with it…
I’d read the story plenty of times, and I knew what was coming. Self-cannibalism isn’t a new horror concept, but it sure as hell creeps me out. But I’m picky, I want something a little deeper than a momentary shiver. Still, Survivor Type managed to still disturb me, perhaps more so on camera than the original story. Sure, the eating of severed limbs made me grateful that I had dinner well before I saw the movie, but what really stayed with me was Richard Pine’s descent into madness. His morals are a bit low to begin with, but his will to survive and the lengths he would go, well, scared me.
Since this is a one-character story, the entire movie hinges on acting ability, and Gideon Emery stunned me. I identified with Richard Pine as the victim and as his own villain. I found myself drawn into his plight, biting my fingernails, realizing what I was doing, then drawing back at my own self disgust.
(Find more information on screenings and DVD availability on the Survivor Type Movie Facebook page.)
Michelle Hartz, Ph.Z., is the Graphic Designer at Baugh Enterprises, specializing in design for print and promotional products. She is also the Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) in Bloomington, Indiana. Michelle has published two of her NaNoWriMo books: Helpless, a horror story set on a wind farm; and Brains for the Zombie Soul, a parody containing nearly 101 heartwarming and inspirational stories celebrating the differently animated.