Director – Steve Rudzinski (Captain Z, Super Task Force One)
Starring – Mike Nelsen, Thomas Smith, and Chad Phillips (The Slasher Hunter)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 3.5/5
A lot of indie filmmakers never see the big picture. They are blinded by the now and never think about the bigger picture with their films. Most never think about making a cinematic universe based on their characters and films they have created. Some bounce from one film to another and miss out on one hell of an opportunity. Not all filmmakers do this but most do.
One filmmaker that did not pass up on this opportunity is Steve Rudzinski who has been finding ways to connect almost all of his films. Recently, he put together a 30 minute short titled The Survivors that pulled together several of his films likeCaptain Z, Slasher Hunters, Red Christmas, and Wolfster. I was excited to see how he handled this. Once again thank you Steve for sending this one my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a group of slashers as they were about to make a kill when they are thwarted by the slasher hunters. One of them dies, Candyman, and the others flee. The slasher hunters have been tracking down the slashers while moving from town to town to wipe them out but a new evil has emerged. One of the first slashers, Norm, has turned his back on the slasher lifestyle and has recruited others to kill for the sake of killing and not in slasher fashion.**Spoiler Alert**
I always look forward to watching a new Silver Spotlights film. Rudzinski makes the film’s I loved to watch when I was little. His movies almost have a nostalgic feel about them that makes me want to pop in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure or Monster Squad. This is because Steve is a fan first and a filmmaker second. He puts a lot of heart and dedication into his films and they never fail to entertain.
The acting in this one is great. The entire cast brought something different to the film. We have some characters that were goofy and funny and we have some that were more serious in nature. Everyone did their job and made every scene flow very well. I do have to take a minute to comment on the slashers. The cast really brought their personalities to life. The Candyman and Brenda (slasher obsessed with urban legends) were funny and gave the film that silly, campy 80’s vibe that we don’t see a lot in slashers anymore. These two characters were flawless in their performance. Rudzinski perfectly cast these two. We then had the Fisherman, Frank, Spook Face, and Norm who were all amazing. The cast was great and delivered a more serious performance. Well, as serious as a parody can let you go.
The story for this one is great. It is horror fun plain and simple and the kind of film horror fans have been asking studios for. The film parodies Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, A Nightmare on Elm St, Candyman, and Urban Legends, as well as, a way to bring most of Rudzinski’s films together. This was great. It offered up some solid laughs, brings parodies of killers we have watched for years, and give us more of our Silver Spotlight favorites. I would love to see Rudzinski follow this short up with another one or possibly a feature length film.
Finally, the film does have some on screen kills that were, sadly, not that impressive. The kills were mostly machete and other stabbings with little to no practical effects. These were mostly done with simple cuts and camera tricks. However, there was some carnage at the end of the film when Wolfster goes on the rampage that somewhat made up for the kills at the beginning of the film. Overall, The Survivors is an outrageous slasher parody. The film was well written and full of laughs. Do yourself a favor and check this one out!