Directed by Craig Tudor James [Other horror films: Granny of the Dead (2017), Solar Impact (2019)]
I recorded this off Syfy some time ago, and before I started to finally watch it, I looked it up on IMDb to gauge some feeling of what I was going to watch. At the time I read this movie’s entry, though, it had an astonishingly low 51 votes, which blew me away then and still surprises me now. How can a movie that was on Syfy a handful of times have such a low amount of ratings? Are people that tired of zombie films? [I have delved deep, though, and after my review, have found the answer].
Well, no matter the reason, I feel that the now 52 of us who have actually rated the film were the unlucky ones, because Survivorz is almost intolerably a pointless movie.
Everyone’s seen zombie movies (apparently everyone outside the characters in this movie, I guess) that are just following all of the expectations and adding nothing of their own into it. It’s for this reason that, to me, many zombie films just seem repetitive and harder to really come into their own and feel enjoyable. Some movies can definitely manage it, such as 28 Days Later… and Zombieland, but I feel that easily 60% of the zombie movies that have come out past 2000 have been on the other side of good, and this movie has to be one of the worst offenders of that.
Certainly this movie had the budget to have some potential. I don’t know exactly how much they had to play around with, but most of the shots in the film look well-shot, and though the special effects aren’t great, this film wasn’t made by a bunch of teens on a camcorder (and in all fairness, most films like that have more heart than Survivorz does). So it had potential, but the story and characters? Oh, fuck me with a whirling lawnmower.
Listen, I liked the setting, at least. A bunch of younger American kids in London meant we still had to deal with a mainly-American cast, but seeing a slightly different locale added maybe a little spice to the movie. It didn’t make any difference, as the story done here would have played out exactly the same in the States, but hey, spice.
Here’s my problem. Early on in the film, a woman comes stumbling in from the street, and she is visibly wounded (she was bit in the early stages of the zombie outbreak). Now, they don’t know she’s been bitten, of course, and they try to help her, but of course she turns and attacks them, and they rightly defend themselves. That’s fine.
Later on, one of the guys in the group, Gabe, gets bit. It’s bothersome when they keep telling him “it’ll be okay” when he’s obviously showing the same symptoms as the woman before, but it’s been a few hours, and he’s a friend, so I get it. When he starts attacking them, though, and is killed, one of the guys is like “Oh, I wish you were alive” or something bullshit like that. What, he wishes the zombie was alive so he could too be infected and/or eaten?
Then Benny gets bit (sorry for the spoilers, by the way, but this movie doesn’t exactly set out to surprise anyone, as the two people who make it to the end are the exact two people you would expect), and his girlfriend is like “oh it’s okay” and the others are like “oh, it’s okay” and the fact that they care so much means that he won’t actually be infected.
That’s a joke, because he is infected, and he eventually does the smart thing and locked himself in a room before he starts attacking his girlfriend. On a side-note, it took Gabe maybe five minutes before he became a mindless zombie, but it took Benny at least ten minutes (long enough for him to propose to his girlfriend, and then hide with her from another zombie, then talk to her for an additional few minutes), so that’s great. But when he locks himself in the room, his girlfriend wants him to come out, and the others too find it a hard pill to swallow that he’s protecting them from himself.
All of this could be explained if no one in this universe has ever seen a zombie movie, which has got to be the case, because I feel like if something like an onset of zombies were happening here (which, this is written in 2020, so let’s not jinx it), I would know immediately after the first person bitten and turned that “Hey, it’s a lost cause. Sorry you were bit, but we need to kill you.” It’s harsh, but there’s no other options unless they can be locked in a room and wait for a potential cure (more on that soon, though). But no, these people must think the power of friendship will prevent their friends from turning into zombies after being bit, and it annoys the fuck out of me.
Later on, they meet a guy whose wife was bitten. Now, he can’t kill his wife, so he has her tied up in her room with the hopes that a cure can be found and she’ll be fine. This isn’t a bad idea as long as he is upfront and tells everyone to not go into that room, and ensures the room is secure. He goes into the room himself, though, because that’s where he keeps his firearm, and lo and behold, his wife breaks out and bites him.
Earlier on in the movie, the group of friends see a zombie woman with a baby carrier around her neck, and the two women (played by Penelope Shipley, the one British group member and Lucy Aarden) want to “save the baby.”
Slams head on desk and dies, then revives to finish shitting on this movie
If there is a zombie apocalypse, and there is no safe way to save anyone, it sucks, but if you care about surviving, you cannot set out on a lost cause to save people. It’s a fucking baby. It would only be a hindrance, and they don’t even know if it’s actually alive (plot twist – it’s not, it’s some freaky zombie baby, because of course it is), so why even discuss trying to save it?
Takes a deep breath
So obviously, I have some problems with the story here. What I will say is that I actually rather liked the hopelessness that this movie showcases. Even though there are three survivorz at the end (the third one, if you’re wondering, is the sister of Shipley’s character, who was miraculously alive), there’s not a hell of a lot of hope for them, because they’re trapped on a church tower with no food or water and hundreds of zombies surrounding them, so they’re probably screwed.
Unless they’re shot down by the helicopter, because that ending even made things more suspenseful somehow (??????) why
Survivorz was almost entirely pointless. I thought that there was some potential, and the fact that only 50 others had taken the time to rate it (and on average, the rating at the time I watched this was actually a 5.4/10) added to the mystique, but I look at a movie like Isle of the Dead, which I abhorred, and I at least can admit to myself that that movie tried to do something almost interesting. This movie really didn’t. Fuck it. Fuck life. Fuck zombies.
And now for the spicy research.
Up near the director’s name, I list another movie he directed, being Solar Impact (2019). Now, it’s important to note that the IMDb entry for Survivorz doesn’t list the director – I got that information from Moviefone.
Solar Impact is the same movie as Survivorz. Sort of. I mean, I’m guessing it’s mostly the same – I watched the trailer and I recognized most of the scenes. Under alternate titles of Solar Impact, Survivorz is listed as an ‘working title for the UK.’
Here’s the rub – IMDb lists Solar Impact as 2019, and I know for a fact that I recorded Survivorz off Syfy in either 2017 or 2018.
I don’t know why the movie is listed twice. I don’t know if Solar Impact adds anything. It could simply be a mistake. But as far as I’m concerned, until IMDb addresses this, these are two separate movies.
Also, while Survivorz does only have 57 total ratings, Solar Impact has 637, which is something I found worth addressing.
This has been IMDb delving with Jiggy. See you next time there’s an issue with multiple entries of movies.