Chosen Survivors (1974)

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Chosen Survivors (1974)

Post  BoG on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:04 pm

This is a pretty offbeat Sci-Fi thriller, rather unusual in premise and execution.
When I first heard about it a few years ago, I assumed it was a TV Movie from the seventies, because it seemed to have the standard complement of TV actors of that decade. I even vaguely remember seeing it on TV back in the '70s, but I'm not sure - I'm probably mixing it up with other TV movies, such as Genesis II or Planet Earth.

Anyway, everywhere I look shows me that it was a theatrical release - go figure. It's a little like an extended Twilight Zone episode and, indeed, there were a couple of episodes from the old show with marked similarities:The Shelter and especially One More Pallbearer, which featured Joseph Wiseman as a rich man with his own underground retreat and several invited guests.

Ed Naha, in his HORRORS FROM SCREEN TO SCREAM book, writes that it is the first film to star hundreds of vampire bats. This is one of the reasons it's offbeat but also a reason I don't rate it all that high. The initial premise, that of a select group of people being forced into a secret government compound underground, is what really piques my interest. The Andromeda Strain (1971) also had an underground installation - I can't get enuff of that kind of stuff. How will these people live out their lives for the next few days? is the question I ask; the next few weeks? months? years?

But then it abruptly shifts to a horror story about the bats attacking the place. What does one thing have to do with the other? This whole 'nature amok' aspect just devolved the intriguing story to standard thrills. Still, one does wonder how the whole thing will end. You might be let down. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
This film, like many obscure films, was only available on 2nd-hand video or DVD-R up until a couple of years ago; a DVD double-bill was released with this and The Earth Dies Screaming (1964).

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