Okay, where was I? Haven’t written one of these in a bit so I apologize for the delay and please don’t mind the cobwebs. I have been thinking about what flick I should write about next and could not for the life of me think of one. I did a quick poll and asked around for some titles and got some great ideas. I recently went to a local flea market and got a copy of the Ice-T Body Count cassette, with the banned Cop Killer song on it. It got me thinking, he had a few really great action flicks, and I dug thru my hard drives and found a small gem.
Surviving the Game
This is a good ol’ action thriller film that I recall having seen on HBO back in the day. The movie starts with Jack Mason, a homeless man, essentially trying to commit suicide by standing in front of an oncoming truck. Good thing Cole runs up and saves him. He then suggests that Mason call his friend and he can help get him on his feet. Seems like a good man trying to help another person out. Oh, and Jack Mason is played by the under-rated Ice-T. Yeah, he is a great actor and does not get enough credit. Trespass and New Jack City alone show you he has the chops. Not to mention Mean Guns but that comes after this flick. And Cole, Walter Cole, is played by Charles S. Dutton, who everyone knows from ROC, but also a ton of really great flicks including Alien 3. Anyway, back to the story, he gets on a plane to meet Thomas Burns, played by the magnificent Rutger Hauer. And if I need to explain the flicks that guy is in, well, stop reading now because this may not be the right type of movie for you. Anyway, Mason gets flown to the remote cabin owned by Burns, and it is in the pristine wilderness. Here is where we meet the rest of the group he will be with.
The rest of the cast are a really great who’s-who. Rounding out the hunting party that Mason will be the guide for is Doc Hawkins, played by the insane Gary Busey, who I love in Point Break and Big Wednesday, but nominated for an Oscar for playing Buddy Holly in 1980, I think. (Someone Confirm). Next is Derek Wolfe Sr, played by the wonderful F. Murray Abraham who won an Oscar for playing Salieri in Amadeus which is very solid. Also fun fact, pretty sure his real name is just Murray Abraham and he added the F. as an homage to his dad. Okay, in the cast next is his son Derek Wolfe Jr, played by William McNamara. Not a huge star, but I know him from the old ’89 Corey Haim, Feldman flick Dream a Little Dream. And the last of the Hunting crew, John Griffen played by John C. McGinley. He is in a ton of films and a ton of TV but mostly known as Dr Cox on Scrubs. I never watched the show but have seen the memes and I understand Walker Young is cracking through them now. Just an all-star cast all around.
Back to the story, after we meet all the players, they have a wonderful dinner and celebrate the wonderful upcoming hunt. You get to learn a bit about the group over dinner and they all are just a bit off. The next morning is here and Mason wakes up to a gun pointed at his head. He is then told he is the hunt and not the hunting guide. And he has the time the group takes to eat breakfast as a head,s start. And that begins a great action flick. I won’t share anymore of the story but it is a great flick with great scenes and great explosions.
Now to the people in charge of making this flick. The director: Ernest Roscoe Dickerson. Insanely underrated director. He made Juice, which is an absolute classic but also Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight which is so under-rated. He is originally from Newark NJ, and was a regular collaborator with Spike Lee. I believe he worked on Malcom X and Jungle Fever as the Cinematographer. Anyway, a tremendous eye for action and just great visuals. Been doing a ton of TV, I know as a director for the Walking Dead and other popular shows. The writer of this is Eric Bernt, who wrote the screenplay of taht flick Virtuosity that kickstarted Russell Crowe’s American Film career. The story is based around one of my favorite short stories ever, “ The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. Classic and you know the story. As I am writing this I did not realize that it just hit public domain, so good to know the family probably got some green for the movie. The music was composed by Stewart Copeland, and I don’t recall anything music-wise being super-memorable but that guy is the drummer from the Police. Pretty crazy that he had his hand at movie music. Just a totally unique mix of people on this crew.
My favorite part of every movie are the quotes. This one I have only a few. .
- Let’s get the Turkey!!
- We’re going bare hands…! Tell your wife and kid I said hello
- Man, I’ve been thru tough times. Like what? Your jacuzzi broke.
- ALWAYS check the barrel.
This flick is just a fun movie from start to finish and probably one you would 100% skip over when you see Ice-T is the main actor. But get past that and it is a great action flick. The villains are all over the top, and, yeah, explosions. Also ironically, this came out the year after Hard Target, which is also about hunting homeless people. Very weird two years 1993 and 1994 were.