31 Days of Halloween — Day 14: Sole Survivor (1983) — by Ian West

hmp-sole-survivor-posterEditor’s note: The hosts of Horror Movie Podcast are always impressed by the knowledge and insights of our listenership in the emails and voicemails that we receive, as well as in the comments here at HorrorMoviePodcast.com. This year we’ve asked several of our listeners to participate in our 31 Days of Halloween by contributing written reviews. This review was submitted by listener and friend of the show Ian West… You can follow Ian on Twitter @HPMakeLovecraft.

Sole Survivor -1983
Directed by Tom Eberhardt

Denise Watson(Anita Skinner), an up and coming producer for a television studio, remarkably survives an airplane crash. It seems Denise has even found a new man in her life, the physician who nursed her back to health, Dr. Brian Richardson (Kurt Johnson). Yet, there’s this state of unease that exists and Denise notices strange individuals standing from afar.

An older actress, Karla Davis(Caren L Larkey), returning from 6 years of obscurity living pretty much as a recluse, is supposed to be starring in a series of coffee commercials for Denise’s company. Karla claims that she has psychic premonitions and attempts to warn Denise of potential danger she envisions in her nightmares.
Through Karla we discover that Denise was not suppose to survive(..this is presented in a very subtle way)her plane crash, and, in fact, those unusual folks that seem to follow Denise are in fact undead corpses, perhaps used to reclaim the one who got away from the clutches of death. When an unfortunate series of violent circumstances arise as others encounter those undead corpses “assigned” to “retrieve” Denise, she will have to depend on Brian for help, reluctant and unconvinced, at first, until his own personal investigations turn up some really odd information (…certain corpses moved into a coroner’s lab show signs of blood collecting in their legs as if they had died standing; and a particular corpse, which kills someone close to Denise, shown as to have died of a coronary, actually was muddy and wet and lying in his car seat in a way not associated with the forensic evidence).

Can Denise escape from death that is stalking her? Will Brian be able to save her?

First time watch for spooky season. I loved this. Slight Final Destination & Twilight Zone vibes, and major It Follows vibes from the direct or of Night of the Comet.  I would not be surprised if this somehow was an influence on both Final Destination and It Follows. This film puts on a clinic of dread inducing tension, killer atmosphere, very effective moments, and an unsettling score. Perfect double bill with It Follows.

— Ian West

High Recommend

Code Red DVD is out of print

Ian’s Links:
Follow Ian on Twitter @HPMakeLovecraft
Or check out Ian’s Letterboxd account for movie reviews every day.
You can also hear Ian on his recent appearance on the “Hey, Whatcha Watchin’?” Podcast (Ep 39) from Talk Film Society.

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7 thoughts on “31 Days of Halloween — Day 14: Sole Survivor (1983) — by Ian West

  1. This movie is a 9/10. I loved it. You referenced it a couple months ago and I got ahold of it. Great pacing. There aren’t many jump scares and it relays on mood and atmosphere to bring the scariness. Great movie. But it.

    • I liked the ending too. I think some people would think it was a bit convenient but I thought it was great and brought things full circle. It was referenced as a cross between It Follows and Final Destination. Spot on. I NEED more referenced to lost horror gems like this. I have an Amazon Fire Stick and I can watch anything!

    • Thanks, Dino! I hope you get a chance to check this out! I love finding rare overlooked gems, it reminds me how much there is out there is out to find. THE SEARCH GOES ON!!

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