The Survivalist: A Realistic Portrayal of What It Will Be Like

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One reviewer called it “Mad Max in the countryside” which, while enticing, is misleading. There isn’t much action; it’s about survival which consists of a lot of hard work, boredom and tedium. The same as a combat deployment.

It is currently on Netflix. Watched this yesterday and it’s a disturbing and well done movie.

This isn’t The Walking Dead. No zombies. No walking around with no gear, not even a canteen, but somehow always having food and water and, oh yeah, bullets whenever needed. Heck cars even work, even though gas goes bad. The Walking Dead is a cartoon. This movie is the real deal.

The movie gives a brief reason why SHTF, ie things have gone bad, but that doesn’t matter. It does the old peak oil thing; I lean toward wide spread power grid loss or a dozen other disasters as being more likely. Irrelevant.

The movie starts 7 years after the Big Bad occurred. In a way it reminded me a lot of The Road. But while The Road was silly concerning actual survival (pushing a shopping cart is not the smartest idea), real day to day survival and the need to be on guard is at the core of this one. However, both share the same emotional core, particularly the key questions of:

-What will someone do to survive?

-What is the point of surviving?

All the techniques used seemed valid, although I’d have done a couple of things differently. One mistake I quickly noted actually became a key plot point: he wasn’t setting snares and traps for animals. A key ingredient that I have in my GnG bags, my Jeep, my ERP are wire snares. It is an efficient way of ‘hunting’ and leaving no sound signature and is infinitely renewable. Which reminded me I need to set a snare out and remind myself how to do it.

Beyond the techniques, the movie is really about those two questions I posed. I know many people who say: If civilization has broken down, what’s the point of survival? That’s an important question. I would submit though, that we can’t really answer it until we’re in the situation. It’s the same way you never know how a soldier will react in combat, no matter how well trained, until they are actually in it. The Walking Dead did touch on that a bit with my favorite character, Carol.

This is a tight small movie about one man. Then two women enter the picture. And that’s pretty much the story. Who can you trust in a survival situation? It’s a very key question that not many of us have considered.

The ending of this bleak movie was, for me, actually uplifting and positive. There was redemption which is the most powerful character arc you can have.

Cool Gus give it four paws up and he’d like a belly rub now, please.

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Originally published at on February 16, 2018.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to

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