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June 24, 2018, 07:37:28 PM
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Latest Member: darkchocolatevoodoo Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  "Escape from Safehaven" « previous next »
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Author Topic: "Escape from Safehaven"  (Read 661 times)
Fearless Freep
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: October 14, 2002, 11:27:18 AM »

This one goes in the post-apoc list. Not really much about it at IMDB.   I didn't recognize any of the actors, arlthough several seemed to show up in other very-low budget movies others may recognize.

Anyway, I watched it last night and thought I'd share some thoughts

The basic premise is that in the future pos-apoc world, life is tough and violent in blasted out ruins of cities.  People are in constant danger of attack by marauding "Scavengers"  In this world have been created "Safehavens",   Sealed off buildings with armed guards, etc... where people can be safe, if you can buy, bribe, or beg your way into an assignment in one.

 Which are focus family,  the Colts, manage to do.  However, things turn bad as the polic force in their particular Safehaven is rather oppressive and the mayor rules with a semi-dictatorial hand. I say 'semi' because he seems to be bullied around by his chief of police, a guy named Preacher.  

During a public execution of two 'terrorists', Mr Colt (Ben) makes some rather uncomplimentary remarks about the 'justice' system, which are overheard by some of Preachers thugs, who show up  later at their dwelling to intimidate them.  This goes bad as one of the thugs starts suggestively harrassing the Colts teenage daughter, which Ben objects to and in the ensuing confusion, he ends up hitting one of the thugs.  So Ben is 'convicted' of assault, and is about to be publically flogged, until Preacher points out that the punishment for assaulting a police officer is death.  So the Mayor reluctantly sentances Ben to death...

In all of this, Jeff Colt, the teeange son, was not at the execution and not at home when the thugs show up, so he's still on the loose...  Meanwhile an ex-Safehaven police officer named Pearce has sneaked back into the Safehaven for some sort of revenge against Preacher (Preacher left him and his wife outside to die at then hands of Scavengers once) and a resistance movement has formed in secret  in the Safehaven.  All of these forces are converging into a final conflict between Preacher and his thug-police force on one side, and the resistance, Pearce, and Jeff on the other,...

Well...the movie itself is obviously very low budget.    Almost everything in the movie happens in the hallways and rooms of the Safehaven, which reminded me a lot a typical government office building or  hospital.  This actually worked very well as it created a pretty claustrophobic feeling as things started closing in on our heroes. As far as the look of the movie, the budget did not hurt it.  However, as is typical for movies like this, the sound level was inconsistant and often drifted too low to hear well.  The lighting was also very dark in places; hard to discern what was going on or who was whom, especialy when people started shooting and you couldn't tell who was shooting or who had just died,.    The editing was also a bit uneven at times, with quick switches from scene to scene or camera to camera that were akwardly paced .  All very common for a movie of this budget level and style.   There were a few spots in the movie where there was no dialog, just people moving around doing stuff, but a combination of the editing and the lack of any music in these sections made them a bit akward.  A llittle music to carry along the emotional tension would've helped here a lot,.

However, all that said, there were parts of the movie that worked very well.  The basic story and setup worked well.  A family on the outside in the chaos, seeks refuge in a place of safety, only to find that refuge is just as dangerous.  With Preacher wanting all the power to himself , and being willing to kill anyone in his way, or even just randomly to make an example, and the mayor just barely in control of Preacher (for awhile) and himself not that nice a guy, either, there is a very stong feeling of being trapped with no escape, nobody to turn to, no appeal to be made. .., which makes being in Safehaven scarier than being out.  The movie carries this  well.  The actors were workable, none of them really great, but the roles didn't require them to be, and nobody embarrased themselves so the tension of the moment in the movie was never broken by bad line delivery or anything.  I didn't discern any real plot  holes or 'gimmee a expect us to buy that!?!' moments so the story was fairly believable (except one point, I kept asking myself who was running all the Safehavens, as the story implied this was just one of many.  I kept thinking their should be a higher authority than the mayor of this particular town.  However in a society trying to dig itself out of collapse, I don't suppose that's too unbelievable)

So, on total, a very low budget post-apoc  film  with a good story and some good emotional tension that suffers a bit from poor llighting, sound and editing in places but on whole is not too bad and not an unenjoyable way to spend a few hours.  If your accustomed to the artifacts of these movies (in terms of production levels) and can look past those, it should be enjoyable.


Going places unmapped, to do things unplanned, to people unsuspecting
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