A group of people who have unknowingly been handpicked by the government to restart the human race are kidnapped, drugged and stashed deep inside an underground fallout shelter just before a devastating nuclear attack
Major Gordon Ellis (Richard Jaeckel) explains that America has been obliterated by nukes in global thermonuclear war so the “chosen survivors” must now live underground and procreate until it’s safe to emerge from their clinical computerised shelter. They have supplies to last five years.
Among the nominated survivors are Dr Lenore Chrisman (Barbara Babcock); congresswoman Alana Fitzgerald (Diana Muldaur); behavioural scientist Peter Macomber (Bradford Dillman); novelist Steven Mayes (Alex Cord); wealthy businessman Raymond Couzins (Jackie Cooper); Luis Cabral (Pedro Armendáriz Jr) and Olympic athlete Woody Russo (Lincoln Kilpatrick).
Tempers flare, egos are pricked, arguments erupt and the group succumb to fear and paranoia. To make matters a whole lot worse, the shelter then becomes infested with vicious vampire bats . . .
People go completely off the deep end when the bats start biting. Couzins tries to rape one of the female doctors, Macomber retreats into analytical mode by observing the dissipation of the group instead of helping solve problems, and Mayes becomes morbidly philosophical.
When Macomber finally reveals that there was, in fact, no nuclear holocaust and they’re all part of a government-managed behavioural science experiment, Major Ellis suggests that someone could climb a 1,758-foot elevator shaft and set off the emergency alarm on the surface to get help. Any Olympic athletes in the house?
Given the far-fetched premise, it should come as no surprise that Chosen Survivors fails to achieve anything resembling credibility. This whole film is silly from start to finish, but what it lacks in quality, it makes up for with vibe.
The movie – shot in Mexico City – is dark, fast, and nasty and feels like an early John Carpenter movie, right down to the lean and ominous musical score. It’s a fun ride for those willing to ignore major lapses in logic.
Major Gordon Ellis
Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
Dr Lenore Chrisman
Mary Louise Borden