It’s survival week, so today we’re going to celebrate by looking at a group from movies and television that would look paranoid, except everyone really is out to get them. If it all goes to hell, stick close to these people.
1. Burt Gummer, Tremors
We may as well start with possibly the best fictional survivalist out there: Burt Gummer (Michael Gross). Other protagonists of the Tremors series may come and go—including Burt’s wife, Heather (Reba McEntire)—but Burt and his weapons cache stay. And thank god he does, everyone would be lost if he didn’t have a truly excessive number of guns packed away.
2. Sarah Connor, Terminator
Once Sarah Connor becomes aware of her son’s destiny, she picks up all of the standard survivalist features: supply caches, paranoia, elaborate traps ... of course, she actually has reason to need these things. That’s where knowledge of the future comes in. Sometimes, you can’t beat a chest of buried weapons to keep the world safe.
3. Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead
While everyone still alive in this show is a survivor, Daryl is one of the few who had the skills before the zombie apocalypse. He’s the hunter and the tracker of the group and he carries a crossbow.
4. Robert Hawkins, Jericho
Jericho takes place post-nuclear attack on twenty-three cities in the Uniter States. Hawkins, a government agent, has a lovely bunker full of food, weapons, and medical supplies. He’s also got a generator and equipment shielded from the electromagnetic pulses. That’s an extra level of commitment.
5. Dr. Robert Neville, I Am Legend
Let’s say you were the only one left after a virus killed most of the human race and turned the others into mutated terrors that attack at night. You’d probably keep a gun within reach at all times, fortify your dwelling with barricades laced with mines, and a self-destruct system. Just in case. (Also, let’s count this entry for all adaptations of the book I Am Legend.)
6. The Postman
There are two kinds of survivalists in fiction—ones already preparing for an unknown disaster and the ones stockpiling after the worst has already happened. The Postman covers the latter scenario, where a man uses a USPS uniform to inspire hope against a group of hoarding bully survivalists.
7. Jack Bristow, Alias
Although not quite in the realm of preparing for an apocalypse, Jack Bristow’s spy life has left him plenty paranoid. And so, when rescuing his daughter, he reveals a storage facility with firearms, medical supplies, pallets of cash. And, it is pointed out, this is not his only one.
8. John Winchester, Supernatural
John Winchester raised his children to hunt the supernatural, giving them a wealth of skills and, of course, massive family issues. He was not a guy who believed that any other life was in the cards, so his children had better be prepared. FBI Agent Victor Henricksen is pretty much right on the money when he describes him as “Ex-marine, raised his kids on the road, cheap motels, backwoods cabins. Real paramilitary survivalist type.” He just didn’t know the supernatural part of the equation.
9. Charlie Frost, 2012
It’s Woody Harrelson, as a conspiracy theorist, living in the woods, in a Roland Emmerich movie. Of course he is both correct that there is a conspiracy to build giant arcs to save the elite and a badass eaten by a volcano.
10. John Locke, Lost
This probably covers it:
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