What does a 1983 movie about escaping death have in common with a 1978 film about a woman being watched and prank called?
They’re both covered in this blog post.
Sole Survivor (1983)
1983 film Sole Survivor looks and feels like it was made in the 70s. It also feels like it was made for TV! But that’s not a bad thing. Some of the best horror in the 70s was made for TV.
Upon DVD release, Sole Survivor honored itself with the distinction of having come decades before Final Destination. And the description fits. A chick is the sole survivor of a plane crash and is relentlessly pursued by death. But in actuality, Sole Survivor is CREEPY while the Final Destination series is just a splatterfest version of the Mousetrap board game.
As is common with horror of the period, Sole Survivor is a slow burner, but it really does get under your skin. The leading lady is stalked by eerie, comatose people who just stand in the distance staring at her…at first. As the film continues, they start coming for her! It’s almost like a zombie slasher! They get into her house. They go after the people she cares about. These are some truly frightening scenes.
Aside from an odd strip poker scene—that features the boobs of none other than scream queen Brinke Stevens—Sole Survivor isn’t a blood and guts film. It’s all about building suspense, tension, and atmosphere.
Someone’s Watching Me (1978)
Okay, Someone’s Watching Me IS made for TV…and directed by JOHN CARPENTER. Which explains why Sheriff Brackett from Halloween and Adrienne Barbeau (both in The Fog) are in it. Adrienne even plays a lesbian, which is pretty edgy for a 1978 TV movie. But the leading lady is Lauren Hutton.
This 1978 film is a reminder of how trendy prank calls were before damn caller ID. When you weren’t making them or getting them, you were watching When a Stranger Calls or Black Christmas. Hell. Even Laurie Strode got obscene chewing.
But not Lauren Hutton. She gets endless prank calls from a dude who is watching her through a telescope in the apartment building across the way. The film runs a little too long to support this plot. It’s ten minutes longer than Halloween! But there are several classic John Carpenter scenes in which she almost comes face-to-face with the guy.
Someone’s Watching Me does water down to a typical television mystery thriller in the end, really sterilizing the notion of a pretty woman being stalked by a Peeping Tom. Morgan Fairchild and Andrew Stevens made this plot a lot more sexy 4 years later in The Seduction.