Ravagers (1979)

PG | 90 mins | Science fiction | 25 May 1979

Director:

Richard Compton

Producer:

John Hyde

Cinematographer:

Vincent Saizis

Editor:

Maury Winetrobe

Production Designer:

Ronald E. Hobbs

Production Company:

Cinecorp
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HISTORY

End credits include the following information: “Acknowledgements: Alabama Film Commission; Jack Harrison; Herb Greene III; United States Coast Guard; Lt. Commander Pratt; Lt. Carl Wolcott; Alabama Space & Rocket Center; Ed Buckbee.”
       According to a 9 Mar 1978 HR brief, principal photography began that day in Huntsville, AL. An item in the 4 May 1978 HR reported that the production was filmed entirely in AL, over approximately fifty days, and completed shooting by early May 1978.
       In a 16 May 1978 HR column, executive producer Saul David stated that additional location work took place in Mobile and Birmingham, AL. The filmmakers were drawn to the state after scouting The Sloss, an old rust-covered blast furnace complex in Birmingham, and a National Historic Landmark. In Huntsville, the production filmed at a U.S. Army post called the Redstone Arsenal and received permission to age missiles at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) museum, known as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
       Producer John Hyde mentioned in a 26 Apr 1978 HR article that the budget was in the vicinity of $5 million.
       The 9 Mar 1978 HR brief announced that actor Richard Egan had been cast in a “co-starring role,” but he is uncredited. A 3 May 1978 Var item reported that Rita Hyde was hired as choreographer, but she is also uncredited.
       Critical reaction was generally poor. Although reviewers found the visuals striking, they complained that the script failed “to add anything new, or even interesting, to the subject” of an apocalyptic future, as described in the 25 May 1979 HR. ... More Less

End credits include the following information: “Acknowledgements: Alabama Film Commission; Jack Harrison; Herb Greene III; United States Coast Guard; Lt. Commander Pratt; Lt. Carl Wolcott; Alabama Space & Rocket Center; Ed Buckbee.”
       According to a 9 Mar 1978 HR brief, principal photography began that day in Huntsville, AL. An item in the 4 May 1978 HR reported that the production was filmed entirely in AL, over approximately fifty days, and completed shooting by early May 1978.
       In a 16 May 1978 HR column, executive producer Saul David stated that additional location work took place in Mobile and Birmingham, AL. The filmmakers were drawn to the state after scouting The Sloss, an old rust-covered blast furnace complex in Birmingham, and a National Historic Landmark. In Huntsville, the production filmed at a U.S. Army post called the Redstone Arsenal and received permission to age missiles at a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) museum, known as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
       Producer John Hyde mentioned in a 26 Apr 1978 HR article that the budget was in the vicinity of $5 million.
       The 9 Mar 1978 HR brief announced that actor Richard Egan had been cast in a “co-starring role,” but he is uncredited. A 3 May 1978 Var item reported that Rita Hyde was hired as choreographer, but she is also uncredited.
       Critical reaction was generally poor. Although reviewers found the visuals striking, they complained that the script failed “to add anything new, or even interesting, to the subject” of an apocalyptic future, as described in the 25 May 1979 HR. The critic from the 25 May 1979 LAT noted that the film “succeeds as an advertisement for the Alabama Film Commission,” and remarked that “the problem with the handsomely produced but relentlessly dull Ravagers is that it doesn’t have enough story to tell.” More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
9 Mar 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 May 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 May 1979
Section G, p. 26.
Variety
3 May 1978.
---
Variety
30 May 1979
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Presents
A Cinecorp Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Scr story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Gaffer
Still photog
Key grip
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles by
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Prod auditor
Prod coord
Casting
Loc services by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Path to Savagery by Robert Edmond Alter (New York, 1969).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Ravagers
Path to Savagery
Release Date:
25 May 1979
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 25 May 1979
Production Date:
9 March--early May 1978 in Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham, AL
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1979
Copyright Number:
PA36447
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses/Prints
Cameras and lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
90
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25595
SYNOPSIS

Sometime in the future, a series of disasters has left the world a barren landscape. The remaining humans, who have not died from starvation, hopelessness or disease, have banded together in various tribes. Some of the tribes, however, are gangs of murderers, known as ravagers, who prey on survivors. One day, Falk, a loner who does not belong to a tribe, finds two cans of food in an old shop and returns to a hideout in a former steel mill complex, where his girl friend, Miriam, is waiting. When Falk advises that it is time they move to a new location, Miriam asks if they can return to the beach spot in case the fish have come back. Falk reminds her that the seas are poisoned. Nevertheless, Miriam remains hopeful that there is new life somewhere on Earth. Nearby, a ravager leader who has spotted Falk entering the mill instructs his gang to kill the survivor. The bandits quietly sneak into the complex and surprise the couple. While fending off the attackers, Falk leads Miriam to a tower, but the ravagers trap them. Falk is pushed into a moat below, while Miriam is captured at knifepoint. When Falk recovers, he returns to the hideout and finds Miriam has been raped and murdered. Devastated, he tracks down the ravagers one night while they are intoxicated and stabs the leader’s best friend. Falk quickly disappears, while the dying ravager reveals to his comrades that his killer was the man from the steel mill. Leaning over his friend’s dead body, the ravager leader screams for vengeance and begins ... +


Sometime in the future, a series of disasters has left the world a barren landscape. The remaining humans, who have not died from starvation, hopelessness or disease, have banded together in various tribes. Some of the tribes, however, are gangs of murderers, known as ravagers, who prey on survivors. One day, Falk, a loner who does not belong to a tribe, finds two cans of food in an old shop and returns to a hideout in a former steel mill complex, where his girl friend, Miriam, is waiting. When Falk advises that it is time they move to a new location, Miriam asks if they can return to the beach spot in case the fish have come back. Falk reminds her that the seas are poisoned. Nevertheless, Miriam remains hopeful that there is new life somewhere on Earth. Nearby, a ravager leader who has spotted Falk entering the mill instructs his gang to kill the survivor. The bandits quietly sneak into the complex and surprise the couple. While fending off the attackers, Falk leads Miriam to a tower, but the ravagers trap them. Falk is pushed into a moat below, while Miriam is captured at knifepoint. When Falk recovers, he returns to the hideout and finds Miriam has been raped and murdered. Devastated, he tracks down the ravagers one night while they are intoxicated and stabs the leader’s best friend. Falk quickly disappears, while the dying ravager reveals to his comrades that his killer was the man from the steel mill. Leaning over his friend’s dead body, the ravager leader screams for vengeance and begins a quest to hunt down Falk. Meanwhile, Falk flees in a thunderstorm and seeks shelter during the night in an abandoned truck. He dreams about Miriam and her desire to see a place near the beach called “Genesis,” where she believed living things could grow again. In the morning, Falk investigates a dilapidated house nearby and finds an ear of corn to eat. As Falk continues to flee, the ravager leader tracks him, uncovering traces that the loner leaves behind. Later, Falk stumbles upon a former military installation containing corroded rockets and space equipment. Inside, he is confronted at gunpoint by an eccentric, elderly sergeant named Cramer, who behaves as if army regulations still exist. After Falk subdues Cramer, the sergeant unexpectedly salutes Falk and treats him as his superior officer. The elderly man leads Falk to a silo containing a stockpile of provisions and prepares a meal for him. Later, Cramer takes Falk to a camp inhabited by the Flockers, a friendly tribe that relies on the barter system for survival. In their cave hideout, Falk watches the Flockers play music and dance. Upon receiving a gift of two apples, Falk is amazed that the fruit is growing somewhere. During his visit, Falk befriends a beautiful woman named Faina with whom he trades tobacco for sex. Talking in his sleep, Falk has another dream about Miriam’s faith in “Genesis.” As he prepares to leave the cave, Faina wants to accompany him, believing the loner knows about a better place, but Falk assures her that “Genesis” is fictional and departs alone. The next day, Faina and the dutiful sergeant catch up to Falk on his route and insist on joining him. However, Falk proclaims that he wants to travel alone and looks for shelter where he can leave Cramer and Faina. At an empty house, Falk locates an ideal spot for the three of them to rest for the night until they go their separate ways. Meanwhile, the ravagers have followed Falk’s trail to the house. As the gang surrounds the place, Falk and Cramer hear intruders and grab their guns. During the ensuing shootout, Falk fights back until he can escape with Faina, but the sergeant is captured. The next day, the ravager leader finds a pair of binoculars in the house, which provides an advantage as he continues to hunt Falk. In the meantime, the leader decides to free Cramer, hoping that the sergeant will lead them to the loner. Later, near a beach, Falk and Faina encounter a group of people dressed in clean clothes who appear healthy and well fed. Aiming his weapon, Falk forces the group and their spokesman, Brown, to lead him and Faina to their home base. Suddenly, Cramer staggers from the bushes to join them and the threesome are taken on a boat across the channel to a large container ship. From a hilltop, the ravager leader observes the proceedings and organizes a pursuit. When Falk arrives on the ship, he is amazed to find an entire community of men and women living on board with enough supplies for fifty years as well as a generator for electricity. Falk stares at the glow from a light bulb, a comfort that he has not seen since childhood. Brown, however, indicates that the community is not a paradise because inhabitants who want to leave the ship are imprisoned. At dinner, Falk meets the domineering leader of the community, Rann, and shares his opinion that the ship may be luxurious, but it is a cage if you cannot explore other options in the world. Rann maintains that leaving is too risky. Listening to the debate, Brown is intrigued by Falk’s opinion that the ship inhabitants have given up hope and are hiding from the world. Presented with a plate of fish, Falk is stunned and realizes that Miriam was right about life gradually returning to the sea and land. He tells the diners about finding a ripe apple, but Rann emphatically declares that no one can abandon ship, including the newcomer Falk. After dinner, Brown takes Falk aside and demands to know about “Genesis,” which he overheard Faina mention. Brown reveals that there are others on board who want to leave and asks Falk to guide them. Suddenly, the ravagers infiltrate the ship, and the residents struggle to defend their home. Rann is shot, but manages to ignite a fire on board that impedes the attackers. Meanwhile, several members of the community are able to evacuate through a hatchway. As Falk fights the ravager leader, an explosion occurs killing the gangster, while catapulting Falk into the water. He swims ashore and rendezvouses on a beach with a small group of survivors, including Faina, Cramer, and Brown. Falk remarks that perhaps they are “Genesis.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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