A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Survival Of Dana
The Survival Of Dana is your typical trite '70s anti-drug drama. Dana (Melissa Sue Anderson) is your typical good girl with a bright future for about five minutes.
When she is mistakenly busted for shoplifting everything changes. Her grandmother doesn't believe her and she is forbidden from joining the ice skating team. Did high schools even have ice skating teams? She waves bye bye to her good girl ways and starts going out with Donny (Robert Carradine)
This is the second drugs are bad movie that Carradine has starred in, he also played a junkie in Go Ask Alice. Donny is everything a girl could want, car thief, junkie, and unfaithful dog. Dana gets in touch with her inner bad girl which is no different than her good girl role. It's hard to take Anderson seriously with her monotone voice and deer in the headlights gaze. Also whoever said that perms were a good look were seriously disturbed.
"One of these days I'm gonna break like ice. I'm gonna explode like a grenade."
Look, Judge Reinhold! He plays an abused kid named Bear, who gets thrown through a plateglass window by one of Donny's friends. He has no real role in this movie. I suppose he's supposed to be a cautionary tale. But it's hard to stand out when every character is this film is a cautionary tale.
So Donny and his gang piss off a bunch of thugs and wind up in a high speed chase. Dana seems worried, I think, it's hard to tell when the actress only has one expression throughout the movie. They get away but the thugs go after Dana's grandmother played by Marion Ross. Poor Marion, she must have gotten desperate for work as Happy Days wound down.
Eventually there an epic fight in which Donny is shot dead. But at least he got to a great slow motion Million Dollar Man jump before he bites it. Dana mourns for about three seconds before changing her sinful ways. She goes back to skating and gets the obligatory good guy boyfriend that all these films have.