Just because VHS is a dead video format, that’s not going to stop us fondly remembering the days of distorted, static images in our living rooms. We can even take a rosy-tinted view of the countless training tapes many of us had to sit through. This is where the inspiration for Survival Skills comes from.
Fresh from premiering at Cinequest Film Festival on March 6th, Quinn Armstrong’s feature-length debut follows Jim, a rookie cop trapped in a police training tape from 1988 by an all-seeing and malevolent narrator (Stacy Keach). We follow Jim as he tries to resolve a domestic violence case outside of the law, all whilst trying to obey the instructions of his cruel mentor. Check out the trailer below:
As is evident from the short but sweet trailer, Survival Skills promises to be a thrill-filled black comedy. It’s clearly inspired by insane police training tapes which have become cult sensations in the internet age, such as Surviving Edged Weapons and Satanic Ritual Abuse. However, It doesn’t only draw inspiration from memories of cringe-inducing VHS training materials, but also Quinn’s personal experience working in domestic violence shelters with local law enforcement.
Survival Skills stars Stacy Keach (Nebraska, Escape from LA), Vayu O’Donnell (80/20), and Ericka Kreatz (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood). With an offbeat premise and a firm foundation of influence, this promises to be one to look out for.