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Surviving Hell: THN Learn How To Survive Post-Apocalypse

London, England

Wednesday, 27th June 2012.

I found myself on a train heading towards The Village Underground. It had been requested of me to attend survival training on behalf of The Hollywood News. Not necessarily because the life of a film journalist is particularly dangerous, although it does have its moments; once a pen leaked in my pocket. I still have flashbacks to this day. No, the reason I was undertaking survival training was to celebrate the impending release of HELL on DVD and Blu-ray. A post-apocalyptic tale about people trying to survive after increased solar activity leaves the planet dry and inhospitable. Or so I had been told. I looked over at a fellow passenger only to be struck by the headline on the paper she was reading. ‘Zombie Epidemic’ it read.  Was my mind playing tricks on me? Was this some very advanced marketing ploy? Or was I just lucky to be attending survival training on the day of the zombie apocalypse?

Unfortunately, none of these turned out to be true. It was merely a story about women abusing prescription tranquillisers rather than an exposé on flesh eating corpses. Still, a free day of survival training could always come in useful. I arrived at The Village Underground and soon met my fellow ‘survivors’. A wilderness buffet boasting the finest berries and nuts had been scattered out for us, along with cups of tea. This may be the apocalypse but we’re still English, damn it!

It was now time to meet our survival instructor Thomas Schorr-kon from Trackways. I was expecting a man with the physique of Schwarzenegger and commanding voice of R. Lee Ermey. Instead we were met by a very calm, wise and bearded man. It was soon apparent to myself that this is exactly the kind of guy you would want leading you through a survival crisis. He even managed to make the fall of civilisation less frightening, by detailing it as not the fall of society, but getting back to our roots and becoming one with nature.

From there, Thomas embarked upon a fascinating four hour seminar, detailing key knowledge for survival. Unfortunately there is no way I could relay all this information to you effectively, so I will simply give you some of my favourite top tips that could help you.

  1. The four most important things for survival are Shelter, Water, Fire, and Food, in that order. This is because exposure could kill you in a matter of hours. Next we have water, as you can only go for 1-2 days without it. Fire is good for everything from distilling water, cooking and obviously warmth. Finally there’s food, as you could feasibly last weeks without it.
  2. I’ve always wondered in films where water must be conserved, how do they put up with each other’s stench? Well now I know. Wood ash can be used as a deodorant. So next time you face the fall of man and you have a special someone to impress, rub some under your arms. Because you’re worth it.
  3. Watch those animals. Even the character Phillip (Lars Eidinger) in HELL knows that the birds are a good sign that water is nearby. Animals will be much more accustomed to living in the wild so they could lead you to food, water, or even their tasty relatives. But first you may want to learn a little trick Thomas taught us known as Fox Walking. This will allow you to be a ninja of the forest.  Those little critters are also going to be startled long before you, so why bother with an expensive alarm system?

I really cannot express the amount of information and skills Thomas managed to cram into my iPod-loving, film-watching brain. He’s effectively changed the way I will forever view survival movies. I sure hope the characters Marie (Hannah Herzsprung) and Leonie (Lisa Vicari) in HELL aren’t planning on drinking that water they siphoned from a radiator. They’ll need to distil it first, perhaps by using a Solar Still.

Never fear though, for when the apocalypse strikes, there will be a dozen moderately trained film journalists to help the human race continue. Isn’t that what we really need?

Click here to read The Hollywood News’ review of HELL.

If you don’t trust us, have a go at survival yourself by visiting Read a few articles and sign up for a course of your own and also, follow this rather handy infographic:

Black and white photograph courtesy of Dan Wilton

HELL is unleashed by Lionsgate on 2nd July on DVD and Blu-ray.

Luke likes many things, films and penguins being among them. He's loved films since the age of 9, when STARGATE and BATMAN FOREVER changed the landscape of modern cinema as we know it. His love of film extends to all aspects of his life, with trips abroad being planned around film locations and only buying products featured in Will Smith movies. His favourite films include SEVEN SAMURAI, PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, IN BRUGES, LONE STAR, GODZILLA, and a thousand others.

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