The Husband and I watched a movie the other night. I was so delighted by it that I can't possibly withhold it from you any longer. This movie is so superb, yet I still don't know what its name is, and apparently neither does the internet. Husband and I were bored Saturday night, what with having exhausted both our and Stephanie's collection of Netflix movies, so we cornered Comcast On Demand and selected some free film called "Survival/Mountain," whatever that means. The description, a couple who survive an avalanche in the Himalayan Mountains and struggle to survive afterwards, sounded interesting enough. We're all about watching pathetic attempts to live. So we started it up and were immediately thrilled to see that it was a made-for-TV movie; few things afford laughs better than made-for-TV survival films, especially after the Husband's last choice about killer locusts devouring America who are finally defeated by a giant makeshift bug zapper. Brilliant!
Back to our Oscar-winning show. The movie was advertised as being based upon a true story. I have my doubts about this as I will explain later, or at least their definition of "based upon" and "true." Also, "story." The film begins with a snippet of what is later to come, I'm assuming to rope its viewers into hanging around. It certainly worked. I wanted to know how the hell two perfectly healthy looking individuals could be whining about dying. They looked fine to me, and I should know, since you all know I'm a trained doctor. The film goes back to two weeks prior in these healthy individuals' lives when we learn that Wife is turning 40, going through a midlife crisis (I'm assuming), and is insistant that she and Husband go hiking in the Himalayas in November. "We'll have two seasoned guides and a cook with us! What could go wrong?" they tell her wise, avalanche-nightmare-having mother who does not want them to go. We know what's going to happen of course, because Mom is worried sick for her daughter and son-in-law. And because we read the movie description beforehand.
These idiots show up and sure enough, set off with their crew, who are natives of Nepal and supposedly know what they're doing since they say so, and start hiking up this mountain. They camp overnight. The couple points out that one of the guides isn't wearing clothes, or at least not weather-appropriate clothes. Head Guide explains he's from the South (I don't think he means Mississippi, although that would explain it too) so he'll just have to learn the hard way to wear a coat the next time he goes up A MOUNTAIN WITH SNOW ON IT. Yeah, OK. Husband never ceases to vocally fret about Southern Boy. During all this, weather stations are freaking out because some weather system is coming--a hurricane or something (I don't pretend to know these things)--and everyone should get off the mountain in a hurry. And most do, except this troupe.
During the night, Head Guide says it's Bad Weather and they need to pack up and leave. They pack up one or two things, abandon the rest (like food and tents) and hurry off. Then the Weather System arrives in the form of the blizzard, followed shortly thereafter by the aforementioned avalanche. The avalanche misses them, but apparently covered up Head Guide's breadcrumb trail, because for some unfathomable reason, he has NO clue how to go back to the city they just came from, like, 12 hours ago. So these idiots wander around the Himalayans for days, looking for the city, and failing that, any settlement at all. During all of this, I am persistently quizzing the Husband about why they continue to climb UP the mountain when the city they just came from is below them. He assures me he has no clue, but it's thoroughly entertaining to him just the same. After another avalanche finally gets the cook and Southern Boy, the crew really starts taking this seriously. Well, after they miraculously find the two buried in snow (what, are they cadaver dogs or something?) after digging for two minutes. Southern Boy ain't looking so hot, so fretting Husband gives him his coat, and later his boots, and finally his gloves. Husband, or Martyr as I like to call him, goes largely without.
Having no shelter, these people who have been on this mountain with no food or shelter for about a week, cheerily build themselves a snow cave. And not even with impliments of any sort, but their bare hands. And within an hour or two they have a wonderfully spacious and firmly packed snow cave the size of a hotel lobby. They sleep comfortably and not at all fitfully, or you know, dyingly, like any other human would. Eventually, Martyr gets tired of Head Guide giving them an undesirable tour of the mountains and announces he's going to save them all once and for all, starting with following that there river down there. "Finally," I said to the Husband, "They're actually doing something sensible. I don't believe it." Not to worry pets, it didn't last long. Yes, the river does flow downhill and since most settlements can be found near watersources, following the river is a very good idea. But apparently these people don't know that you can actually follow the river on the side of it, because they insist that each and everyone of them, including those barely surviving hypothermia as it is, get IN the water and start following it that way. I'm convinced they would have slept in the water too, had they not already been so in love with their snow caves. Perhaps they were tired of walking in wet snow and were hoping the river would be less wet? I don't know.
Anyway, two minutes later Head Guide and Cook decide that the other three were slowing them down and they needed to beat feet. They take off, leaving Southern Boy half-dead and Martyr with obvious frostbitten hands and feet. Mind you, throughout the entire movie Wife is perfectly chipper at all times. Upbeat, never weary, hungry, cold, nothing. It'd be irritating if it weren't so funny. The three decide to camp for the night, and with Martyr and Southern Boy being out of it, Cheery Wife builds the snow cave with her own hands by herself in an afternoon. Perhaps not the Ritz-Carlton this time around, but at least a DoubleTree. SouthernBoy dies in the night and Martyr goes wandering off in a stupid haze and goes careening off a short cliff. He lies there and waits for Cheer Bear to show up and comfort him, despite the fact both of them look perfectly fine and healthy as horses. Oh, but the smudge of blood on Martyr's lip means he's dying! Right, forgot that. Then Wifey's dead father shows up in Mafia garb and throws up weird and disturbing gang signs and suddenly the couple see a band of a dozen hikers tromping past them up ahead. The couple argue about this, with Martyr saying things like, "Leave me, I'm done for! Save yourself! Get help!" And Wife saying, "No, I won't leave you! I can't! A soldier never leaves a fallen comrade behind, Semper Fi, Oorah!!" That last one may not have happened. But you get the idea. By the time Wife finally takes off running (again, through the river) to catch up to the hikers, she's completely lost them, despite the fact they were maybe five minutes ahead of her. And they left tracks in the snow for her to follow. Which she didn't. Of course.
We see Wife literally crawling through snowy mountains that have never been touched by humans, all the while thinking she can still catch up with the hikers. Hikers who had obviously never been there. The movie cuts back to Marytr, still on the side of the river (I wonder why she didn't just put him in it?), waiting patiently as he freezes to death, never thinking that perhaps that dead guy in the cave up there might have some coats, boots, gloves, pants, underwear, and whatever else Martyr gave him that he won't be using anymore. We're supposed to believe that Wife went crawling and stumbling forEVER, which she did, and did she find help? Of course she did. She accidentally wanders into the city they started from. No joke. These idiots have been lost for weeks and she crawls back in a day? Why wasn't she put in charge from the beginning? Oh wait, she was following those hikers, not trying to find the city, so logic would tell us had she been looking for the city, she would instead have found Hell. Or something like that. Anyway, she wasn't in charge for good reason.
So Helicopter guy takes her up and they start looking for Martyr. "I left him next to a river." "What, not in it?" (But I kid these retards.) She gives very helpful clues like, "We were around a bend in the river," and, "I think we were near some trees." Of course, they find Martyr, still waiting patiently for death. They yell down to him that they can't reach him on the banks of the river; he'll have to get in the river to reach him. Of course. What is it with these people and getting in the water in subfreezing conditions? When they get back to the city, they find Head Guide and Cook and Martyr more or less tells them they're going to hell for leaving them. Sounds good to me.
They get home to the States, Martyr loses his toes and fingers due to frostbite, and they all go on and on about how grateful they are to be alive. Indeed, Idiots. And it is here that I have to take serious issue with this being a true story. Without the aid of Hollywood (or whatever back alley company made this film) this couple would have died years ago with a collective hand on a fork in a light socket, and you and I both know it. People that stupid simply cannot survive something like that without artistic license on their side.
Even after reading this, if you have Comcast on Demand and a free hour and a half, check it out. You honestly can't go wrong with a movie like that.