The year is 2134 and civilization has collapsed...apparently. I mean...I guess it's possible. Who do you want on your side if you're to survive this rugged, possibly zombie infested, terrain? You want people who are tough, obviously. You want good trackers and hunters. You want people skilled in weaponry that doesn't necessarily require ammunition. But more than that you need people who will have your back! Who won't throw you to the mob to save their own asses. You need loyalty.
There's another quality that is needed on top of all of that. You need the ability to just be an all around, mother [bleeping] badass! You need to be a MAN! And I don't mean that in the sexist way. Women can be tough as hell, too. I mean that in the stereotypical cheap domestic beer drinking, red meat that you killed with your bare hands eating, one-liner spouting, unnecessarily high death toll killing, Reagan voting 1980s Man's Man! A man you didn't want to mess with because he could break your neck like a chicken but still wasn't afraid to have an emotional 2nd act montage to the sounds of Stan Bush or Kenny Loggins.
What did you do when your mission was only to observe and report? You saved 20+ POWs! What did you do when your only weapons were a grenade and an arrow? You put them together and made a guy explode from the other side of the river! What did you do when your back was to the wall with nothing but a single machine gun and limited ammo? You made more bullets miraculously appear out of nowhere like a musclebound Jesus!
So you can keep your Daryl Dixons and your Furiosas and whichever other pop culturally relevant badasses you think are perfect for your survival team. Take me back to a decade when men were men! Here are my top three choices for the 80s Action Dream Team of Apocalypse Survivalists!
JOHN MATRIX (COMMANDO) - TEAM LEADER
Sure, when it comes to Arnold Schwarzenegger a lot of people would probably want to pick The Terminator. I mean c'mon...it's in the name. The Terminator. But for a scenario like this you need the human touch. John Matrix was a special forces leader who pissed people off the whole world over and ate Green Berets for breakfast. He can smell you coming down wind, kill you in broad daylight on a crowded plane (which he also jumps out of through the landing gear upon takeoff) and can seduce a perfect stranger into robbing a surplus store with him and blowing up a prison transport after he gets captured. And if you want to compare bodycounts? The death toll at the end of Commando beat the death toll of all Terminator films combined – and was far more creative using the tools he had at hand. A circular saw shuriken? Axe to the balls? A [bleeping] STEAM PIPE!!!! I would follow you to the gates of Hell, John Matrix...assuming you ever got killed, of course.
JOHN RAMBO (FIRST BLOOD) - THE HUNTER/GATHERER/TRACKER
What can I say about John Rambo that isn't best said by Col. Trautman, himself? "You don't seem to accept the fact that you're dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare. With a man who's the best...with guns...with knives...with his bare hands. A man who's been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land. To eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! PERIOD! Win by attrition. Well Rambo was the best." You would never go hungry in the apocalypse. This Medal of Honor winner would see to that. You would never be captured and left to rot in a maniac cannibal's cage. John Rambo would save you. And God save you if your name is Murdock...
KYLE REESE (THE TERMINATOR) - THE PARANOID SURVIVALIST
There are a great many other people I would love to have on my team but there are only three spots open. Having been practically born into an apocalypse situation, Kyle Reese knows how to traverse that terrain. Sure, for a similar reason I would love to have been able to put Snake Plissken into this lineup. What's the difference between them? Loyalty. Plissken is a loner who will only help you out if you convince him he's dying and that only you have the cure. Kyle will have your back. He'll lay down on the line for you or volunteer to go on a suicide mission for the greater good. He lives day by day in that apocalypse with nothing but the desire to get home and stare at a worn out picture of his best friend's mom to get him through. And if you want to question his ability to survive, remember that it wasn't the Terminator that killed him. Kyle Reese died from self inflicted wounds he received while constantly throwing himself between the T-800 and Sarah Connor. At the end of the day if anyone is going to get your ass through the apocalypse it is Kyle Mother [Bleeping] Reese!
So there you have it everyone. Just try to tell me that this isn't the best survival team of all time. Go ahead. I'll simply have John Matrix call you a funny guy and promise to kill you last...