Review: “Tex Montana Will Survive!” Didn’t Pack The Punch I Wanted



Title: Tex Montana Will Survive!
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Posted July 18, 2016 by

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O. Hannah Films (comprised of Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella, and Adam Cronheim) released their first film “The Battery” in 2012. Made on a budget of $6,000, the film was a masterpiece in terms of what you can do with a small budget and a dedicated team of creators. Based solely on the product, it’s one of the best zombie films – not to mention independent films – in my humble opinion. Their new film “Tex Montana Will Survive!” is about a reality television ‘survivalist’ that gets accused of being a fraud and feels the only way to truly redeem his name and keep his fame is to actually survive in the remote wilderness for thirty days.

Much like “The Battery”, ‘Tex Montana’ is a character-driven story that focuses more on the human condition and how one responds to a crisis, but unlike ‘The Battery’ this film just didn’t quite pack the punch I was looking for. It’s a great premise and well acted (Gardner takes on the burden of being the only one on screen for much of the film), but at times it feels redundant and you feel like they’re setting up a joke but never deliver the punchline. The film has moments of comedy and moments of drama, yet never fully commit to either. I feel the finished product would have been better served if they went strong towards the drama side with moments of comedy or vice versa; instead you’re continuously waiting for laugh-out-loud moments that never materialize.


There are scenes where I found myself laughing; like when Tex finally reads the survival book that was supposedly written by him and points out all the ridiculous things that make up the content, or when he starts to lose his mental stability and finds a “Yoo-hoo” tree — literally a bush that he buried a Yoo-hoo next to in the snow and says that it grows the chocolate beverage. There’s also a moment when Tex has been lost for almost two months now with no idea of how to get back to civilization and while he’s sleeping in the snow a car pulls up behind him and picks up a guy hiking; showing you how clueless Tex really is to his current situation. On the drama side, Tex begins to come clean about a lot of his lies when he begins to believe he’s not going to make it out alive. It’s these small moments in the movie that make you feel like he could actually be a sympathetic character, but once he’s admitted his faults he returns back to his old ways almost as fast and you remember that you feel he deserves to be in the current situation he’s in.

By the end of the film, I found myself losing interest. It just didn’t have enough comedy to keep me laughing all the way through or the dramatic ‘umph!’ to get me fully invested in the character.

While “Tex Montana Will Survive!” is not the independent darling O. Hannah Films’ first feature was, it’s still respectable what these guys are able to do with such a small budget. Despite not loving this film, I hope that they can continue making the stories they want to because they have endless talent. Wanting to get the film into the viewer’s hands as fast as possible, “Tex” can currently be streamed for free on YouTube or downloaded in 1080p on Vimeo. 





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