HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The Exit Pursued By A BearBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Robert Logan, Susan Damante, Hollye Holmes, Ham Larsen, George 'Buck' Flower, William Cornford, John F. Goff, Herbert F. Nelson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: The modern world seems designed to get some people down, and none more so than Skip Robinson (Robert Logan), who is tiring of the big city life with its smog and overcrowding. Not helping is his daughter Jenny (Hollye Holmes) developing allergies thanks to the junk in the air and in the food, and he does not wish to see his younger son Toby (Ham Larsen) suffer the same way, so one day as they drive in their truck through some traffic he turns to his wife Pat (Susan Damante) and asks her if she could do with a change. If they could all do with a change, and travel out to the wilderness of Colorado to get back to nature and live the simple life. What could possibly go wrong?

It's worth mentioning that while Skip is motoring along in his truck with his wife beside him, the two kids are in the back, exposed to the elements and needless to say, without so much as a seatbelt to prevent them flying out should the vehicle hit a bump in the road. That cavalier attitude to health and safety was the theme for The Wilderness Family, which took as its template the Disney megahit Swiss Family Robinson and applied it to the nineteen-seventies, when getting in touch with the natural world meant muesli for breakfast and earth tones for the home furnishings, along with an interest in preserving the environment and even getting out into it for a healthy hike or two.

What most people didn't think was sensible was opening yourself and your loved ones up to wild animal attacks, or cutting yourself off from civilisation to the extent that you were placing your life in danger. Society is there for a reason, and it's not the Middle Ages anymore, but try telling that to Skip, a maniac under the apparently convincing guise of a reasonable man who persuades everyone that heading off to the middle of nowhere with no safety net is a simply wonderful idea. Obviously there would not be much of a movie if it all went swimmingly, but taking its cue from other Disney productions, namely their nature documentaries, the animal footage featured genuine aggression.

Crust the dog (Crust?) in particular attacked every beast, no matter how big, that crossed his path, and since the two kids were forever getting into difficulty from the wildlife that meant the mutt bared its fangs and launched itself at anything on four legs. That included the mule belonging to chuntering old mountain geezer Boomer (George 'Buck' Flower), who surely should have swapped names with the pooch, which it chases away in a running joke yet the scenes where it tussles for real with grown bears, cougars and wolves were not especially amusing, and looked more like director Stewart Raffill would have been quite at home including cockfights and bear-baiting if it had meant he could have featured even more action. There were friendly bruins, like the two cubs the Robinsons adopt or the hungry full-grown example, but one was not.

Scenes where Jenny is chased by this terror were supposed to be suspenseful, but came across more unpleasant, not to mention the fact the actress looked absolutely petrified and not in a "what a good performance" way either (she never made another film). The climax saw the character on the brink of death while the evil bear smashes its way into their cabin and resembled revenge of nature horrors like Claws or Grizzly more than they did some anodyne family yarn, which left the actual conclusion all the more baffling (though this was a hit and spawned two more sequels, as well as Logan and Raffill reteaming on The Sea Gypsies, a shipwreck tale along similar lines). Meanwhile each member of the lunatic family, who have no apparent experience in existing in the wilderness that you can see despite the father's aptitude with fishing, has been variously injured either physically or psychologically by their new home. It may have been intended as a heartwarming endorsement of the family unit, but unintentionally alarming was what it was. Music by Gene Kauer and Douglas Lackey (with gloopy country songs).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1327 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: