HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sorry to Bother You
Last Days, The
Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot, The
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Once Upon a Time in London
King Lear
Under the Silver Lake
Satan's Mistress
Border
Lemonade Joe
Earth Maiden Arjuna
Sons of Katie Elder, The
Soldier, The
Mr. Topaze
Aquaman
One, Two, Three
Bad Times at the El Royale
Caretaker, The
Old Man and the Gun, The
Song of Bernadette, The
Creed II
Anna and the Apocalypse
Return of the Hero
White Reindeer, The
Lizzie
Wicked, Wicked
Faces Places
Strange Woman, The
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Sky Bandits
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Devil's Sword, The
Leprechaun Returns
Man in the Wilderness
Mug
Love Me Deadly
Look Away
J.C.
Filmworker
Sixty Glorious Years
   
 
Newest Articles
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
He-Maniacs: Ridiculous 80s Action
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 761 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 do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: