HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Aftermath, The
Five Fingers for Marseilles
Jupiter's Moon
Favourite, The
Mysteries of the Gods
Coming Home
De Sade
Patti Cake$
Hellbound
Final Destination 2
Romance
Bros: After the Screaming Stops
Cockleshell Heroes, The
Mule, The
Sunday in the Country
Nutcracker Fantasy
Spellcaster
Hipsters
Executive Action
Captain Marvel
Zombie Girl
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Rhinoceros
Monkey King 3, The
Adventurers, The
Stripped to Kill
Daughter of Dr. Jekyll
Aladdin's Magic Lamp
Christopher Robin
Hole in the Ground, The
Daniel
Blue Christmas
Death Trip
She's Missing
Return of the Soldier
Shaft
Summer Lovers
Robert the Bruce
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, The
Kindergarten Teacher, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  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 933 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
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: