Wednesday, August 4, 2010

#43 - Bushwhacked - 1995

Its now my 7th week of my Big Fat Summer Movie Marathon and its a new theme this week. Its Outdoor Comedy week! There are tons of movies that I love that I consider to be "outdoor" comedies and although obviously the entire movie is not outdoors most of the films I chose do have a lengthy portion of the movie that was filmed outdoors. The first one I chose is one that came out my senior yeah of high school, Bushwhacked staring Daniel Stern. Below is my detailed review.

This film was released in 1995 and I'm pretty sure not many people even saw it. Like I mentioned before it starred Daniel Stern (post Home Alone) as Max Grabelski or better known as Mad Man Max Grabelski. Max is a delivery driver who accepts an offer to deliver 6 separate packages to a wealthy man who lives in a huge mansion as long as he does not ask what the contents in the package are. He would be compensated a $50 tip for each delivery but something went awry, terribly awry. While delivering his most recent package he notices inside the mansion that there is a fire and in his escape from the mansion he is accidentally accused of the murder and is a wanted man. After contacting his office he learns of the destination of where the final package is to be delivered and it is to Devil's Peak in the mountains. So off to the mountains he goes where he mistakenly gets identified as a historical and famous hiker who is set to take a group of scouts on an "overnight" hiking expedition. The adventures and hilarity ensue from there.

Stern is really the only major film star in this movie with Anthony Heald (most notable role was as Dr. Frederick Chiltron in Silence of the Lambs) as the only real noticeable co-star who plays Reinhart Bragdon who eventually turned out to be the wealthy guy who was receiving the packages and he ended up being the villain of the film. Heald has one of those arrogant looking smiles that makes you want to slap him across the face so playing a villain is not that hard to watch. Ill still always remember him from Silence of the Lambs. The actors in this film were decent and did a pretty good job. This is another one of those films that wasn't necessarily an actor or actress driven film.

I loved the outdoor scenes in this film and that is one of the reasons I chose this one for this week. Overall as a movie including plot and acting performances it was nothing to write home about but the outdoor scenes were great. From the hiking at the beginning of the expedition to the tent scenes to the nighttime campfires and chases across collapsing bridges this film had some very cool and fun outdoor scenes. There was also an extreme escape scene towards the end of the film where all the scouts had to jump off a mountain cliff into the fast flowing river to save their lives. All of the outdoor scenes were filmed in the mountains and one thing I will always remember about this movie is that from everything I have read and researched it was filmed north of Placerville in California which is where I actually lived for a short time and where my parents currently live. I am not sure of the exact location but if you type in "movies that were filmed in Placerville, CA" this one will pop up and interestingly enough so will Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Breakdown, and Memoirs of a Geisha. I would love to know what scenes and where in Placerville they were filmed.

Stern was the perfect actor for this role as his misfity type personality was very similar to that of his character Marv in Home Alone and it made for a very slapsticky comedy. He was an eccentric paranoid scout leader to say the least and his antics and eventual heroic efforts made for a very nice outdoor adventure comedy flick that I really liked. I mean with the bear attack scene, the chase across the bridge, and the jump off the cliff into the river it was actually more action packed then your standard family adventure film. Were there scenes that were simple unbelievable and not realistic, ummm yes but what movies don't have those type of scenes really?

Like I said before I really liked this movie and felt it had some good scenes in it and a lot of outdoor sequences of adventure and action. I think this movie was a perfect way to start of my outdoor comedy week and although the story was a bit far fetched and the acting was sub par I think the outdoor settings and action throughout this film were enough to carry it and with that being said I would give this film a strong firm B!

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