Written by / 7/30/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

ROCK HUDSON ROCKS 'AVALANCHE' WITH ROBERT FORSTER

Year of Release: 1978
Yes it's a JAWS clone even though AVALANCHE is a disaster movie with the disastrous situation named after exactly that. Rock Hudson stars as both the JAWS Murray Hamilton greedy mayor and Roy Scheider's central, intrepid Sheriff...

First he wants to keep his expensive resort open while putting fancy residence/tourists in jeopardy after ignoring repeated advice from Robert Forster's Nick Thorne, basically the Richard Dreyfuss science-minded harbinger (more a conservationist-type without being preachy, like Sam Elliott in FROGS) warning the millionaire industrialist not to mess with nature. Then, conveniently, Hudson becomes the suddenly guilt-free chief-rescuer once Forster's character is all but forgotten later on... 

Some affordable action sequences, mostly in this snowmobile race
Possible victims include pretty boy ski champ Rick Moses, who, after sex with another another-woman, turns a married beauty into a psychopath; Mia Farrow as Hudson's ex-wife who Forster takes a liking to; Rock's mom Jeanette Nolan as our stock "tough yet endearing old dame" and a tidy handful of others including Steve Franken, Antony Carbone and Barry Primus...

All of them are worthy characters who the audience may not entirely "care about" yet they connect neatly with the inevitable table-turning AVALANCHE, which is the only Roger Corman produced hindrance to possibly explain why an otherwise decent movie would register an abysmally unfair 3.7 rating. Of course it's not a classic, and the performances are phoned it, plus the third act meanders during non-urgent search-and-rescue scenes, which don't matter very much since the really important characters survive practically unscathed...

Avalanche Score: ***1/2
And yet, overall, AVALANCHE is low budget with former A-list/ talented B-list actors and actresses (a bottom-shelf "All-Star Cast") that flows like a time-filler should. Sadly, it can't live up to its formidable title: Yet the same can be said of the big-budget KING KONG remake two years earlier...

But director Corey Allen (who played the bully "chicken" driver Buzz in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE) makes otherwise terrific use of the beautiful snow-filled landscape, especially with several "Agony Of Defeat" style wipe-outs. If only these killer action sequences were more plot-oriented: That way AVALANCHE might resemble less of a collection of actors/actresses involved in what feels like a collection of scenes/scenery.
It's always good to see these words on the screen... so now let's see the man...
Robert Forster as good environmental guy without being annoying Nick Thorne
A beautiful unseen for now dame and pretty boy ski champ Rick Moses older bro of William R. Moses
Okay here she is, the actresses name is Cathey Paine and she looks so innocent, but...
One of Cathey Paine's other roles was playing Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten... Can you see it?
Ingenue Mia Farrow in her down years before hooking up with a brilliant louse who'd give her great roles
Here Rock's character gets to be angry liken anyone who is about to lose everything because of those damn victims
Cindy Luedke offers Rock Hudson his morning orange coffee Cindy Luedke Avalanche Cindy Luedke Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson is framed in this veiled intro-shot like he's the most famous actor they could get
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