The Nature Unleashed series was a collection of made for TV films obviously made on a shoestring budget desperately trying to masquerade as credible disaster movie entries. Some fare much better than others but Avalanche is well, just plain hilarious.
Not enough to just have a normal avalanche, it looks as though a whole ridge of a mountain is going to collapse causing a “super avalanche”! On yes, twice the fun! Poor little ski resort sitting underneath…
The Disasters Faced
An avalanche, a super avalanche (which looks suspiciously similar) and a lady with only two toes!!!
I’ll admit it. I knew this was going to be awful by the fact you can only get it in the UK in a slimline £1 store case and the DVD menu is a static screen with the title and “play movie”. The disc has no artwork at all. However the actual film is just as bizarre. From the massively stilted acting which varies from some passable actors and some people who sound like they could struggle to actually read the lines from a page infront of them. The set and location is great even if the effects are far from it.
After an initial avalanche (where the skidoo’s can outchase the snow) and many pointless story set ups and arguments (such as the two main men whom are brothers having a row with each other only to burst out laughing and go for a drink) the two toed scientist (not a joke) warns that a super avalanche is coming. Sadly no one really bothers with her except for one of our leads in the most least likely of pairings. That then cues one of the many sub characters, almost all of whom have awful personalities to trigger off the big finale which then leaves a third of the characters trapped, a third trying to rescue them, and the last third running for dear life from the massive amounts of polystyrene that’s coming to get them all. It’s all done hilariously, in a camp, stilted, low budget, lots of stock footage and shaky cameras.
A lot of stock footage is used for the big avalanches coming down the hills, but when effects are needed, they are absolutely awful. Given the film as a whole though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the toy models, to the excessive polystyrene to the extreme sports tricks that they actually reuse but try to make out its another day (see if you can spot them) its all done so cheaply, it brings a whole new hue of enjoyment. The stock footage doesn’t quite fit in with the film either as it looks like a completely different mountain.
Why It’s Worth Watching
For all the wrong reasons, this movie’s actually quite compulsive. The script is dire! The two love interests have absolute no emotion. The laws of physics are completely disregarded too with some interesting escapes from the avalanches. When the film has to show snow sliding down the hill taking characters with it, its just where the characters standing that moves, everything else above and below stays still. Blocks of polystyrene (I mean big chunks) hit characters head on and get dented. The hotel owner voice doesn’t actually change pace or tone during the entire film either, and he was one of the better actors…
Character is something that actually everyone lacked, but there’s a bit part of an old drunkered who keeps recounting the 1966 avalanche they had. I’m really digging here!
The “baddie” of the film (which is a joke, he doesn’t do anything) gets his date with the devil while dangling off a broken ski lift in the final avalanche. He looks like a full sized version of Matt Lucas and thankfully wasn’t about for too many scenes.
It’s time for the scientist to pull off her shoe and sock and reveal she only has two toes. This propels the start of a new love interest…!
Nature Unleashed: Avalanche is the perfect example of when bad films are good. Everything here screams “noooo” but you can’t help but laugh at it and spot as many mistakes, goofs and strange directorial decisions and acting cock ups you can. As my favourite line of the film states “Hell isn’t hot.. its cold!”