Whether it's a harrowing chin-scraper incurred after your first (forced) voyage on a two-wheeler, or that virgin belt of throat-stinging, vomit-inducing whisky, you can always count on good old Dad to point you in the "right" direction. As we know, the stellar irresponsibility of fatherhood is a time-honored institution. Isn't it the father bird who usually pushes the downy chick from the safety of the nest? You're damn right. And in celebration of these demented dads, let's watch these cinematic profiles of fathers who took their families on an express tour to hell.
- Mosquito Coast (1986)--Allie Fox (Harrison Ford) is a crackpot inventor who, like the rest of us, is fed-up with the filth and decay of modern America. The answer? Pack up and move your entire family to a remote, undeveloped section of the Amazon River valley. Fox plays god to the inhabitants of this so-called paradise by producing ice and bullying everyone with his impeccable "logic." Co-starring poor River Phoenix.
- Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975)--Los Angelino Skip Robinson (Robert Logan) is sick and tired of his city-fied family being sick and tired. In a massively overstated effort to relieve their urban symptoms, he moves them to the Alaskan Wilderness--hundreds, even thousands of miles away from the nearest Gubernatorial recall. Spine tingling chaos ensues as various animals attack the family while they work to build a "better" life in the middle of freaking nowhere.
- Limbo (1999)--Guided by the expert hand of director John Sayles, this film, like so many of his others, deals with reinvention, redemption and fear. This time, spooked ex-fisherman Jumpin' Joe Gastineau (David Strathairn) drags his family to (where else?) a remote location in Alaska to (what else?) reinvent themselves. White-knuckled danger is the order of the day as a precarious plot unfolds involving nudity, exposure and (oh God, noÉ ) Kris Kristofferson. LANCE CHESS