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What was this river-thriller movie (late 80s)?


Darwock
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When I was a kid I happened to catch this movie on TV from part way through and ended up watching the whole thing - I remember getting quite caught up in it. It involved a group of hikers on a river, with some kind of threat to them, like an action adventure thriller.

 

Probably a few months later my family were playing trivial pursuit with some visiting relatives, and there was a question along the lines of ‘what movie has a river rafting trip go bad’? Answer: Deliverance. I announced to my family “oh yeah, I’ve seen that!”. I remember it so clearly because my dad just about had a heart attack, and I couldn’t understand why. Many years later I obviously did understand why, and also knew for a fact that was not the movie I had seen.

 

So I started trying to figure out what it really was. The obvious answer is ‘The River Wild’, but that was 1994 and hadn’t been made at that point in my life (and if it had it certainly wouldn’t have been on TV yet). If it wasn’t for the dates I would have said it was 100% this, but I left home for uni in 1995 and I was definitely much younger when that game of trivial pursuit happened.

 

I recently learned about another river-hike-gone-bad movie starring Kevin Bacon (and Sean Astin) - ‘White Water Summer’. Found it online and watched it last night, certain that the mystery was solved. It wasn’t. The Ferris Bueller style narration gave a completely different vibe to what I remember, and the dramatic climax of the movie was fairly short. 

 

Did some further searching and came across a movie called ‘Deadly Pursuit’ (sometimes known as ‘Shoot to Kill’) which sounded like a contender - just finished watching that now, and it started really promisingly with a group of five guys with rucksacks crossing a gorge over a river - but they all got murdered in one go. I remember a group of people trying to survive. Also there was too much snowy mountain stuff and I don’t recall any of that, nor the final act on a ferry.

 

I feel like the answer is probably some made for TV movie with no-name actors in it which is why I can’t find it. This memory lapse and rediscovery happened once before with a ninja movie I spent years trying to find, and that turned out to be a TV movie.

 

So does anyone remember a movie almost exactly like the River Wild, but a few years earlier and without Meryl Streep? Or a family-friendly version of Deliverance made a decade or two later? I seem to remember a bridge, and the protagonists being watched from a higher vantage point, but maybe that’s just traces from the other river based movies I’ve watched over the years.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Ry said:

Which time period is it set in? Any ideas? 


It was modern day (at the time).

 

I will check out the suggestions you guys have made. Overall the film was bright and sunny, so just based on the poster I’m not confident about survival quest - the ‘threat’ was a human/natural one, so unlikely to be the mutant bear movie but that sounds worth a watch.

 

Actually there was a great bear encounter scene in Deadly Pursuit. I wonder how they did it. 
 

edit - given the river of slime that features I’m amazed nobody asked if it was Ghostbusters 2.. excellent show of restraint folks.

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Not gonna let the thread end on that, no way!

 

I tried to locate some of the possibilities you guys brought up, streaming services and torrents all failed. Amazon has some listings for out of print DVDs and VHS, but I’m not interested in spending actual money to solve this mystery.

 

I did stumble across this, however - a made for TV movie from 1993, with multiple titles (River of Rage, a.k.a Murder on the Rio Grande) about a woman who goes on a rafting expedition only to have her companions murdered, and then she gets chased by the criminals who did it. It mostly fits the criteria (1993 may be a little later than I thought) and it was on YouTube so I could watch it to see.

 

 

There was nothing in it that really gave me a eureka moment, but everything about it basically fits the bill - it’s likely that so much time has passed that I just don’t have enough recollection for a definitive “that’s it!!”. Felt a little bit light on the rafting parts, but a movie with criminals chasing holiday makers down a river that pre-dates The River Wild? This has got to be the one.

 

(it’s a bit weird - it’s more about the trauma of smoking than murder and kidnap - and the stepson is Norman Bates in the making)

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On 09/09/2021 at 22:40, Darwock said:


It was modern day (at the time).

 

I will check out the suggestions you guys have made. Overall the film was bright and sunny, so just based on the poster I’m not confident about survival quest - the ‘threat’ was a human/natural one, so unlikely to be the mutant bear movie but that sounds worth a watch.

 

Actually there was a great bear encounter scene in Deadly Pursuit. I wonder how they did it. 
 

edit - given the river of slime that features I’m amazed nobody asked if it was Ghostbusters 2.. excellent show of restraint folks.

 

Survival quest is bright and sunny. Watch the YouTube link I posted under the poster. 

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1 hour ago, Ry said:

 

Survival quest is bright and sunny. Watch the YouTube link I posted under the poster. 


Didn’t notice you had posted the trailer - I will definitely have to watch it to confirm, although the snowy scene makes me think it’s unlikely. I couldn’t find on Netflix, Prime or any torrent sites, but it looks like the whole thing is also up on YouTube! That’s tomorrow sorted.

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That’s Survival Quest watched, it was enjoyable but again didn’t quite feel familiar, so on to the next one.

 

Hunter’s Blood eh, 18 certificate though - seems unlikely to have been shown in the prime time slot. I should probably try Rituals next.

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