A Vacation in Hell (TV Movie 1979) Poster

(1979 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
9 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
So bad it's good!
xavrush8915 October 2003
The real attraction is seeing Marcia Brady, Agent 99, Nurse Terri, and Dynasty's Claudia in this setting. Bellwood has the best scenes. if I were stranded in the Tropics, I'd want her with me. I was 8 years old and still remember it received "No Rating" in the TV listings, but I'd say this has to be seen to be believed. Warning: It probably got the "No Rating" because the ending ticked the reviewer off!!! I know it did for me. I would classify it as Action/Adventure.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Morbid and Rotten but good for some laughs.
chm200611 June 2008
I give this a 5 because this movie was mildly entertaining, but definitely not high caliber. On second thought, no, it was really awful. Watch only to see how people vacationed back in 1979. Shot on location in Hawai'i, it isn't as enjoyably awful as Ants! or Roller-coaster or Condominium. Looking deeper, the movie seems to be a thinly veiled attempt at exploiting girl power, TV movie style.

Priscilla Barnes looks hot, and is a good actress. Maureen McCormick looks good too. Maureen's mother is played by Barbara Feldon, and Andrea Marcovicci (another good actress) rounds out the girl power.

All four of these women meet each other at Club Harmony while on vacation, and they decide to take an inflatable dinghy excursion with Michael Brandon's character, who is the swaggering would-be hero, or so we think. Marcovicci and Brandon have some unresolved love issues, and Marcovicci is a man-hating unhappy wretch.

Pop goes the dinghy, they sink very close to a beach on an uncharted area of the jungle beyond the resort, and decide that if they can just hike over the mountain, they will get back to civilization. Meanwhile, there are two natives in the jungle who don't do anything except provide menace for our storyline.

Movie limps along with various morbid plot twists:

They steal one of the native's shotgun and kill him. Barnes is attracted to Brandon, Marcovicci rages on out of jealousy, and McCormick makes googly eyes at him, to the chagrin of Feldon.

Michael Brandon gets shot in the foot and the women then fashion a stretcher and cart him around the jungle until they accidentally drop him down a waterfall.

Marcovicci's character is done in by her man-hating anger which causes her to slip and fall down the side of a mountain.

Priscilla Barnes sings London's Burning. Maureen McCormick does a strange whirling dirvish dance for Michael Brandon. Barbara Feldon whines incessantly.

Only three women finally make it back to Club Harmony on foot, where they walk directly to one of those public showers on the beach to wash themselves clean, while the vacationing resort goers look on. The movie ends with a freeze frame of the three orgasmic looking wet women, happy to be back to civilization.

A Vacation in Hell was really awful, but London's Burning and the Marsha Brady dance were the highlights.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
What a Hoot!
aw136 May 2001
Ya gotta love this piece of trash. So what if the actors needed a little gin money, this romp through Satan's Club Med is worth all agonizing 2 hours. Someone should have warned the guests that the "waterslide" was a doozy. If only Gilligans Island were this treacherous. It's silly, poorly written, scenery chewing fun. I saw this when it first aired on TV when I was 11 years old and if I still remember it 23 years later, there's gotta be some fun to be had. Woo-Hoo!
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Certainly not the worst TV movie ever made, but it's not great either
lazarillo22 August 2009
This made-for-TV movie starts out like a sexier version of "Gilligan's Island". Five people leave a swinging 70's type island resort in an undisclosed country (where the women of all ages are unbelievably gorgeous). There is only one guy and four woman--Priscilla Barnes (who was later on "Three's Company") is the blonde ditz, Andrea Marcovvi is her brunette roommate with "man issues", Barbara "Agent 99" Feldman is a middle-aged mother, and Maureen "Marcia Brady" McCormack (still stuck playing a teenager five years after "The Brady Bunch" was cancelled) is her daughter. The women (except for Feldon) are all unaccountably attracted to the douchebag guy, and at times you could cut the sexual tension with a knife (and you'd have to, since none of it is obviously ever going to get released in a tame TV movie like this).

The plot starts when their boat wrecks on a remote part of the island and they unwisely to decide to walk back to the resort through the jungle. There are a couple of dark-skinned natives lurking about, and for awhile the movie turns into a cross between "Deliverance" and "Walkabout" without being a fraction as good as either. The most annoying characters do die fairly horribly, however, so it's not a total loss.

The British director David Greene did two very good theatrical movies in Britain, "I Start Counting" and "The Strange Affair", and the very decent Anglo-American horror film "The Shuttered Room". He definitely knew his away around attractive actresses (Jenny Agutter, Susan George, Carol Lynley, etc.), but story-wise he has little or nothing to work with here. He does seem to have filmed this with three cameras--one focused on Barnes' cleavage, one on her (and sometimes McCormick's) hot-pants clad ass, and one filming everything else. Barnes is very sexy (although she was better in the similar theatrical film "Tintorera" where she gets her kit off and almost gets eaten by a giant shark). Marccovi and McCormick are similarly easy on the eyes, but the former is saddled with an irritating character and the latter is miscast and turns in a truly wretched performance. Feldon still looks good, but she stays more conservatively dressed than the other women and is really give no opportunity to act (which, if you've seen her in "Smile" you know she can do far better than any of her co-stars here).

This is far from the worst TV movie made (it doesn't even have Jane Seymour or Delta Burke in it, for christsakes!), but it's not great either.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
movieboy-1217 June 2000
Well, I saw this movie a while ago. I thought it was good, but cheap. By cheap I mean you sit through 2 hours waiting to see why this native is following them, then when you find out why, you want to rewind and watch something else. It lives up to its expectations until the last 10 minutes. It has a few good lines, but definitely too many repetitive ones. I liked the acting.

A single man takes 2 women, a mother and a daughter on a boat ride to a secluded beach from their vacation club on a raft. The raft pops when they reach the beach. They decide to wait, but there's a problem. The man rented it for 2 days. They decide to try to find their way back to the club but run into trouble along the way including finding dead animals on sticks, tigers, and natives. When they kill one native, another native comes after them. They try to run, but he keeps catching up with them. After 2 deaths, the purpose comes clear.

I loved Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady) as the daughter on the trip. There is one messed up part where she dances to soft music and it looks weird. I gave this a vote of 8/10 and *** stars.

Well, if it comes on, watch it. It is a rare one. Don't let my review trick you. You will never find this one on video, of course, I have it. Just be warned. The "Terror Trap" web site claims it to be a horror. It is more of a Drama/Thriller/Adventure.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another Chicks In Trouble Flick
richard.fuller117 May 2004
This movie used to air on the weekends quite often, so I ended up seeing it eventually when there was nothing else to do.

Sitcom ladies Barbara Feldon (Get Smart), Maureen McCormick (Brady Bunch) and Prisilla Barnes (Three's Company) are joined by Andrea Marcovicci (not Pamela Bellwood) as they are led through the tropics by a guide who is eventually killed by a native lad.

Peculiar moments of bonding for the women, such as when they sing the "London's Burning" song.

The final fate of one of the women is interesting, then we learn what the native boy is really after. LIked the way it was done with the gun as Barnes was totally terrorized.

The conclusion seemed obvious, the survivors made their way back to civilization.

It would be fun to see this one and "Five Desperate Women" (1971) as a box set.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
No doubt, the worst TV movie ever made
danmcn6115 September 2005
Can there be a worst film? Even Ed Wood at his horrific worst couldn't come up with something this bad. Cheesy, stupid, long-winded, preposterous...and those are the good points. I saw this trash back in the early 80's when I was incredibly bored to begin with, and actually sat through the entire thing without blowing my brains out, although that probably would have been a more pleasant experience. I actually remembered it because it was so bad. It makes me sad in a way because some of the best directors got their start by making TV movies (ie Spielberg) and it was a wonderful way for them to get their initial material before the public, but crap like this just totally killed the entire process.
2 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
More of the same neo nazi crap
drystyx23 August 2008
It is easy to tell early in this movie exactly what will happen, and who will die. It is about 4 women and a man who on a vacation. This was made during the end of the ultra Nazi seventies, when blonde women were supposedly ultra American survivors and brunettes were all deserving of death.

This movie, like the others of that era, contrives to bring this about, and the viewer knows this. There is no mystery or suspense. The people squabble, but everything is so predictable for the prejudices of the time, it is laughable.

The five people happen upon two savage young characters, and go nuts. Everyone is nuts, so that the director-writer team can justify their Nazi propaganda.

For some reason, the guy is attracted to the blonde, who is really not much to look at, and ignores a super hot looking brunette that any heterosexual man would go nuts over. One must remember that in the seventies, movies were meant to appeal to women and not men.

Totally crap and totally depressing.
2 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Perfect Title
Lew-1810 March 2000
You'll feel like you've experienced a vacation in Hell after you have sat down and watched this horrible TV movie. This movie is an exercise in over-acting (very bad over-acting) to situations that made out to be more than what they are. I won't give away the plot, but once you realize why the people in this film are running from the native man in the film you will demand the two wasted hours of your life back. The only plus is seeing Marcia Brady running around in a bikini!
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews