Tasteless and frenetic, URBAN SAFARI spins its vulgarian wheels in a story line that makes increasingly less sense as it reaches its climax. The cast scampers about in a farce-manque that lacks lunatic logic and comic precision. Angling for a promotion for her husband Joe (David Naughton), social-climbing Candy (Linda Kash) prevaricates about Joe's invention...read more
Tasteless and frenetic, URBAN SAFARI spins its vulgarian wheels in a story line that makes increasingly less sense as it reaches its climax. The cast scampers about in a farce-manque that lacks lunatic logic and comic precision.
Angling for a promotion for her husband Joe (David Naughton), social-climbing Candy (Linda Kash) prevaricates about Joe's invention of a low-flow toilet. She impresses Joe's boss George Winkler (Charles Siegel), but ruffles the feathers of Joe's rival Art (David Palffy) and his competitive wife
Faye (Teryl Rothery). Boasting about taking an African safari vacation to travel-loving Mr. Winkler, Candy and Joe actually head for the Catskills, where Joe plans to perfect his still-unrealized toilet design.
Having forgotten their resort reservations, they sneak home, where they are unexpectedly joined by their teenaged daughter Heather (Andrea Nemeth) who's cutting school, and by Joe's dad, Harry (Donnelly Rhodes). Because Mr. Winkler lives in the same building, Joe and Candy are forced to stay in
their apartment, lest their lie be exposed. They lose even the full use of the apartment when building handyman Carl Johnson (Jay Brazeau) takes over their supposedly vacant residence to transact the smuggling of rhino horns with Russian Mafiosi. The couple hide in the closet and unoccupied rooms.
Carl isn't the only one with plans for the "empty" apartment: Joe and Candy also are forced to hide from Art, who is carrying on an affair with Mr. Winkler's wife Louise (Rebecca Toolan). Other unwelcome guests include Heather's beau Rico (Barry Pepper) and Mr. Winkler, who sexually harasses
Carl's cousin Eva (Adriana Tripa) until Candy conks him from behind. Assuming he was attacked by a burglar, Mr. Winkler installs a security gate outside the apartment. When Rico climbs down the building to get help from the police, he's arrested. Tipped off by Rico at the police station, a snoopy
reporter breaks the story about the Rhino Horn racket. The police arrive, and rescue the trapped family from the apartment. Tired of clawing his way up the corporate ladder, Joe quits Winkler's firm for a City Hall post; Candy pens a runaway best-seller about family survival techniques.
Although the premise of a couple caught in a deceitful web of their own devising promises merriment, URBAN SAFARI soon gets caught in a taffy-pull of extraneous mishaps and salacious pandering. Despite a few bright zingers, the film is sidetracked by Carl's criminal slapstick shtick and by dated
blue humor about adultery. Nor are its protagonists particularly sympathetic: chronic opportunists Joe and Candy are just as whorish as Faye and Art, when it comes to career advancement. As a wallow in tastelessness, URBAN SAFARI doesn't score many laughs, but it does strike a death blow against
office politics. (Violence, extreme profanity, substance abuse, sexual situations.)
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