Category Archives: Safety

Vision in the Forest (1957)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 05m 11s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1957
Sponsored by: United States Forest Service, The Advertising Council, Inc.
Published by: United States Department of Agriculture

Narrator: Vaughn Monroe
Cast: Vaughn Monroe, Chris Monroe, Candace Monroe, Marian Monroe


If you find yourself in these last summer days longing for a walk in the woods, beware of the potential forces you may encounter, for they carry messages of grave importance!  I don’t mean to imply that they’ll necessarily be scary, but that depends entirely on your tolerance for the sudden appearance of talking, anthropomorphic bears or — if we’re being real, here — strangers in bear suits lurking in the woods.
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Trust Your Instincts (1994)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Ephemeral VHS

Running time: 24m 00s
Source film:  VHS; color; sound
Year: 1994
Director: Chris White
Production: Central Productions
Writer: Tucker Barnes
Photography/Camera: Kaye Cruz
Narration: David Arias
Technical Advisor: Det. Buzz Griffeth

Cast: Ashley Greer, Jeanette Longoria, Marj Hadnott, Norma Gutierrez, Cary Garza, Rene Lagunas, Marty Mathews, Keith Hartsfield, Joel Cabello


In the time it takes to read this review, criminals across the United States will have committed roughly three robberies, half of a rape, and about 12.5% of a murder. All this, it should be said, is calculated according to the crime rates used (without citation) at the beginning of the 1994 self-defense video, Trust Your Instincts. I feel as though about 80% of videos like this one start off with ghastly statistics about violent crime, and of those, about 50% reinforce their bullet-point precautions with title cards in ALL CAPS. This video utilizes 100% of the aforementioned techniques during its 24-minute run-time.

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One Got Fat (1963)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 15m 00s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1963
Director: Dale Jennings
Production: Interlude Films
Writer: Dale Jennings
Photography/Camera: Max Hutto
Art Director: Ralph Hulett
Narration: Edward Everett Horton


From late childhood through my early adolescence, my summers were marked by weeknight (BMX) bicycle rides with my best friend, Jim, that either extended to sundown or, more often, derailed and morphed into a Contra III gaming marathon in his living room. In lieu of sidewalks, our neighborhood streets had uneven white lines to demarcate the pedestrian walking space from the roadway, not that it would have mattered — we were too engrossed in conversation to observe the rules of the road and our neighborhood wasn’t a high-traffic area. We instead relied on a simple alert system for that rare approaching vehicle, and we otherwise kept to ourselves. There were no parental lectures about tune-ups, nary a hand signal, and I can count on one hand the number of times I wore a helmet. Continue reading One Got Fat (1963)

Shake Hands with Danger (1980)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 23m 8s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1980
Director: Herk Harvey
Production: Centron Corporation; Arthur H. Wolf; Russell A. Mosser
Writer: John Clifford
Cinematography: Bob Rose
Narrator: Charles Oldfather
Editor: Chuck Lacey


While I can’t say with 100% certainty that we won’t stumble upon another safety film that features chest wounds, a man on fire, or a titular country song, chances are that 1980’s Shake Hands with Danger is the only one containing all three. Helmed by Carnival of Souls director Herk Harvey and sponsored by Caterpillar Tractor Company, this film is among the more prolific safety films ever produced (it was even given the Rifftrax treatment).

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