This quirky dark comedy about an extremely unlucky family might have been pretty good, were it not an Australian film, made in Australia, cast almost entirely with Australian and British actors, trying to unconvincingly pass itself off as American. The suppressed accents, the generic, never-named suburban America setting, and the strange, off-key dialogue unfortunately make the whole thing feel dislocated and inauthentic.
About that dialogue, which I have to assume is what an Australian screenwriter thought Americans in 1982 sounded like. Here are a few examples:
"I'm so hungry I could eat a crowbar and shit a jungle gym."
"Goddamn it to hell's asshole!"
"It was great until everything went shit-shaped."
"I swallowed the whole story like a shit cake…