Posts Tagged ‘Australian cinema’

Wolf Creek 2

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

tn_wolfcreek2Man, I waited so long for WOLF CREEK 2 that I gave up on it happening like three different times. Back in 2005 director Greg Mclean said “You call that a debut? This is a debut!” with his deeply Australian outback slasher. It was kinda controversial at the time. I remember a Seattle Times critic walked out. Ebert was really offended by it. All my buddies except the two I saw it with said it sucked. It was labelled a new low in “torture porn” by non-horror fans who still review every new horror movie or worse, “nu-horror” by horror fans who hate most new horror movies. But I thought it was really well done, masterful tension and outstanding (sometimes darkly humorous) villain performance by John Jarrat (DARK AGE), very effective use of wide open nature as a source of terror, plus a little bit of precious George Miller blood pumping through the veins of the chase scenes. One over-explanatory scene and an abrupt ending couldn’t kill it for me.

Mclean’s followup was ROGUE, a really good giant croc movie somewhat buried in the U.S. when it came straight to video from Dimension Extreme. But then financing problems, the death of a close collaborator and who knows what else kept slowing down the return to the giant crater where a guy stalks people. So I’m happy to report that even with all that anticipation this is a very good sequel. It’s a smart escalation, more action packed, faster paced, cleverly structured. The only big repeated error is another “That’s it, huh?” ending. (read the rest of this shit…)

Dead in 3 Days (plus bonus mini-review: Lost Things)

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

DEAD IN 3 DAYS is Austrian young people horror from 2006. The box art for the American release of it from Dimension Extreme makes a big deal about how a group of teens all get the same text message saying they’ll be dead in 3 days, so I thought maybe it was gonna be influenced by the Japanese phone related pictures such as THE RING and ONE MISSED CALL. Instead it’s a very solid whodunit slasher with alot of subtle distinctness in the ways it handles material that seems generic on the surface.

I don’t know if this is on purpose, but the basic themes are set up in a meta kind of way in the opening, because of the way it resembles the opening of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The hands of an unseen man are building something sinister in a dark basement… but no, it turns out he’s not making a bladed glove or anything. He’s hanging himself.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Dangerous Game

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Here’s another one that doesn’t really fit the slasher definition I was looking for, but it’s such a better version of kind of the same premise as HIDE AND GO SHRIEK that I welcome it. This one is Australian, the directical debut of Stephen Hopkins, whose second and third films were A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5: THE DREAM CHILD and PREDATOR 2.

A group of Australian teens – handsome guy with convertible, girlfriend, new wave nerd, girl named Ziggy he has a crush on – plan to hang out after school. But first they have a conflict with Officer Murphy (Steven Grives), a local cop who has it out for the kid with the car. He hates him so much he shifts his car into neutral and rolls it into a no parking zone just to give him a ticket.
(read the rest of this shit…)

The Loved Ones

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

tn_lovedonesTHE LOVED ONES is a 2009 Australian horror picture about five teenagers on the night of the End of School Dance. Brent (Xavier Samuel) is a broody long-haired dude haunted by a recent personal tragedy. He goes for a walk before the dance and disappears, his mom and girlfriend figure something bad happened to him and try to find him. Only we know that a local psycho (John Brumpton) hit him over the head and brought him home for his daughter Lola (Robin McLeavy), who had asked Brent to the dance and been turned down.

This is yet another twist on the TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE setup: once again a victim (this time male) wakes up to find himself a forced participant in a demented parody of a traditional family dinner. Instead of force-feeding him human meat they give him what you could reasonably assume was roadkill of some kind. In this one there’s a prom theme, so he’s been put into a tux and there’s a disco ball. (read the rest of this shit…)

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
tn_crocdundee3

chapter 1

2001posterreleased April 20th, 2001

This is gonna surprise the shit out of you when I tell you this, but CROCODILE DUNDEE IN LOS ANGELES is what they call a fish-out-of-water comedy. The fish is Crocodile Dundee, the water is Australia, the place outside of the water is Los Angeles. Actually Dundee might be more of an amphibian, he’s somewhat familiar with L.A. and is able to show his son and his pal around and teach them some things about the urban American way of life. But also he’s from the outback or whatever so he has lots of misunderstandings that lead to clotheslining people or stabbing things like they do constantly in Australia.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Red Hill

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

tn_redhill“Alice, have you seen my gun? I thought I packed it with the photos.”

That’s the first line in RED HILL. It describes kind of a random, odd occurrence, but it also tells us alot. Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) is a cop, he’s just moved, his gun is as important to him as his family memories– or he thought it was, but then he misplaced it. Now he’s looking for it because shit, he has to get to his first day of work here in the small town of Red Hill and he’s gonna look like an idiot if he shows up with no gun.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Animal Kingdom

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

tn_animalkingdomThe cover for the upcoming American DVD of ANIMAL KINGDOM says “Australia’s answer to GOODFELLAS.” As if the U.S. released GOODFELLAS and said, “What say ye, Australia?” And Australia comes back, “Australia has no response to GOODFELLAS at this time.”

Twenty years pass, not a word. Suddenly, out of the blue, America’s phone rings.

“Thank you for calling America, how can I help you?”
“We have Australia on the line. Please hold.”
“Okay.”
“Hello?”
“Yes. This is America. To whom am I speaking, please?”
“Australia calling. We have prepared an answer re: GOODFELLAS. It’s called ANIMAL KINGDOM.”
(read the rest of this shit…)

Long Weekend (2008 remake)

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_longweekendremakeWatching the remake of LONG WEEKEND today something seemed awfully familiar. I mean not just the movie itself. It was the opening credits. Flying over Australian trees and bodies of water, gently pulsing electronic tones, for a second I thought I forgot to change the DVD because it seems like the exact same credits as the last movie I watched, STORM WARNING. I knew it was the same writer, Everett De Roche, but it turns out it’s the same director too, Jamie Blanks (also editor and composer). So he must’ve been on a De Roche kick just like I am.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Storm Warning

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

tn_stormwarningIn my review of LONG WEEKEND I mentioned that the same Australian, Everett De Roche, had written that one, RAZORBACK, ROAD GAMES and LINK, and because a track record like that is rare for a non-director screenwriter I would definitely have to watch some of his other works. Since I am a man of honor and what not I’ve already done that with the much more recent STORM WARNING (2007). I’ve found references to the script being 25 years old, but I think De Roche worked with them to make the movie, they didn’t just find it in a closet somewhere and shoot it without telling him.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Long Weekend

Friday, October 29th, 2010

tn_longweekendPeter (John Hargreaves from DEATHCHEATERS) and Marcia (Briony Behets) are a couple who are really pissed off at each other when they decide to go camping on a beach out in Middle of Nowhere, Australia. There have been some serious betrayals and traumas that they’re still dealing with and spending the 3-day weekend together is supposed to maybe help, but only seems to be exacerbating things. You know these two aren’t the best for each other when Peter is introduced watching Marcia through a rifle scope. He also likes to fake at hitting her when she has her back turned to him. This guy might be kind of an asshole, I’m thinking.
(read the rest of this shit…)