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  Boar Bloody Big PigBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Chris Sun
Stars: Nathan Jones, Bill Moseley, John Jarratt, Hugh Sheridan, Steve Bisley, Roger Ward, Chris Haywood, Ernie Dingo, Simone Buchanan, Chris Bridgewater, Christie-Lee Britten, Madeleine Kennedy, Melissa Tkautz, Justin Gerardin, Ricci Guarnaccio, Trudi Ross
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The place is the Australian Outback, where night has fallen, and two tourists are driving through the pitch-black landscape, only lit by their car's headlamps. Suddenly, a creature rushes out in front of the vehicle and the driver jams on the brakes to avoid hitting it, jolting his partner awake and forcing him to explain what has happened. But there is other movement the lights are picking up as animals appear to be fleeing across the road - they soon find out why when a massive monster looms out of the darkness and rams into their car. Yes, there is something very big wandering across this land, something with an appetite to match its enormous size...

Remember Razorback? Aussie director Russell Mulcahy's attempt to launch his cinematic career back in the mid-nineteen-eighties after establishing himself as a top director of music videos? And remember how stylish that looked on a relatively low budget? Well, Boar was a sort of remake, sort of homage, from one of the nation's genre directors Chris Sun, whose name was plastered all over the credits - about all he didn't do was actually star in this, though you imagine he made the crew sandwiches when he wasn't ordering them about. The difference was that Sun was less interested in making the Outback look bleakly romantic, as Mulcahy had.

In fact, the Outback of Boar was one where, well, boors stalked the countryside, as the only way we can tell who the goodies are is down to the degrees of obnoxiousness everyone in this displayed. Their repartee was relentlessly crude, frequently resorting to foul language and sexual references in a way that suggested Sun (who penned his own screenplay) believed his fellow countrymen and women talked, which was either doing them down or exhibiting a low opinion of them: you even had a young woman chatting about oral sex technique in front of her mother, and neither of them seem to think this is anything unusual, never mind inappropriate.

You knew what that meant, of course, everybody here was prime monster fodder, and you would not be surprised when the titular beast began chomping his way through a great many of them - though not all, it had to be said, as there were characters who appeared to be present for reasons of local colour, to flesh out the background, as it were. Most of them ended up at a tavern run by Sasha (Melissa Tkautz, who looked to have had far too much cosmetic surgery to convince as a rural pub owner), who corralled walking cliché Australian drinkers, downing lager like there was no tomorrow, and putting up with the more undisciplined customers only so far before either punching them out herself, or getting the towering Bernie (Nathan Jones) to do it for her, a man whose muscles had muscles.

Very much the human equivalent of the giant boar, then, only Bernie was one of the good guys, and had a family visiting who would become the focus of the plot when they are isolated in the latter half of the story and picked off one by one by the creature. Said boar was at least an impressive-looking creation, about fifteen feet high and sporting tusks as big as your average human adult male, though mostly we saw its head since walking and running proved difficult to animate on this evidence (also the reason it hung around mostly at night, for broad daylight could be unforgiving to the effects team's endeavours). The deaths, when they came, were pretty vicious and gory, revealing where Sun's real interest lay, and as these things went, seeing as how this was what you were watching for should you choose to see Boar at all, satisfying enough on a visceral level. It's just that everything else needed a lot more polish if Sun wanted to apply to the big leagues of horror moviemaking, his enthusiasm was there, but his execution was lacking. Music by Mark Smythe.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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