Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Razorback (1984)

Short Attention Span Review: Razorback (1984)

 This outlandish Aussie horror flick from the 80s is a twisted man vs. nature flick with an ample dose of man vs. man thrown in for good measure.  The titular terror, an enormous wild boar with a taste for blood, is seldom glimpsed despite being the most fearsome villain in the piece.  However, a pair of despicable lowlifes, the Baker brothers (played by Chris Haywood and David Argue), are almost just as vicious and enjoy a wealth of screen time.  The script is a bit hokey and the film is surely padded a bit here and there, but gifted director Russell Mulcahy hit the scene in style with this underrated shocker.  His daring approach elevates a cheap horror film into something more, a surreal adventure that escapists will probably enjoy more than gorehounds.  The score is just as compelling as the cinematography and there are several memorable sequences.  Many of the most potent moments of the film are centered on Bill Kerr in a supporting role and not Gregory Harrison, whose Carl Winters is a rather mundane lead.  The effects are a bit subpar, though Mulcahy's wise decision to allow viewers to see the massive boar for no more than a second or so at a time enhances the experience.  The picture may have fared better if the plot had focused more on Kerr as Jake Cullen, a  vengeful hunter whose grandson was killed by the giant razorback in a sensational opening.  Yet Razorback still emerges as a fearsome and vivid spectacle despite a few shortcomings and a wooden leading man.

Final Grade: C+  

Note: giant razorbacks are neither cute nor cuddly, but they can be sneaky.

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