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John’s Horror Corner: Razorback (1984), a nostalgic giant Australian killer boar movie.

April 7, 2018

MY CALL: More satisfying in its classic 80s nostalgia and animatronic monster, than actually “good.” MOVIES LIKE Razorback: For more Australian horror try Wolf Creek (2005), The Howling III: Marsupials (1987), Dark Age (1987), Rogue (2007), Black Water (2007), Charlie’s Farm (2014), Boar (2018) and Wyrmwood (2014).

After his journalist wife disappears on the other side of the world in Gamulla—an Australian town appropriately named for the aboriginal word for “guts”—a man (Gregory Harrison; Trilogy of Terror) ventures into the dangerous outback to investigate her disappearance.

The old (and often lower budget) creature features often waited until the final act to reveal their monster’s true form. Director Russell Mulcahy (Resident Evil: Extinction, Highlander I-II) swiftly deviates from the trends of the 70s and 80s era by revealing his beast right away. That is, we know the beasts form, albeit shadowy.

All the tropey staples are here: some vile rapey locals, silly melodramatic townsfolk, and people investigating their missing loved ones only to stumble across the path of a hulking tusked hog. But after an energetic 20 minutes, the film drags to a bore with little more than an occasional giant pig sighting here or there.

I’ve come to notice a few things during this film which, I feel, may very well apply to many (but clearly not all) other creature features:

  1. A featured creature is most dangerous at the beginning of the film and becomes progressively less dangerous every time we see it. In the case of our killer boar, it goes from leveling a house and evading a professional razorback hunter, to a big dumb pig that always remained in sight while herding his prey (and becoming predictable).

  2. Our creature becomes less dangerous, less tactical, and dumber the closer it comes to our protagonist. When our hero was across the world, this boar was unstoppable and smart and sneaky.

  3. No matter how dangerous the creature, the locals will always be your biggest problem. Those slaughterhouse bogans were the cause of our protagonist’s wife’s death… after they tried to rape her!

  4. Unnaturally large animals seem to desire a diet of human flesh.

All said and done, the greatest asset of this film outside of its 80s nostalgia would be its delightfully vintage badness. I enjoyed seeing the awesomely over-sized animatronic/puppeteered boar and its snarling drooling mouth. But this film is far from “good.”

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