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John’s Horror Corner: Boar (2017), Nathan Jones goes mano-a-mano with a giant killer boar in what is definitely NOT a remake of the Australian classic Razorback (1984).

June 8, 2019

MY CALL: After a worrisome slow start, this developed into the kind of B-movie that I not only enjoy, but that I love. This is the “B+” movie I want to own and add to my well-curated collection of giant killer boar movies. Come for Nathan Jones, stay for the giant animals brutally turning on man and the excellent creature effects. MORE MOVIES LIKE Boar: For more giant killer boar films, try Razorback (1984), Pig Hunt (2008) and, Chaw (2009, aka Chawu). For more Australian horror, try Razorback (1984), Wolf Creek (2005), The Howling III: Marsupials (1987), Dark Age (1987), Rogue (2007), Black Water (2007), Wyrmwood (2014), Charlie’s Farm (2014) and Cargo (2017).

I’ve been waiting to see this for almost two years and, in fact, it was the release of the first teasers of this film that provoked me to revisit Razorback (1984), Pig Hunt (2008) and Chaw (2009) as an amuse-bouche for my recent taste for killer boar cinema.

Bruce (Bill Moseley; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2House of 1000 CorpsesTexas Chainsaw 3-D, The BlobSmothered), Debbie (Simone Buchanan; Patrick) and family head out to Debbie’s family farm in the Australian countryside where they meet her gentle giant brother Bernie (Nathan Jones; Charlie’s Farm, Troy, Mad Max: Fury Road). Shortly after their family vacation begins, they come to realize they are sharing the outback with a man-eating monster. That’s basically the movie.

Right away this feels like a moderately-budgeted B-movie, and I was more than a bit worried. The early gore gags are grimy and mean (e.g., the razor wire tangle), but certainly could have been more graphic for my taste. But the moment we first see the non-CGI boar’s slobber-soaked gnarly mouth, blood-stained tusks and jagged teeth, I was awash with a sense of comfort that this wasn’t a mistake.

The death scene “action” is sort of simple, but also sort of wild in execution. There’s enough sloshy splish-splashing of blood and, for all its hokiness, it tries really hard and I appreciated that. Rounding out the special effects are mangled flesh-eaten corpses (complete with rended-flesh nudity and torn-off faces) getting plenty of screen time. They look great and boast a diversity of make-ups and horrid injuries. We also see the beast worrying a dead body with its limbs gangling about on more than one occasion and it is delightful.

This tusked beast is covered with open wounds as if it were a zombie and I love the practical creature effects as it goads and roars at its victims. It’s funny how this boar, which looks great by the way, looks just like the giant killer boar from Pig Hunt (2008) because of the massive facial lacerations and the dead white eye.

Director Chris Sun (Charlie’s Farm, Daddy’s Little Girl, Come and Get Me) reached deep into a line-up of Aussie actors for this. Watch out for the feisty old bogan Ken (John Jarratt; Wolf Creek 1-3, Rogue) and his crotchety beer buddy Blue (Roger Ward; Mad Max, Turkey Shoot), Steve Bisley (Mad Max), and Madeleine Kennedy (Charlie’s Farm) as a promiscuous camping victim. Ken is an unsung hero, taking every opportunity to challenge the boar. But Bernie (Nathan Jones)—well, let’s just say that I seldom smile as big as I did when I saw Nathan Jones emphatically singing along to Ice Ice Baby. But, oh, it gets better…

When the snarling giant rabid Hell-Muppet is completely in-frame in non-action shots it’s fully animatronic—which is so cool. When it’s in-frame and getting shot up, it’s ScyFy movie-of-the-week CGI. But it’s awesome anyway. I really don’t care because I like the way it moves, jerks, snaps its jaws and reacts.

As we get deeper into the film, the action progresses. We finally see an on-screen kill. Despite being cheap CGI, it was handled well enough and I joyfully cackled at the violent thrashing of the body. Yes it’s fun and feisty… and it’s stupid. Somehow, in broad daylight and out in the open meadows, a full throttle charging two-ton boar “sneaks” up on several victims as if the ground wouldn’t be pounding under its massive frame and as if no one would notice something the size of a van plowing across the plains at them. This thing teleports like Jason Takes Manhattan (1989).

But once I saw Nathan Jones fighting a boar ten times his already huge size with a knife and his fists—all flaws are given. Even after he was nearly gored to death, he continued to taunt the boar like it was some barfight or Monday Night RAW. I was SCREAMING at the screen rooting for him even when it was clearly futile. I’m pretty sure I love this movie. And it’s great that Nathan Jones got to play a good guy!

After a worrisome slow start, this developed into the kind of B-movie that I not only enjoy, but that I love. This is the “B+” movie I want to own and add to my well-curated collection of giant killer boar movies. Whether you love Nathan Jones or giant animals brutally turning on man, this is probably for you.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2019 9:47 am

    I love that the boar is incredibly fast AND incredibly slow.

    • John Leavengood permalink
      June 10, 2019 10:20 am

      I feel like two rules are at play here…
      1) The boar gets slower the closer it gets to you, and 2) the boar is slower when you see the boar than when you don’t. Likewise, when taken by surprise victims are destroyed in a moment, but when victim’s first see the boar, the boar often misses them with clunky/clumsy bites over and over again.

Trackbacks

  1. John’s Horror Corner INDEX: a list of all my horror reviews by movie release date | Movies, Films & Flix
  2. John’s Horror Corner: Lake Mungo (2008), an Australian documentary-style “ghost” film exploring guilt and loss. | Movies, Films & Flix
  3. The MFF Podcast #206: Boar – The 2017 Horror Movie Featuring Nathan Jones Fighting a Giant Pig | Movies, Films & Flix
  4. John’s Horror Corner: Wolf Creek (2005), a brutal Australian slasher film that is totally mean-spirited, well-villained and shockingly credible. | Movies, Films & Flix

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