Australia is said to be dangerous place, filled with all manners of poisonous insects, man-eating animals, lethal plants and redneck politicians. Let’s add Giant Boars to that list as well. In Australia pork eats you – and it isn’t picky either…
In a small town in the remote Australian Outback, an old hunter is put on trial for the murder of his grandson. He claims a wild pig – a razorback – had attacked the house and dragged the boy into the night. The court acquits him on a lack of evidence, but nobody believes the story about the giant pig. Then an American journalist arrives three years later to investigate a local dog food factory, but instead runs into the same animal.
Razorback was the first feature film by Russell Mulcahy, who would later garner fame with Highlander. At face value it is just like every other animal horror: a giant beast goes after humans and proves to be quite unstoppable. And at face value Razorback looks and sounds a lot like an American movie made in Australia, but other than the lead actors this fully comes from the land down under. The movie has this offbeat sense to it: the characters border on the surreal, the plot throws curves you weren’t expecting, dry jokes keep rolling off the script and there is even space for one trippy dream sequence.
But Razorback is not a horror comedy like Shawn of the Dead or Bad Taste. It’s more a Jaws that oinks, but by the continent that gave us Mad Max and Priscilla: Queen Of the Desert. In reality the monster pig is not really the big draw card here. Let’s be frank: 1984 was not exactly equipped to bring a massive people-eating pig to life. Fortunately Razorback has character – and that is literal. Befitting for an Ozzie film, even the minor characters have personality and everyone is fun to watch. It helps that the film throws a few unexpected deaths , so you are never too certain of who may or may not survive this adventure.
Despite peddling in horror cliches, Razorback manages to be something altogether original. Unfortunately audiences of the day didn’t see it that way and it did quite poorly. Even today many animal horror lists overlook this movie, but it remains alive as an obscure classic. If you are a studio exec, this might be worth a remake…[/column] [column size=one_half position=last ] [/column]
Cinophile is a weekly feature showcasing films that are strange, brilliant, bizarre and explains why we love the movies.
Last Updated: July 7, 2014
Admiral Chief Fairburne
July 7, 2014 at 14:57
Well, I’ve certainly aged better than this movie, and we are both the same age 😛