Thursday, April 21, 2011

#258. Razorback (1984) - Spotlight on Australia

Directed By: Russell Mulcahy

Starring: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr

Tag line: "It Has Two States of Being...Dangerous Or Dead!"

Trivia:  A full-sized, fully animatronic Razorback model built for this film, at a cost of around $250,000, is seen in the film for exactly one second.

The opening moments of Razorback leave little doubt as to where its story is set. Deep in the Australian outback, the dust is kicking up as a storm approaches. There are shots of swings blowing in the wind and a rocking horse bouncing up and down, all set to the sound of a creaking windmill, the “creak” getting faster and more pronounced as the scene progresses. An old man smiles as he lays his young grandson down in his crib, but all the while he senses there's something lurking outside..

Something not human...

Something dangerous.

He grabs his shotgun and steps out onto the porch.

And then it strikes!

Razorback is a kick-ass movie about a humongous wild boar, known as a a “razorback” to the locals, that can tear a house apart just by running through it. At least that's what happens to the old man mentioned above. His name is Jake (Bill Kerr), and what's more, the creature ran off with his grandson!

When nobody believes his story about the monster Razorback, Jake is arrested and put on trial for kidnapping and murder. He is eventually acquitted due to a lack of evidence, but the damage has been done. Jake is a shattered man. The only thing that gets him through the day is his desire to kill every Razorback foolish enough to cross his path, all the while hoping to one day track down the creature that ruined his life.

Several years later, American wildlife reporter Beth Winters (Judy Morris) travels to the outback to do a piece on the mass slaughter of kangaroos. After running afoul of some locals, Beth has her own unfortunate encounter with the giant Razorback. When she is reported missing by the authorities, her husband, Carl (Gregory Harrison), flies to Australia to find her.

Aided by Jake and his assistant Sarah (Arkie Whiteley), Carl holds out hope that he'll find Beth alive.

Razorback is a very stylish film. Director Russell Mulcahy, regardless of whether it is an action scene or simply two people having a conversation, always finds the most interesting place to set up his camera. But the lifeblood of Razorback is its various attack scenes, which grow in intensity as the movie progresses. Beth Winters is on the road the night she is attacked. Having just captured some damning footage of what really goes on inside a meat-packing plant, she is heading back to file her report when her car is chased down by two local goons (Chris Haywood and David Argue).

After running her off the road, the two drag Beth from her front seat and attempt to rape her, but before they get a chance to do anything, the razorback attacks. The goons race off, leaving Beth to fend for herself. Bruised and weary, she climbs back into her car and shuts the door, only to have the razorback rip off the entire side of the vehicle before chomping down hard on her legs. We don't get a real good look at the creature in this scene. Just a few quick glances through the car door window and the occasional fang popping into view. But not to'll be back!

Razorback is a wild, crazy film about wild, crazy people in a (yep, you guessed it) wild, crazy place. It's a heap of hell-raising fun, and if you like your monster movies teetering on the edge of insanity, don't waste another minute before checking out Razorback.


Anonymous said...

I voted for this is the last poll Doctor, it is one stupendous movie, creature flix are always a good thing. This month I voted for Swamp thing but I am in the minority so far, creature&beasts luv em!

DVD Infatuation said...

Thanks for stopping by!

I didn't vote for this in the poll, but if I had seen it in time, I would have! Yeah, monster movies can be a blast, and this one is so damn insane that you can't help but get caught up in it.

Thanks again for stopping by, and for listening to Planet Macabre.

Unknown said...

Mulcahy has a distinctive style to all of his films. It's apparent even early on in Razorback, then again in Highlander and The Shadow. If anything he manages to entertain us.