100 Bloody Acres review: Ocker schlock and aweMovies
Brothers grim: Lindsay (Angus Sampson) and Reg (Damon Herriman).
100 Bloody Acres
Reviewer's rating: 8/10
Comedy horror, rated MA, 90 minutes, opens Thursday
Stars: Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Oliver Ackland, Anna McGahan, Jamie Kristian, John Jarratt
Director: Colin and Cameron Cairnes
Verdict: A wickedly funny and gory romp that heralds the arrival of some seriously fiendish talent
Australia's isolation from the rest of the world can be a splendid thing and a perennial curse.
In this feature debut from the brothers Cairnes, it provides an outrageously amusing premise, set in the nation's unforgiving outback (where no one can hear you scream).
The problem has been for the filmmakers to capitalise effectively on the film's success overseas - both in the US (where it is screening) and in Europe, where events such as the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic have screened it to great acclaim. The homeland, to some extent, has had to play second fiddle.
In a fond nod to Australian cinema's Ozploitation past, the Cairneses present a quintessentially Australian schlockfest in which a pair of dim-witted brothers struggle to keep a human-fertiliser business going.
Lindsay (Angus Sampson) is an overbearing brute who chastises his meek sibling Reg (Damon Herriman) at the first opportunity. In an attempt to placate him, Reg picks up a trio of young backpackers (Oliver Ackland, Anna McGahan and Jamie Kristian) who had planned to attend a nearby music festival. Reg takes them back to the farm for what should be a simple extrication. But it transpires that the girl, Sophie (McGahan), has a thing for both of the boys she's travelling with, and Reg doesn't mind her, either.
In lesser hands, 100 Bloody Acres (the title refers to the farm) could have stumbled with its Tarantino-esque in-jokes, including Django Unchained's John Jarratt as a local copper, and local country radio providing a suitably hokey backdrop.
Yet it defies its modest trappings, wearing a gentle swagger that's endearing and infectious. A running gag regarding the farm's produce, Morgan's Organic, is nicely done.
Sampson and Herriman are excellent as the villains (both have already moved on to studio projects) and have solid support. It is shot crisply (by John Brawley) and edited briskly (by Dale Dunne and Josh Waddell). There's very little not to like (unless you're of a delicate persuasion).
One hopes it could prove the local naysayers wrong: that is, those who dismiss horror and genre as films no one in Australia wishes to see.
Ironically, the remake of Ozploitation classic Patrick is also due out soon, suggesting a gentle shift is in the air.
We've clearly still got the talent to make this stuff swing, so why would we wish to see them fleeing overseas to earn a living?