Thursday, February 25, 2010


Razorback (1984) Dir. By Russell Mulcahy

Having grown up watching Razorback, I feel like it is one of my favorite horror movies from the 80’s. Unfortunately, others don’t agree, and it goes as one of the most unappreciated horror movies of the 80’s. When producers for Razorback saw the music video for Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf”, they knew they had found their director. That director was Russell Mulcahy, and from a B-movie stand-point, he filled those shoes perfectly. For being his first feature film, Mulcahy did a marvelous job creating a creature and environment that should scare any person. He did have quite a bit of help considering the special effects guys brought us Mad Max, Dead End Drive In, Pitch Black, and many, many more. They even spent $250,000 on a fully animatronic boar, that is only seen in the movie for just over one second. That’s overkill and worth it!

The movie starts off with a little back story of Jake Cullen (Bill Kerr) losing his grandson due to an attack by the giant boar. It shoots ahead two years to an American journalist taking a job in Australia, some piece on how workers there are grinding up kangaroo meat and putting it in their dog food. We run into Jake again and he now hunts boars full-time, and has been since the incident. No one in town believes him about the boar, and they even tried a trial to convict him of murdering his own grandson. He was let off due to lack of evidence. The American journalist Beth Winters (Judy Morris) doesn’t last long, as she goes missing, and that prompts her husband, Carl Winters (Gregory Harrison) to come looking for her. From there, it is a race to stop the beast before it can kill anyone else.

There are stories from around the world of people being killed by wild boars. This just adds to the story, and surrounded by the desolate land of Australia, it really brings everything together. Sure the boar looks like it is built like a rhino, but you barely see it, and the fear of the unknown kicks in. There are a few subplots, but they are not overwhelming, and almost add to the terror. The subplots have action as well, and when you are getting all excited about what is happening, then that boar comes bursting back into the movie. Plenty of blood fills the screen, and the ending is one that will stay in your mind forever. A sharp and beautiful way to end the movie.

First time film director Russell Mulcahy hit the nail on the head with this one. In one attempt, he did better than some do their whole careers. That’s probably why he went on to make such amazing movies as: Highlander, Highlander 2, The Shadow, 4 episodes of Tales From The Crypt, and Resident Evil: Extinction. Ok, Resident Evil wasn’t that great, but it was better than the second one. I decided to revisit this movie when I heard his upcoming movie, Bait, was going to be his return to true horror. It features people stranded in a flooded Australian supermarket, being attacked by tiger sharks! If it has any of the beautiful elements that made Razorback great, I’m sure I will enjoy it. In Razorback, you can see what makes him a great Music Video Director. His transitions are so beautiful and flawless. Each scene flows smoothly into the next. He showed just enough of the beast to make it a creature feature great, but not too much to keep it semi-believable. Great job to everyone involved in this film, and I hope some day it gets the credit it deserves.

Entertainment Value: 8 little piglets out of 10
Cinematic Value: 7 little piglets out of 10

1 comment:

Enbrethiliel said...


Interesting review! I hadn't known that about Mulcahy. Yet why do I have the feeling that rading this has been more entertaining to me than watching the movie will ever be? =P

I may like my 80s excess as much as the next person, but when the mood strikes, I think I'll just watch a Slasher. =)