User Reviews (64)

Add a Review

  • Gafke13 December 2002
    Okay, the plot sounds ludicrous, doesn't it? A giant killer pig? Despite the apparent ridiculousness of the plot, this movie is better than one might expect.

    Beth Winters, a Canadian reporter, has come to the small Australian Outback town of Gamulla to shoot a story about the local dog food packing plant, which uses the meat of poached kangaroos in its product. When Beth disappears one night, her husband Carl arrives to find out what happened. Beth apparently ran afoul of the psychotic Baker brothers, who work in the plant. But crusty old Jake Cullen soon learns that Beth was a victim of a giant razorback, the same one that carried off his grandson years before and which he has been hunting ever since.

    The Australian Outback becomes an almost alien world - desolate, strange and scary where any form of undiscovered life might exist. You don't get to see much of the giant pig, admittedly, but then they didn't have CGI back in the early 80's. The real menace of this movie lies with the kangaroo poachers, two brothers who reek of malevolence and filth all the way through the film. They were truly terrifying, and the insane laughter of David Argue (playing younger and more dangerous brother Dicko) still haunts me to this day.

    Worth watching at least once.
  • Judging by the external reviews, quite a few people appear to hate this film. I can see why, but I think they're coming at it from the wrong angle.

    I see it as - intentionally - trying to send up the whole genre of vengeful animals horror flicks. In truth, neither sharks nor grizzlies, and certainly not razorback hogs, are smart enough to conceptualize, let alone carry out, acts of vengeance on humankind. The film simply takes the "rules" of this particular genre and applies them to a ludicrously unfit vehicle: a giant pig. And there are some pretty funny scenes, notably one where the monster eats a nasty watchdog that's chained to the side of a house; naturally, the corner of the house to which the chain is attached comes off and Joe Couch Potato is left sitting in a wall-less abode, staring quizzically as his television disappears into the outback.

    Treat it as comedy, and the film makes a lot more sense.
  • Call me stupid, but this is actually one of my favorite horror flicks. The story's about a giant wild boar munching on Aussies in the outback. Our hero goes in search of his wife...she's missing out there. Many interesting ideas come forth in this movie. I especially like the kangaroo killing brothers Benny and Dicko (hehe). The way the movie portrays them is interesting, contrasting the life of the outback trash to the much more civilized life of Bill, the hero. I also enjoyed the use of weird settings(the desert with that "horse") to create atmosphere. Overall, I enjoyed this flick a lot, and I think most horror fans would if they look beneath the seemingly ridiculous plot.
  • Razorback is one of the best Australian horror/action movies ever made. The direction is dazzling, the cinematography is truly remarkable and the cast is brimming with quality actors. Mysteriously, no one seems to care.

    There is no denying that Razorback's basic plot premise is pretty ridiculous. In short, a giant boar (a Razorback) goes on a killing spree in a small outback town. This is about as unlikely as a giant shark terrorising swimmers ("Jaws") or a wet Japanese woman climbing out of a television set ("The Ring"). My point is that even the most ludicrous storyline can be overcome by excellent film-making and this is certainly the case with Razorback.

    Razorback was the film that launched Russell Mulcahy's film career after making a name for himself directing music video clips for AC/DC, Queen and Duran Duran. Razorback reflects the same sensibilities that Mulcahy brought to his best video clips: frenetic pacing, flashy camera angles and stylish visuals. These qualities are almost disorientating during the film's action and horror sequences, making them all the more suspenseful and eerie.

    Mulcahy's dizzying direction combines brilliantly with Dean Semler's superb cinematography. Semler seems to thrive on barren landscapes and he captures the harsh beauty of the Australian outback magnificently. The scene with the wooden horse bobbing up and down on the salt flat is mesmerising, as is the entire sequence of Carl hallucinating in the desert. Put simply, Razorback is one of the most beautiful horror films not made by an Italian giallo master.

    The cast is equally accomplished, offering a smorgasbord of excellent Australian character actors. Judy Morris ("Phar Lap") does well as Beth, not being hampered too greatly by an American accent. Bill Kerr ("Gallipoli") seems to have appeared in every second Australian movie. He has one of his best roles as Jake. Chris Haywood ("Muriel's Wedding") is also memorable as the ultra vile Benny. American import, Gregory Harrison, does respectably as Carl and the late Arkie Whiteley is sweet as Sarah, a woman who inexplicably monitors boar movements in the middle of nowhere.

    The special effects still hold up reasonably well and the creature effects for the Razorback are great. I love the close-up of its eye in the finale. There is not much gore, but what the film lacks in blood, it more than makes up for with constant action. Razorback begins with an action sequence and simply never lets up. There are car chases, kangaroo shootings, beatings, home demolitions and that just covers the first half of the film. Razorback is not a particularly scary film, but it compensates for this with eerie atmospherics and relentless tension.

    In addition to the fine film-making, I also enjoy Razorback for its political incorrectness. The outback characters are arch stereotypes and just about every animal in town comes to a violent end. Benny and Dicko even run over Jake's dog for fun, which would be unimaginable in a film made today. Furthermore, the irony of an animal rights activist being eaten by a giant boar was not lost on me.

    Razorback is an excellent genre film that deserves much wider recognition. I wish the Australian film industry would make more films like this. If Russell Mulcahy's upcoming "Resident Evil" instalment does well, he should consider making the long overdue sequel to Razorback.
  • One striking shot follows the next in this monster B-movie, and the overall tone of the visuals is beautiful, I think. And there is some thick, intense atmosphere. In those departments it's so stunning that the many flaws can't ruin the film. The acting is OK all in all but there are some moments that make you want to put your head through the next wall. The action scenes and especially the ones with the razorback, a huge boar, are more or less comprehensible in that you get the basic idea of what's going on but all the crucial scenes happen between cuts, so the editing is jumpy, kind of like a TV edit. The worst example is the movie's finale and the destruction of the monster, which after an exhaustingly loud, dark, monotonous battle between man and monster plot-wise also ends on a ridiculous and schmaltzy note and so the film leaves you with a bad aftertaste. But those visuals, man, those visuals... It's kinda like a more extreme 'Alien³'. Worse plot, more stunning visuals. What else could I do but consider this a new B-movie favorite?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Razorback" perfectly captures the dirty, malevolent underbelly of outback Australia by mixing "Jaws" (on land) with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". After a Canadian reporter (Judy Morris) is slaughtered, her husband (Gregory Harrison) arrives in Oz to search for her killer. No points for guessing that her killer is a giant, mutated boar who has also, quite recently, dragged the grandson of a local kangaroo shooter into the night. Although the sweaty boar is a considerable threat, he pales in comparison to the threat presented by two deviant locals (David Argue and Chris Haywood). The boys, who are brothers, work in a hellish pet food factory which resembles the subterranean underworld depicted in Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2". These colorful miscreants/part time Roo shooters live to rape, kill, and abuse two-legged and four-legged creatures, and provide "Razorback" with a welcome spine of pitch black humor. Directed by rock video ace Russell Mulcahy (his feature debut), this is a B-grade winner that boasts some of the best photography (courtesy of Dean Semler) ever seen in a horror flick. The giant pig (by "Brain Dead"'s Bob McCarron) is seen intermittently and is not always totally believable, but the film's pacing and bloody surrealism more than compensate for this deficit. The score by Iva Davies is superb and the bloody attack sequences, especially in the uncut version, hit the bullseye.
  • nickcuk11 October 2006
    This is one of those film that I decided to track down and buy because it was such a hoot. Great atmospheric scenes, a bit of gore and plenty of humour. I love it and I only paid £4.32 incl postage !

    There's a lot of tricky night-time filming and very realistic killer pigs - if that hasn't hooked you then I doubt this film is for you. If you liked American Werewolf in London, get this and you won't go wrong.

    I don't want to be accused of padding but do an internet seach and you will always find great ratings for this film - it just seems to slip beneath the radar for most reviewers which is a shame because it deserves to become a classic for all the right reasons. Please add your comments if you agree - but remember to make it at least 10 lines OK
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I liked the fast pace of this movie, and the grim atmosphere, greatly enhanced by the stunning photography: the world down under reduced to it's most barren and desolate face, soaked in weird colors and ghastly mists that seem to hide all kinds of unearthly terrors.

    The acting is a bit uneven, the ladies are just adequate, the two sinister brothers are tremendous and the leading male (Gregory Harrison) is like a math teacher turned into a hero despite himself. But somehow Harrison pulls it of, he actually has enough charisma to stay believable unto the orgiastic and a bit over-the-hill ending, which is an achievement in it's own right.

    On my DVD there was a bonus feature with a very interesting audio-interview with Harrison, who gave some fascinating insights on the making-of and on his becoming involved in the project, as well as on his own career. But why on earth not a VIDEO-interview, or an actual comment-track along with (parts of) the movie, now one has to listen for half an hour to a voice while watching an empty screen, that seemed like such a waste!! I would have liked to see what Harrison looked like nowadays (he sure was good-looking back in 1984, and I bet he still is!).

    Anyway, in this movie he did a great job, very physical indeed, for instance the whole section of him wandering endlessly through a sun-baked wasteland on bare feet, or falling out off a wind-mill into shallow water while (real) razorbacks crowded in on him, or personally fighting the monster on some kind of assembly-belt. According to his own words he suffered multiple minor injuries during the shooting and I can easily believe that. When in the end he has destroyed the beast and he stands up victoriously soaked in blood, it must have felt like a victory to himself too.

    And what about the ferocious monster, the giant razorback?? Well, as long as it stays in the distance, or stampedes through the image so that the camera hardly catches up with it, it's convincing enough: big and ugly and menacing. But when at last the close-ups can't be avoided anymore, it quickly looses it's credibility, as in so many pre-CGI movies, it then comes mainly down to a big hairy flip-flapping jaw and rolling eyes. To me that diminished a bit the supposed horror of the otherwise breathtaking climax.

    All in all this movie is great entertainment, with many very memorable scenes. I rank it 8 out of 10.
  • Razorback marks one of Australia's only successful forays into the horror genre, but it's certainly not without it's critics. It's negative reaction isn't unfounded, as Razorback is badly acted, has a trite script, utilises any number of clichés and has an overall 'deja vu' sort of feeling; but in spite of this, it still succeeds in being a fine piece of entertainment. A wild boar isn't the first animal you would think of to star in it's very own creature feature; but the idea actually works quite well, and it makes a nice change from the usual barrage of sharks, crocodiles and whatnot. This feature is also notable for it's special effects, which certainly aren't groundbreaking - but it ain't half bad either. In films such as this, it's usually shabby effects that end up letting it down; but the creature in this movie is surprisingly realistic! The plot is a familiar one, and it basically follows a gigantic wild boar that's on the loose somewhere in Australia. It's not exactly intelligent stuff, but it's a lovely premise for a fun ride.

    The film is directed by Russell Mulcahy, and it was made a year before he would have his big hit with Highlander. His direction is solid enough, and it's notable for the way that he captures the locations within the Australian outback. Some of the shots are truly breathtaking, especially the atmosphere ones that are filled with smoke. One thing you will notice about the plotting of this movie is the way that it swaps through different characters for it's main protagonist on numerous occasions. This is both a help and a hindrance to the movie as, on one hand, it ensures that the film stays lively and exciting; it also restricts the viewer from placing their confidence in the character as we don't get to spend a lot of time with them, which hinders it when it comes to the tension building sequences. This also makes the plotting of the movie inconsistent, which certainly isn't a good thing. One thing I love about Australian cinema is the way that it captures the accents and dialect, and this film is no exception to that trend. It's a lovely tongue to listen to, and that helps to make this movie more of a pleasure. On the whole, this film won't win any awards; but there's worse ways to spend ninety minutes of your life.
  • The best thing about this Australian production is Russell Mulcahey's direction which gives this admittedly doofy material a veneer of class. (Although he does have a tendency to overuse the fog machine.)

    What this film has going against it however is Gregory Harrision's ineffectual performance as the "hero". I remember him spending most of the film getting beaten up and/or falling down.

    If this had focused on the "Moby Dick" aspect of the storyline, that has a grizzled old man searching the outback for the killer boar that killed his baby, it would have been a bit stronger in the storyline department. As it is now, it's OK.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Jake Cullen (Bill Kerr) watches a rhino-sized Razorback kill his grandson. Two years pass, Beth Winters (Judy Morris) investigates a factory that kills wildlife. The Baker brothers attack her in the night, but the "Moby Dick" boar scares them away and murders (the pig's tusk pierces her groin) Betty. Queue her fiancee Carl (Gregory Harrison) to save the day.

    Tasteless first act manages to improve in second and third act, but loses all credibility. Over-stylized film sustains strong atmosphere and unusual lighting. The best sequence consists of Carl hallucinating through the desert.

    Other than that, "Razorback" is ludicrous, offensive, clumsy, and a dumb Australian exploitation film. I feel no urgency for the characters because when anybody speaks I wish they would of stayed quiet. The Baker brothers make continuous snorting and goat noises. Carl is on the verge of being catatonic. Jake, the only character with motivation, needs a better movie. The fast paced editing creates moments of unintentional laughter (such as the scene when Jake shoots the Razorback). Nobody escapes unscathed in this film.
  • In a small outback town a child is carried off by a massive wild boar, but the grandfather who was looking after the boy gets accused of killing the youngster. He tells that of a gigantic wild boar killed his grandson, but naturally the town's folk won't hear any off it. But in the trail there wasn't enough evidence to convict him so he's acquitted. Next a American female reporter who's an animal rights activist goes down under to get some interviews with some kangaroo hunters, but instead she comes face to face with the rampaging boar and disappears. The locals believe that she must have fallen down a mine shaft, but her husband Carl thinks otherwise and heads to Australia to dig up any dirt to what really happen.

    Da Da.. Da Da dadada... Get out of the water! Oops, wrong film. Sorry about that as I just couldn't get that Jaws theme out of my head. "Razorback" is what you can call Australia's answer to "Jaws", but instead this one is on land and we get one angry looking boar terrorising locals and out-of-town visitors. The two films do share some similar characteristics, but while "Jaws" plays it mostly serious I found "Razorback" the opposite. Well, it would be hard to get anyone to take the story seriously because of how ridiculously stupid it is, but that doesn't stop this stylishly, grim shocker from being entertaining. Well, actually that wasn't the case on my first viewing of this flick as I wasn't particularly smitten over it. Maybe I was in a grumpy mood at the time, but on this occasion I enjoyed the silly experience far more.

    The premise might cross into "Jaws", but the beginning also adds to the story - Australia's most infamous case of the baby that was taken by dingo, which still causes controversy today. The fella who penned this particular film Everett D Roche is probably Australian's most prominent screenwriter in the genre with such films like Patrick, Harlequin and Road Games under his belt. While, the story might be highly derivative there's enough imagination and excitement in spots to keep it from being uneventful. But there's one thing I can say about this production is that the thick style is all over thin substance. Who you can thank for that is a music video director making his debut in films - Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, The Shadow). He brought to the table an atmosphere that was visually stunning with its sprawling, desolate backdrop that has never been so eerily caught. Well lately, "Wolf Creek" did a good job on that aspect. But here there's a surreal quality about it with it's vibrant colour scheme and blanket of mist. The lighting composition is well staged with a visual goldmine exploding on screen with the spectacular shots of the horizon. The vacant outback simply spills off the screen that you just think that it's such a great backdrop for a horror flick. The expansive camera-work is swift in it's movement by capturing every frame with a certain amount of panache and the odd inventive angle and POV shot. The electronic score is effectively worked into the piece along with hissing sound effects that added even more to the unsteady, dreamlike texture.

    Since there is not much in the way of surprises, director Mulcahy ups the thrills and action in such an unyielding fashion to set the film alight. While, the gore might be lacking, the deaths are unpleasant and also thrown in some animal cruelty. What was surprising is that the since the spot light is basically on the mechanical boar - it doesn't look too bad, well towards the end it might lose some of the effect it created early on. But I have seen far worse.

    The performances are tolerable enough even with some eccentric yahoos who generated some agreeable humour. The script is purely senseless dribble, but there's some dry sarcasm, thick slang and a laid back attitude that works its way in because of the culture. Gregory Harrison is passable as Carl Winters. Bill Kerr is excellent as the stubborn boar hunter Jake Cullan who has a chip on his shoulder and who's crusade is to get the giant pig. Arkie Whiteley is lovely Sarah Cameron and Judy Morris is decent as Beth Winters. But the most memorable performances is the cheerful maniac brothers Benny and Dicko who are marvellously played by Chris Haywood and David Argue that add the wild and wacky feel to the flick.

    A highly spirited and trashy Australian knock-off that goes down well with a few cold ones.
  • I first saw this film over 20 years ago and it has remained a favourite of mine ever since.The plot is a little bizarre but the performances and cinematography are excellent in evoking a nightmare world of loss,desperation and pain.I wouldn't automatically bracket this film as a "Horror" at all but more a violent depiction of loss and the need for revenge.The grandfather obsessively searching for the Razorback is brilliant-pain,loss and terrifying determination.For me the only down is the ending which I felt strays into "schlock horror" territory too much.It could have been much better and more interesting in keeping with the rest of the film but,overall,it doesn't do the film too much harm.Quirky,bizarre,nightmarish and crazy-nice one.
  • I would advise anyone who has not watched this movie, and thinking about it, to do so, but only if you can handle scary movies! If you haven't watched the movie and hadn't planned on it watch it anyway. This is the only movie that has ever given me nightmares. I love this movie,one of my top three movies! I love the fact that its not what you would expect from the very beginning. As soon as you turn it on, you will be glued to the television screen until the very ending. And I will warn you that you are going jump out your seat and cover your eyes at times. But you will also laugh hysterically at some scenes. I would give an example but to me talking about any scene will ruin it for you... JUST WATCH IT!
  • This Aussie horror picture talks about a journalist from N.Y. goes to Australian little village called Gamulla to investigate massacre over kangaroos and animals. Then, there appears one giant pig that is terrorizing the villagers and the countryside. Later comes her husband(Gregory Harrison), he along with an old man(Bill Kerr) confront against two nasties brothers and the large wild boar.

    Gregory Harrison, Bill Kerr and Chris Haywood offer cool performances on a cast mostly unknown. Powerhouse special effects light up the screen in this story of a giant pig from the depths of the Outback that causes massive destruction along the Australian landscape. A little boring at times, but the brilliantly achieved effects and Aussie outdoors make this a must-see film even on the small screen, and don't miss the astounding attacks by the giant wild boar. Glamorous and luxurious cinematography with surrealist scenario and visually striking images when the starring wandering along desert . The magnificent cameraman is Dean Semler who'll do Hollywood career. The eerie music heightens the tension to underscore the boar's presence and scare the audience right out of their seats. The motion picture is well directed by Russell Mulcahy, in his feature debut. He gained fame as video clips director for Duran Duran, Elton John, Bonnie Tyler, among others. After he directed hits, as 'Highlander and Highlander II, the Quickening, 'Ricochet', 'The shadow' and 'Tale of mummy' and TV films, such as 'Mysterious island' and 'Curse of king Tut's tomb', his last success for cinema is 'Resident Evil: Extinction'.
  • For me it wasn't about the truly dreadful killer pig, but the sheer menace exuded by the horrific brothers. I watched it nearly 30 years ago when I was 20-21 and I still haven't forgotten it.

    I thought the film was slow to start and rather dull too. I would have thought the film total rubbish, but some of the acting redeemed it a bit for me and made it one of the most chilling films I have seen - yes, really. I was young and impressionable then though and I would like to see it again to see if it still chills me. I daresay it's more of a chick flick really, cos it's the sort of film a guy might use to scare his girl into his arms I would think.

    I will never forget the moment the nice old bearded hobo wakes up in the desert to find his distressed dog sniffing about his injured legs... that bit was the worst for me. Oh that, and did I mention the sheer horribleness of those brothers? One was dim and one was psycho and had insane eyes. Ugh!
  • One of the lousiest films i`ve seen so far. The story is a mere joke, the actors are pretty bad and the so called "special effects" in this movie are a laugh. Well, the cuts are really weird, in the final men-to-pig fighting scenes our hero is outside/inside again, or switches positions suddenly. Forget about this film, it`s not bad enough to laugh about and too dumb to watch.
  • Hey, I'm not a particular fan of this movie, I'll admit. But I'm giving the respect it deserves, as being a true blue original, where it catapulted it's great director overseas with a block buster flick, that set off a franchise. I saw the R rated version of Razorback, and like me, you'll be able to pick up the extra gory bits. Judy Morris, playing an animal campaigner, donning an American accent, travels to the outback, not winning many fans you could say, gets on the bad side of two local dickheads (Argue and Haywood) for reasons, evident. There's been much disfavor for a local farmer (Bill Kerr) who's baby was taken from a razorback, but with no proof, all guilt points towards him. When Morris's character is killed by a razorback, raped prefore, by the dickhead duo, the husband if you can believe who (Trapper John M'd's Gregory Harrison) arrives, desperate to find answers, where a wonderfully rich, avenging moment ensues. The late Arkie Whitely, the only supporter of Kerr's innocence, brings quite a sexual element to the film (she was beautiful) in what is a very tense shocker, that again is a film of fine Aussie craftsmanship. Standout scene, has a guy's living room, dragged away from him, while watching Don Lane.
  • Razorback has to be one of my all time favorite Australian horror/action films. The movie is just so much fun to watch. The music is very creepy and atmospheric and goes mighty good with the film. Razorback is a very dark film about a killer razorback pig. Did I mention the special effects were very good for it's time. When you see that huge Razorback pig you'll be like, "Good Grief Mate!" It's just huge and full of so much detail. Too bad you don't see the pig close up in the movie much. It's one of the best killer pig movies I know of too; heck it's the only good one. If you're a fan of killer animal flicks or just like cool Aussie films, I reckon you should check out this piggy. It's worth a ride mate! Oink Oink!
  • gcd702 March 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    The plot of this Australian film "Razorback" concerns a rampant wild boar that eats people who get in its way. Yes, it is ridiculous, and thankfully director Russell Mulcahy does not focus on this. Instead the former rock-video director uses the material to display his visual talents.

    In conjunction with ace cinematographer Dean Semler he presents some startling visuals and some unusual shots. This though is really the only entertainment value available, apart from the odd scare.

    The cast, including Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood, David Argue and Judy Morris are merely incidental, though the music is notably from Icehouse front-man Iva Davies. From the novel by Peter Brennan.

    Saturday, September 5, 1998 - Video
  • A giant bloodthirsty razorback boar goes on a killing spree in the Australian outback,taking the life of an animal rights activist in the process.Her husband travels over from America to find out what happened to her,unaware that her killer was a monstrous pig."Razorback" is a pretty entertaining killer pig flick that delivers plenty of violence and excitement.The film is well-photographed and nicely edited and the electronic score provide some chills.Unfortunately there is a minimal amount of gore on display,however the most effective pig attack sequences are the ones in which the razorback isn't even seen,where it's basically up to editing and sound effects to do the trick.When the razorback does make an appearance on screen,it looks pretty awful and unconvincing.Overall, this piggy horror flick has the special place in my heart,because it was one of the very first horror flicks I have seen as a kid.That's why I give it a pretty generous 8 out of 10.
  • ness9787 September 2007
    A great movie and made in Australia and filming locations at Broken Hill,Nsw,Australia in the middle of nowhere really.The Silverton Hotel exists and is used for countless movies and also a watering hole for tourists. The movie was good and different unlike todays remake crap movies they don't make movies like Razorback anymore and i hope some Hollywood producer doesn't try to rip it off as it would be as bad as all the other remakes like Spiderman,Batman etc etc. The Pig razorback I guess from what I saw is supposed to be like elephant size or something cause the reporter who went missing her car somehow ended up in a tree. If you like hunting or just want to see something that isn't a remake or rip off then see Razorback as it is different and they don't make movies like this anymore, nor can you find them in your video store these days.

    If you've seen Mad Max II, Razorback, A Town Like Alice, Dirty Deeds, The Craic or countless other films, you've seen the Silverton Hotel.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One the last interesting Ozploitation efforts from the 70s-80s heyday of the genre, Razorback plays a bit like a compendium of previous successful Aussie pictures, with a setting and secondary characters straight out of Wake in Fright (1971), even going so far as to shoot in the same locations (Broken Hill, NSW), the vehicular fetishism of The Cars That Ate Paris (1974) along with the original Mad Max (1978) and it's sequels, as well as the Man-Against-Nature theme of Long Weekend (1978).

    The plot is a pretty straightforward retread of "Jaws"(1974), with the marauding shark of Spielberg's seminal picture here replaced by a man-eating wild pig, inexplicably grown to Rhinoceros dimensions, and the earlier film's coastal New England setting here becoming a ramshackle rural backwater in the Australian Outback.

    Opening with a nod to the infamous Azaria Chamberlain dingo-baby case, the film quickly establishes both its breakneck pace and a peculiarly perverse set of supporting characters, as Old Jake (Bill Kerr), whose grandson is taken by the boar, is charged with murdering the child and acquires and Ahab-like obsession with killing the animal. Some years later, a crusading American TV journalist (Judy Morris) arrives in town to report on illegal Kangaroo hunting, and is killed by the giant pig after running afoul of the locals. Her wet-behind-the-ears Canadian husband (an ineffectual Gregory Harrison) arrives in town following her trail, eventually joining forces with Jake and a conveniently pretty blonde ecologist (Arkie Whiteley) to hunt the monster down.

    So stated, it would seem pretty standard stuff, but what matters about this tale is the telling. Being the feature debut of director Russell Mulcahy (fresh from a successful run making music videos for Duran Duran and others), who would go on to helm the original Highlander (1986) shortly after this, and with future oscar-winner Dean Semler (Mad Max 2, Dances With Wolves) behind the camera, the film is shot in a richly textured, bold and often hallucinatory style which, while at times excessive, both effectively captures the vivid colours of the Australian landscape and sharply evokes the inhospitable environment of the country's interior.

    Clearly aspiring to more than simple genre status, the film's kaleidoscopic visual language sketches a uniquely uninviting portrait of Australia's rural landscape, and peoples it with some of the most bizarre examples of humanity ever committed to celluloid. By wisely keeping the titular beast mostly off-screen, or glimpsed only fleetingly (through the iris of a camera or scope of a rifle), Mulcahy allows the creature to acquire a semi-mythic quality, equating it directly with the character of the land itself. Like in the Speilberg film, the monster pig is explicitly drawn as a broad metaphor for the hostility of the natural world; a ferocious, devouring archetype devoid of sense, reason or purpose, but simply opposed to the human protagonists as implacably as a natural disaster. Its purity is contrasted with the degraded state of many of the Outback's human inhabitants, largely depicted as unwashed, hard-faced, beer-swilling neanderthals, whose deaths by boar-tusk would almost seem to be a mercy. These themes are adroitly highlighted in an extended sequence where the lead character is marooned in the desert overnight, chased by a pack of feral pigs, and suffers hallucinations brought on by thirst, exposure and sunstroke. The film even takes a deep dive into the more rancid aspects of rural Australian life, particularly in the portrayal of two (possibly inbred) brothers who run a Kangaroo meat-packing operation out of a dilapidated, Blake-esque factory and live in a disused mine-shaft decorated with Barry Manilow posters.

    Although at times the film's assembly is a little rough-shod, with a patchy script, scrappy editing and poor sound quality all problematic features, and with Mulcahy's exaggerated visuals sometimes detracting from the suspense as much as adding to it, this picture still manages to stand out by virtue of its bold style, nimble sense of humour and its undeniably ambitious attempt to be more than just another monster-on-the-loose popcorn stuffer.
  • A killer boar, not just any boar but a member of the titular Razorback species a breed so wild "Neither God or the Devil could have made a more horrible creation", is on a 2 year long rampage that began with the destruction of hunter Jake Cullen's (Bill Kerr) house and the death of his grandson, for which he was promptly blamed and charged for; insult to injury, and more recently the death of American reporter, whose death is not entirely to blame on the pig (think Deliverance in the Australian Outback). The reporter's husband, Carl Winthers (Gregory Harrison), sets about investigating her death, or better stated disappearance (as Razorback's leave little for the dingo's) and thusly teams up with the cantankerous hunter and his caring and beautiful charge Sarah (Arkie Whitely).

    And so begins a horror film about a big ol' piggy.

    Let me say fans of horror, creature features, Ozploitation and Russell Mulcahy (later to direct Highlander, even later to direct Scorpion King: Rise of the Warrior... oooof!), you shall not be disappointed. The film's cinematography is astounding, simply brilliant and the way scenes of tension are shot with a styled finesse which renders the Razorback as an actual deadly threat, not just an over-sized piglet.

    The film is an early prelude to the horrors with the down played comic touch that is now a staple of that genre, Dog Soldiers comes to mind. The film boasts enough wry humour, often aimed at making you laugh at the ways of the backward outback yokels or laughing with them as they spout quite inventive one liner's as if it were part of the language.

    And of course the acting is par excellence with the cream of the crop Aussie talent on display. Bill Kerr is the subdued and macho hunter yearning for revenge against not only the Razorback that took his grandchild's life and destroyed his reputation, but the entire species as well. Gregory Harrison and Arkie Whitely are both in well suited form to play leading man and lady, although some may expect more from leads encountering what is essentially a homicidal pig. Also of note are the films de facto villains, two deranged locals, played by Chris Haywood and David Argue, whom play the manic pair with such intensity you may think twice about visiting any familia in the land down under.

    To finish, a great movie, off beat and original, well shot and superbly acted, and thoroughly entertaining. Those seeking a thrill while watching a few spills will not be disappointed. And I'd like to end with, if you've got a better film about a killer pig, do tell?!?!?
  • When toxic waste dumping results in a mutation in the most dangerous wild bore of them all. The Razorback. On the tail of the flesh eating monster is the husband of a murdered reporter. But the reporter wasn't killed by the veracious beast, but by two slimily poachers. So it's one tough guy trapped between a hungry monster and two murderers. Can he escape. I must admit, the effects were not the greatest in the world. But you have to compensate the makers a little. It was 1984 Australia. But considering the date, I think it was a great movie. I give it 7 out of 10 stars

    *******
An error has occured. Please try again.