You could probably count Killer Pig movies on one hand, and leading that charge would be Australian B-Movie brilliance, Razorback that established a firm cult following back in 1984.
So when I heard that director Chris Sun would be ensuing his middle-of-the-road, but promising feature, Charlie’s Farm with homage (of sorts) to the rampaging boar, my heart fluttered with anticipation and glee at the thought of such a premise.
I was also intrigued as to how Sun would present said hog throughout the feature and hats off to the effects team, who pull off an impressive animatronic beast to entice you in, whilst the directive is to go with CGI more towards the films climax.
It’s just a shame that Sun chose not to tease out the creatures full presence a bit longer, as it kind of takes away from the scares and you’re left relying on character development to pull you along as a result. (More on that in a moment.)
It has a promising start though, with a glimmer in the pre-credit sequence and then its lower jaw is all that is visible in the next kill scene.
Much to Sun’s credit too, he has some great pulling power in his casting, enticing Bill Moseley (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) back to work with him as patriarchal family man, Bruce.
Also returning to collaborate with Sun is Megaman himself, Nathan Jones as Bernie, the larger than life Uncle and is used to great effect when squaring off against the beast.
Joining the cast is a who’s who of Australian actors, notably John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) and Roger Ward (Mad Max) who offer one of the more comical moments in the movie, riffing off each other in true larrikin style.
In addition, there is also Chris Haywood (Quigley), and 90’s pop icon Melissa “Read My Lips” Tkautz, but its actually a cameo turn from Steve Bisley (Jim Goose – Mad Max) as town drunk Bob, that almost steals the entire movie with a brilliant performance that captivates the audience.
Ultimately though, Boar strides onto the screen with its tusks bared emanating its predecessors in the Ozploitation scene and Sun throws as much blood and guts to accentuate this style in the feature and fans of this genre won’t be disappointed when these moments are thrust in the audiences faces.
It’s a shame then that the film suffers from the dialogue on display.
Too often the audience is left feeling adrift in vacant and vapid conversations that have no place in the movie and pulls the movie down as we’re left dragging our hooves. Personally it felt that either the conversations or camera shots were left too long.
My attention drifted, and the curiously long running time became hard to bear, as I was willing for the film to reach its conclusion.
Some people may forgive the choices made in edit, (which on occasion left the movie feeling like a first cut, rather than a polished movie), and thrive on the gore element, but for this reviewer it kept throwing me out of the picture.
All guts, no glory for Chris Sun’s fourth outing in the director’s chair.
- Saul Muerte