Horror Movie Review: Razorback (1984)

Based on Peter Brennan’s novel of the same name, Razorback is an Australian horror about a gigantic boar who attacks & kills people in the outback. The film was written by Everett De Roche, directed by Russell Mulcahy and stars Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley and Bill Kerr.

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Opening at a remote house in the Australian outback, Jake Cullen (Kerr) is looking after his grandchild when the giant boar attacks the house. Literally smashing through it, snatching up the child & disappearing into the night. Naturally Cullen isn’t believed but with little proof of him being involved he is acquitted swearing revenge on the boar.

Two years later Beth Winters (Judy Morris), a wildlife reporter is attacked & killed by the boar after escaping an attempted rape by some hicks. In a brutal scene (the sound effects are horrific) she is dragged from her wrecked car by the massive beast & eaten alive.

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Soon after her disappearance, her husband Carl (Harrison) comes looking for her. He meets her would-be-rapists & suspects they may know something. He plays along with them, heading out on a hunt but is left in the outback. Forced to trek on foot, he suffers dehydration & has some wild hallucinations eventually collapsing at the home of Sarah (Whiteley). She nurses him back to health & the two begin to bond.

Carl believes that the hicks are responsible for his missing wife so along with Sarah sets out to deal with them. Unfortunately for them the giant boar’s rampage is beginning to pick up but… Jake Cullen hasn’t forgotten.

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Razorback deserves credit for the imagination used, the impressive effects, the genuinely horrifying moments & its tension building. It might be called Razorback but the boar probably has about 15 minutes total of screen time. Most of that coming in the finale. Instead the focus is more on Carl’s attempts to get revenge for the death of his wife which he believes was at the hands of the hicks. That’s a bit disappointing but it does mean when the giant boar does make an appearance it’s really thrilling stuff.

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The film has some interesting shifts in tone, light one minute, dark the next with some trippy psychedelic moments during Carl’s hallucinations. These are cool but they do throw the balance of the film off making you question just what you’re watching.

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Those hoping for a cheesy B-movie will be disappointed as this is a more serious toned film. As long as you don’t look to hard at the performances of which there are some very sketchy ones. Not terrible acting, just awkwardly delivered dialogue & a total lack of chemistry between the leads.

That aside, Razorback is fairly fun flick that is dripping in 80’s style. It’s not ageing well but still holds up surprisingly well considering its low budget.




Razorback
  • 5.5/10
    The Final Score - 5.5/10
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