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Razorback (1984)

Razorback poster

It’s waiting outside and it can sense your fear. No nightmare will prepare you for it!

Razorback, Russell Mulcahy’s mid ‘80s Ozploitation banger plays like a raucous mix of Jaws and Wake In Fright. The dark blue ocean is replaced with the deep oranges and red of the sun baked outback, a vastly inhospitable setting that helps the believability of the giant boar. Monsters roam the wasteland, stealing babies and destroying houses.

American Carl Winters comes to Australia to look for his missing wife Beth, who was filming a documentary on kangaroo culling. He soon falls in with wild-card brothers Dicko & Benny (classic wild card Oz weirdos who live in a cave) who may have had something to do with her disappearance. He also meets up with an old boar hunter Jake, who lost his grandson to the big pig and Sarah, a local woman studying the pig herds. They team up to hunt the Razorback, which culminates in a climactic showdown in the local Pet food factory.

Like Spielberg’s film, Mulcahy is wise to show the giant boar fleetingly - long shots or extreme closeups help the practical FX by not lingering too long on the beast. And this is one big pig. It tears houses in half, destroys cars and lays waste to the factory with ease.

Mulcahy’s video director skills are used effectively here - he paints the screen with striking compositions, oversaturated lighting (you can feel the sun bursting from the screen) and long flickering shadows - it’s a visual feast. The moody synth score by Icehouse’s Iva Davies helps transport us to the Great Southern Land.

4 chazwazzers out of 5

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