Razorback (1984)

Horror, Thriller
Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood
A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ...
  • Warner Home Video Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 16 Nov 1984 Released:
  • 31 Aug 1994 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Peter Brennan (novel), Everett De Roche Writer:
  • Russell Mulcahy Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Under-appreciated 80s Classic5/10
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.
I love this movie!7/10
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.
fantastic piggy fun5/10

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.
Razorback9/10
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
giant pig on the loose...where's the slop?5/10

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.