Directed by Russell Mulcahy
Cast: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr
Warner Archive Collection / Region 1 / Rated R / 2.35:1 widescreen / Dolby Stereo / 95 minutes
Disc Features: Trailer
Bad CGI creature feature/monster movies seem to be a dime a dozen anymore, especially in the direct-to-video market. Enduring movies about two-headed sharks, giant people-eating worms, and giant fill-in-the-blanks have seriously become tiresome. What it really boils down to are the talentless hacks who know they can make an easy buck and don’t give a wet fart about quality or real entertainment. Suffering through these films, I really pine for the old school monster movies where real creature effects were used; no green screens, no computers. I’ll be even more specific. Imagine an Australian monster movie featuring the biggest wild boar in history. And imagine if this film was shot so beautifully it’d put mega-budget movies to shame. This is Razorback.
A female New York reporter is sent to Sydney, Australia, on an investigation involving a slaughter plant that’s killing kangaroos and wallabies. The animal rights reporter isn’t welcomed in the small dirty town called Gamulla. Before she can get a real foothold on the nastiness going down at the slaughterhouse, a group of plant workers run her off of the road. Before they can rape her, our razorback attacks. The workers escape, but the reporter ends up killed. The husband of the reporter soon visits Gumulla to find out exactly how his wife died and comes head-on with the razorback.
I’ll admit this isn’t a movie you kick back and have a few laughs over. The film is full of grimy characters, bleak landscapes, and questionable characters (even the reporter’s husband has questionable moments involving a friendly local woman–hey, didn’t your wife just die?). The film’s atmosphere, cinematography, and visuals alone are impressive to the point it’s reeling. This comes off as more a visual buffet of artful accomplishments versus a film based on solid characters and a well-moving plot, which isn’t a totally bad thing, just understand this is art over substance. But let’s not forget the insane gigantic wild boar! The monster is displayed in short spurts, but it looks gnarly and hideous, and above all else, fucking awesome, making Razorback an ultimate monster movie for the tried-and-true fan.
Warner Archives has done a stupendous job restoring Razorback. The colors, the sound, and picture quality are ultra rich. I remember when I first watched this on Cinemax when it was first released, and being relatively unimpressed, simply because the picture quality was way too dark. I didn’t get half of the impact of the visuals then as I did now. This movie really is a visual feast filled with great cinematography and raw visuals. If you watch the trailer included in the release, you can see the drastic difference in quality against the new transfer. Razorback‘s been relatively underrated and ignored, and I’m proud to re-instate it as a worthy film in the mega monster movie pantheon. Skip a night of watching shitty Syfy channel flicks and look this one up, just make sure you’re seeing the version with the new transfer. Special note, this is a DVD-R, and will play in DVD “Play Only” devices.