Monday, 2 November 2009

Dying Breed (2008)

No happy movies may come out of this continent!

Nathan Phillips
At a glance:
Combinin true Australian convict camp history with standard slasher movie elements, Dying Breed (2008) is an interestin but rather unbalanced take on what happens if fictitious descendants of a certain 19th century Irish escapee named Alexander Pearce decide to continue his messy habit of eatin people. Shot in Tasmania and Melbourne (includin the Pieman River on the West Coast of Tasmania, which is named after the shoe-stealin baker in question), Dying Breed reminds us of recent B-grade interests like The Tattooist and The Ferryman - they all feature location-centric themes with decent production values and considerable special effects but ultimately short of a few really good scares to make a memorable movie. Here, we follow Tasmanian tiger hunters Jack (Nathan Phillips, Wolf Creek), Matt (Leigh Whannell, Saw), Rebecca (Melanie Vallejo) and Nina (Mirrah Foulkes) as the foursome unravel the mystery behind a quiet swamp of a village where tourists go missin and pies taste good.
Bad news on the doorstep:
However, the weak link to whatever that is authentic, historical or indigenous is soon revealed and their half-intense adventures never do seem to hit that high note. The makers seemed to have gone through a lot to get this movie done, with the production notes claimin a 28-day shoot that was blighted by 80km winds, sleet and 600mm rain in three days, en route to discoverin it was the worst weather in Tasmania for 10 years. When you read that 80% of this movie is really shot around the area where the Pieman events happened, it seems a little sorry if you consider this a wasted opportunity. This gets censored pretty bad too if you're watchin the Malaysian theatrical release.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Nothin terribly original about this but we do get proper storytellin (unlike other low-budget horrors) and it does have its moments. Pieman's story has recently been made into another movie called Van Diemen's Land, released in Australia in September 2009. Perhaps that would be a more rewardin watch than this.★★1/2