Director: Chris Sun
Script: Chris Sun
Cast: John Jarratt, Bill Moseley, Roger Ward, Steve Bisley, Nathan Jones, Chris Haywood, Simone Buchanan
Running time: 92.5 minutes
You can probably count the number of films concerning giant, vicious pigs on one hand, with probably the most famous one being Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984), which is also set in Australia. Hence, when this came up for review, I was keen to see it since I’m a big fan of giant animal/monster movies.
Boar concerns setting a motley group of worldly Australians against an almost mythically large giant boar, which, it has to be said, is one ugly mother! The small community in the wide Australian outback (in Queensland) is beleaguered by a boar of prehistoric proportions that, all of a sudden, seems to have taken to killing anybody it encounters.
Two drunken hunters (played admirably by John Jarratt (Wolfcreek) and Roger Ward (Turkey Shoot)) are the film’s focus for much of its runtime and probably provide most of the film’s black humour. In fact, one of my favourite lines from the movie is when one of the old guys says to his friend, after contemplating his chances with a younger woman: “If you can still raise a sword, you’re still in the fight!” This film won’t change anyone’s opinion of Australia being quite a chauvinistic country, that’s for sure!
Unfortunately, the rest of the characters are pretty one-dimensional, and don’t really hold much interest except wondering how and when exactly they’ll meet their sticky – and probably bloody – ends.
Chris Sun (Daddy’s Little Girl and Charlie’s Farm) has done a good job on what was probably a pretty small budget, and the giant pig animatronic is well crafted, and only let down by some dubious CGI here and there. I even quite liked the pig-point-of-view shots (what I term as ‘Boar-o-vision’), which were reminiscent of much earlier films like Legend of the Werewolf (1975).
However, the script itself is pretty poor, which causes the pacing of the film to be uneven. For example, everything grinds to a halt part-way through while various characters chat in a local bar as a ‘bar stool guy’ recollects his own ‘big pig’ encounter. But all that matters not a lot when the film’s core audience will just want to see a huge pig tearing lots of annoying people apart and Boar really delivers on this with a number of gory deaths scattered liberally throughout the movie’s runtime. Unfortunately, some of the acting on display comes across as being a little amateur, which doesn’t help matters, although, fortunately, Chris Sun has the good sense to use the poorer actors sparingly.
Despite some pretty poor plot devices and C-level acting Boar is still a lot of fun in places and deserves to be seen by fans of monster movies and the like. Plus the, at times misty, Australian outback is always worth a look.
Frightfest presents are distributing Boar on DVD and Digital HD. Special features were sadly non-existent on the review disc I was sent, apart from a trailer promoting other Frightfest releases. This is kind of disappointing as Boar is the sort of film I enjoy seeing behind the scenes footage of, and listening to audio commentaries on. Frightfest presents therefore need to up their game if they’re to continue to release films on DVD, in particular, in order to attract serious collector purchases going forward. They need to take a leaf out of Arrow Films or Shameless books, I think.