Notes: Western Film Productions. 95 minutes. MPAA rating:
Directed: Russell Mulcahy
Based on a novel by Peter Brennan.
Carl Winters: Gregory Harrison
Beth Winters: Judy Morris
Jake Matthew Cullen: Bill Kerr
Sarah Cameron: Arkie Whitely
Dicko Baker: David Argue
Benny Baker: Chris Haywood
It's a windy night in the Australian Outback. An older gentleman is soothing his grandson of age two or three. He puts him in the crib, and then hears a strange noise outside. He grabs his rifle and goes out onto the porch. Something comes out of the dark and knocks him down, crashes through the wall of the house, and then plows through several other walls as well. When the man gets back into the house, he finds the crib overturned and empty. The house ablaze, he walks outside and hears his grandson's cries off in the night someplace. The man falls to his knees in helplessness.
In Gamulla, Jake Matthew Cullen is on trial for the disappearance,
and presumed murder, of his grandson Scott Matthew. "And
this, this razorback broke your leg and carried your grandson
away," they ask. Jake claims that he couldn't bring it down
with his rifle because razorbacks have such a thick layer of bristle.
His defense lawyer refers to this particular boar as a "hybrid
species, a freak, an aberration." No one believes Jake's
story, not even his daughter, but he is released due to
evidence to support the charge." Jake continues to hear
nasty noises at night.
Two years later in New York. Beth Winters watches her own segment
on the local news where she interviews a stock contractor about
the cruel treatment of animals in rodeos; he gets bleeped a lot.
She tells her husband, Carl, that "the group" gave
the green light on the kangaroo slaughter story in Australia,
and they have insisted she be the one to go. She has to leave
Monday and will be gone for their first anniversary, so Carl gives
her a ring before she leaves.
Beth turns up in Gamulla and starts filming. She says over 800,000
kangaroos and wallabies have been made into dog food in this area.
She sees Jake pull up and tries to interview him, but he says
he only kills boars. "There's something about blasting the
shit out of a razorback that brightens my whole day." Later
in the bar, she tries to call New York and apparently the operator
does not know where that is. Dicko, who looks to be the product
of inbreeding, hereafter referred to as Freakboy, throws several
darts about two inches from her face, which she then grabs and
drops into his drink. Everyone in the bar laughs at him; he's
a bit ticked. Beth goes off by herself, telling her cameraman
she will be back before dusk. While she's out she sees the silhouette
of a huge beast with tusks on the horizon. She sees Freakboy's
truck go by with many carcasses hanging from it and follows him
to the Petpak cannery. She starts filming through a window, and
Freakboy confronts her. She acts like he just accosted her in
her home, and then, when she regains the safety of her car, she
is shamefully overconfident for someone who has been caught trespassing,
even honking her horn at him.
Back at the pub, night has fallen and her cameraman is wondering
where she is. Beth is still driving back. She turns on some
music and does the repressed-thirty-year-old-woman groove, when
suddenly Freakboy's meatmobile flies onto the road beside her.
He runs her off the road, then drags her out of the car by her
hair. He's brought along big brother Benny, another reject of
Appalachia, who holds the floodlight while Freakboy assaults her.
Beth knees him in the groin and he pulls out a meat cleaver to
calm her down. Benny thinks he's going to kill her, and when
Freakboy turns to yell at him the floodlight hits his eyes in
a very strange way. Then something hits the side of the meatmobile
and the backwoods brothers take off. Beth crawls to her car.
A huge boar rips the passenger door off and gouges her leg on
the first slash. Its huge tusks are pretty much all that can
be seen. Beth is turned sideways in the car and she has her hands
between her legs trying to fend off the boar. From the outside
we see her face pressed up against the driver's side window as
she gets battered. From the perspective of the back seat, the
boar clearly has command of her lower body and she is physically
lifted and tossed by whatever it is doing, eventually ripping
her out of the car and dragging her off into the night.
During the day, Jake notices the tow truck picking up a damaged
car and stops to check it out. He finds the tracks and says,
"He's back." He picks up a meathook from the ground
and goes to question Benny about it, but Freakboy pulls out a
shotgun and shoots at his truck as he drives off. Carl comes
to Gamulla to investigate the disappearance of Beth. The pub
owner loans him his car and he drives out to Jake's. Jake starts
telling him about razorbacks as a species: "He's only got
two states of being, dangerous or dead, nothing in between."
Jake says he doesn't have any proof, but to check out the Petpak
cannery. Carl goes there, says his name is Bill and that he is
Canadian, not American. "Canadians are Americans, aren't
they?" Benny says. The story going around is that Beth fell
down an old mine shaft. Benny and Freakboy take him home with
them because he has shown an interest in the mines. He bunks
up with them and falls asleep.
That night the boar breaks into some guy's meathouse. The guy
checks to make sure his trap is still set and the bait's still
Carl is shaken awake because they're going hunting with the spotlight
tonight. Carl is roped into operating the light. They shoot
a kangaroo. Carl says, "Oh, God, God, you didn't kill it;
it's still alive!" One of them says, "Well, of course
it is, right? You can't kill it outright or it'll go stiff as
jerky before you have time to butcher it." Carl throws up
on them. The kangaroo is still squawking, so he runs over with
the cleaver and hacks it to death. The boys toss him a blanket
and tell him not to go anywhere; they'll pick him up in five or
six hours when they've finished the hunt. He lies down with the
freshly killed kangaroo for warmth, has nightmares, and awakens
when a bunch of pigs start running around nearby.
Carl runs and falls, and runs and falls, and runs and falls, and
yet again runs and falls. The whole herd appears. He falls in
the mud by a windmill and looks up to see the silhouettes of many
little pigs and one huge one. He climbs the windmill and ties
himself to it with his belt. In the morning the little pigs arrive
and bang the windmill around until it falls over. Carl ends up
in the water and yells, "You can't get me!" to the pigs.
A boar carcass surfaces nearby to startle him, and the pigs leave.
He walks on and on, then begins hallucinating. He walks some
more and finds a woman showering in her yard. She turns, sees
him and squeals, and he yells and faints.
He wakes up in a clean bed with the woman, Sarah, nearby, and
when she turns she has a boar's face. Then he really wakes up
and she's very pretty. He tells her he was chased by boars, but
that something really big scared them off. She goes to call Jake.
Jake comes over and decides to go out after the boar; Sarah convinces
him to take the dart gun so he can shoot it with a transmitter
and track it.
Back to some guy's house, same one as before. He catches a big
one in his trap, but doesn't know it. Whatever it is turns out
to be stronger than the bumper of his car and the corner of his
house, to which the net was anchored, and both get pulled off
into the night as he's watching television.
Sarah talks about herself. She has a grant to carry out government
research on razorbacks. She says that diseased boars have been
eating everyone out of house and home, that they have even begun
cannibalizing their young. She even found a stress ulcer during
a dissection the week before. "Lately something's been worrying
them a lot." Meanwhile, Jake sees the big boar at the watering
hole. He shoots it four times, then shoots the dart gun at it,
but it still gets away. He takes a cast of a footprint, then
finds Beth's ring and goes back to tell Sarah and Carl. Carl
tells Sarah that Beth was six weeks pregnant. Sarah radios and
asks the pub owner to call the constable to find Jake because
he knows what happened to Beth Winters. Freakboy's in the pub
That night Carl announces he will be leaving in the morning.
Jake is staking out the watering hole, but there is no sign of
the boar. Sarah cannot sleep. Jake is asleep when the backwoods
brothers show up. Freakboy messes with him, and Benny knocks
Jake out to ruin his brother's fun. Benny says you cannot kill
people just because you do not like them, that he doesn't want
any part of it, and Freakboy says, "You never want to do
anything fun." Benny waits in the truck while Freakboy busts
Jake's knees. In the morning Jake discovers his injuries and
send his dog off to Sarah's. Sarah drops Carl off at the bus
stop. Jake crawls through the mud and the pigs show up.
Freakboy and Benny see Jake's dog running down the road. "Traffic,
eh?" Freakboy says. He drives over the dog. Jake drags
himself into the pumping shed and gets a drink of water. Sarah
drives by the dead dog and returns to the bus stop to get Carl's
help. Jake sits in the shed and all the little pigs run away
and the big razorback tears down the shed and kills him. The
remaining walls are dripping blood when Sarah and Carl arrive.
Sarah goes off to round up the town to help hunt the boar. Carl
sees marks in the dirt that remind him of Freakboy's cleaver,
and he takes off with a gun. He finds Benny and chases him, drops
him down a mine shaft, then goes to find Freakboy. Back at the
pub Sarah has a lock on the boar, and all the guys take off whoopin'
and hollerin'. The pub owner gets left behind, so he takes the
Freakboy's at Petpak looking for Benny. He hears a noise and
goes into the cannery. Carl shows up and heads in as well. Freakboy
starts up some conveyor belts, and then tries to shove him into
some sort of fan or chopper. He runs for the truck, but is grabbed
by Carl before he can start it and he flees. Carl follows him
in the truck and shines the light at him. Freakboy says, "I'm
a kangaroo. Ch-ch-ch. You have a really good sense of humor."
A metal drum falls nearby and the giant boar bursts out. Freakboy
runs again and jumps into a ravine of some sort. He puts on his
headphones and then hears grunting. He gets chased by the boar
and almost manages to climb out, but is dragged back down. Carl
hears all this and drives off in a panic, which leads him to roll
the truck. He runs into the cannery and the boar batters the
door. A long hunt and chase scene follows through the cannery.
Sarah tracks the boar to Petpak; all the guys from town are bored
because they accidentally tracked the wrong boar. They say they've
had a long day and don't want to look anymore. Carl yells at
her to get out of there. Carl hears Sarah screaming. He attracts
the boar's attention. The boar impales itself on a pipe he's
holding, which slows it down long enough for Carl to get away.
Then he gets the boar to follow him onto the conveyor belt and
it ends up getting spliced through the chopper fan. Sarah drops
upside down from some chains in front of Carl, but she isn't dead.
Who knows how she got in that position in the first place. He
holds her, she comes to, and they both smile.
Nature is shown as brutal and cruel. The setting for the movie is the Outback, a place known for its harsh conditions. The innocent are not spared from the fury of the rampaging boar. The scene where Beth Winters bites it plays like a rape scene, though not because of Freakboy's amorous advances. The boar's tusks are an obvious phallic symbol, which creates an ironic death for Beth. Here is a woman crusading against the rape of the natural world, and she herself is effectively raped and destroyed by nature.
Little suspense. Still, a pretty original premise for a movie,
and the giant boar, though little seen, is fairly impressive.
I can't say I've ever heard of another movie about a giant pig
terrorizing people, but then I don't get out to the theaters much.