Director: Chris Sun
Year of release: Late 2014/early 2015
Country of origin: Australia
Running time: My DVD is 83 minutes but reports vary up to 93 minutes.
DVD/Blu ray: Both
Tagline: 7 foot, 375 lbs of pure killing machine!
Casting the spotlight on the slasher genre
Story: As a rare slasher set in Australia the story here follows two friends who decide to go on a camping trip to a place called Charlie's Farm, an isolated place set out in the country some eight hours drive away from where they live. One of the pair brings along his girlfriend who brings along a friend of her own as a sort of blind date of sorts for the unattached male. As they make their way to the farm the two males gradually reveal the grisly history of the site to their female companions. As they have heard it years ago back in the eighties a crazy couple of farmers used to reside on the farm and were rumored to kill and eat many of the workers who they employed. This couple had a retarded son by the name of Charlie who supposedly bore witness to the killings and possibly partook in the cannibalism. This was eventually put to a stop by a lynch mob who outraged at what was going on shot the male and then after a short chase also killed the female but not before she had hidden away young Charlie who was never found. Most say it is all just a story and even if it is true then Charlie most likely perished in the wilderness. The story has grown however to be something of a local urban legend with some saying that Charlie still remains at the farm to this day, now a grown man. Upon nearing the famous site the group stop off at a pub where are warned to stay away by the locals who insist the place is dangerous. Needless to say the four explorers ignore the warnings and soon after find the farm where they camp for the night. They are joined soon after by two campers who have likewise been attracted to the legend and infamy of the area. It then quickly becomes apparent that Charlie is indeed still residing at the farm and has grown into a giant of a man intent on destruction.
Good points: A good job is done in establishing Charlie's backstory. The flashbacks which tell his tale are quite long and detailed so his origins are well explained.
An effort is made to develop and flesh out the four main characters. A good fifty minutes to an hour is spent establishing them before the mayhem begins so at this point we feel a bit more invested and attached to them.
There are some very good gore effects on offer which make for some cool death scenes such as someone getting their head squashed by a tractor, something involving genitals and someone getting half their face ripped off among others.
There are a few recognisable names and faces within the movie with Tara Reid as the final girl and Kane Hodder of Friday the 13th fame in a smallish role as a friend of the group who tries to rescue them towards the end. Bill Moseley also appears in flashbacks as Charlie's father. Long time wrestling fans may also be familiar with Nathan Jones who plays Charlie who comes across as intimidating just due to his sheer size. Although not well known actors the characters of Donkey and his love interest Melanie are also entertaining and pretty funny at times.
The setting of Australia is kind of a positive all in itself as off the top of my head I can't think of too many other slashers set in this country. Maybe Wolf Creek, Cassandra and The Killage would be the most high profile ones but being few and far between they are something of a novelty. The accents and backdrop give it a unique flavour all of its own.
Bad Points: It is never explained why the lynch mob in the flashbacks never just went to the police about their suspicions regarding the Wilson family. I think one of the women listening to the story actually mentions this though so at least it is alluded to (albeit briefly) if not explained.
The Kane Hodder character seems to find and arrive at the farm perhaps a little too quickly. I think he may have said it would take him two to three hours instead of eight to get there so presumably he lived a lot closer than the main group but he still wasn't a local as such so you would have thought he may have more difficulty locating the farm. Also it isn't revealed how he and the local guy Blue manage to drive right up to the farm whereas our main characters had to leave their vehicle some distance away and then hike in. I guess at a stretch though this could just be chalked up to local knowledge.
Towards the end when Natasha is inside the underground lair of Charlie it is very dark and hard to see what is going on. They could have done a better job with lighting at this point.
Only a very small thing but I sometimes felt the dialogue wasn't all that clear so I missed the odd bit here and there and on the DVD release at least there was no option to put subtitles on. This is more of a technical problem with the disc release though as opposed to the film itself.
Verdict: A fine slasher and certainly one that I enjoyed from start to finish. There are a few little niggles but they are all pretty minor issues that don't detract from the overall experience which largely is a very positive one.
Bodycount (contains major spoilers):
1) Male backpacker: Decapitated.
2) Female backpacker: Friend or partner of number 1. Killed by Charlie though I can't recall how.
3) Gordon: Killed by an axe to the chest as he was coming out of the barn.
4) Alyssa: Gordon's girlfriend, is ragdolled into a tractor. After positioning her head near one of the wheels, Charlie then jumps on it crushing her head.
5) Donkey: Penis is cut off and then shoved down his throat choking him.
6) Melanie: Lower jaw ripped off.
7) Tony: Beaten up by Charlie in a fish fight and then killed by a piece of his neck being ripped away.
8) Jason: Has his throat cut.
9) Blue: Axe thrown into his back as he tries to help Natasha escape.
10) Natasha: Impaled on Blue's discarded rifle.