Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
Yep, it’s the infamous big pig movie from Australia, a sort of Jaws on land with hooves and tusks instead of fins and rows of teeth. It is also one of the early films of Russell Mulcahy who would go on to cult super stardom by directing Highlander, and then to infamy by directing the laughably bad Highlander 2. Anyway, back to Razorback and the previously mentioned Jaws. This porcine predator movie was one of the many killer animal flicks to come out in the wake of that big fish. How does it stack up to the rest and stand up now 34 years later? Well, grab your biggest, baddest hunting rifle and prepare for Bacon or Death and let’s find out.
There really isn’t much to say about the plot of this movie; it is basic “when animals attack” fare. There’s an almost comically huge wild pig running around Australia, smashing through houses, eating people, frogs, and even kids (points for daring to go there). One day it eats the wrong person: an American TV reporter. Yeah, you know things just got real when that happens. So the journalist’s husband, a tough Aussie hunter, and a local female farmer join forces in a quest to bring the big pig down. Action, eating, and a surprising amount of humor ensues.
Yes, unlike so many big bad beastie movies, this one is actually great fun and funny. It seems almost more of a comedy at times or a bit of a spoof on the evil animal films that were all the rage at the time than a true horror movie. That’s one of the things I like best about it, the amount of plain old fun it is. That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its share of scares and gruesome bits, it does for sure. It also has that Aussie charm that we Americans seem to like so much. I mean there’s got to be a reason for Crocodile Dundee 1 and 2, right?
Let’s get to the extras that Umbrella Entertainment put on this new Blu-ray. First it must be said that despite this being a company from Australia, the disc works perfectly fine on North American players. All companies should do that, screw region locking. Also the HD transfer of this looks really good and highlights Mulcahy’s shot choice and beautiful use of the camera. Now the special features kick off with an audio commentary with director Russell Mulcahy and moderated by Shane Armstrong. There is an audio interview with lead actor Gregory Harrison that runs 31 minutes and a behind-the-scenes featurette with the awesome name of “Jaws on Trotters” that is one hour and 14 minutes. There is an excerpt for the great doc on Ozploitation movies, Not Quite Hollywood, that interviews many folks from the film and that runs a staggering hour and 24 minutes. That’s a feature-length doc right there. There is a retrospective of Razorback that’s 24 minutes long. For the gorehounds there is a collection of the grisly deleted scenes from the movie that even comes with its own commentary track, if you want it. Then there’s a really cool thing: the complete one hour and 35 minute VHS cut of the movie in all its popped, cracked, crappy film quality for all you hipsters out there. That’s just cool. The theatrical trailer, the VHS trailer, and an image gallery round out the impressive list of goodies.
I love Razorback and this is easily and by far the best I’ve ever seen this movie look, the best it has ever sounded, and the new Blu-ray comes packed to the tusks with a ton of special features. If you love this movie as I do then this is a must-have. If you’ve never seen it, then it’s a must-watch and then a must-have. Yeah, it’s safe to say this one is highly recommended by me.