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“100 BLOODY ACRES” (Movie Review)

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100 BLOODY ACRES isn’t a straight horror film, despite what the title may lead you to believe. It is, however, a delightful and decidedly Australian comedy in which the characters find themselves in a rather horrific situation, with the resulting shenanigans strewn with bursts of fun gore.

The feature writing and directing debut of brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes, 100 BLOODY ACRES (opening theatrically in select cities and available on VOD from Doppelgänger Releasing) stars a number of Aussie actors not unfamiliar with genre territory, including Damon Herriman (from 2005’s HOUSE OF WAX) as lonely and mild-mannered Reg Morgan, who co-runs an organic fertilizer business with his considerably more sadistic brother Lindsay, portrayed by INSIDIOUS’ Angus Sampson. (WOLF CREEK’s John Jarratt also makes an appearance, albeit briefly.) The two have found recent success in their line of work, which can be attributed to the new secret ingredient they’ve been infusing their fertilizer with: a sort of potassium-rich serum somehow solely derived from freshly ground human corpses, previously humanely collected from accident sites—but that’s all about to change.

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Reg, having lived the entirety of his life under his brother’s dominating shadow, decides on a whim to collect live victims for their Miracle Gro. Thus, heroine Sophie (Anna McGahan), unappealing and unrepentant Wesley (Jamie Kristian) and pal James (Oliver Ackland) inadvertently find themselves in the clutches of the Morgans, having resorted to hitchhiking after their own vehicle broke down en route to a music festival. Wesley and James climb in the back of Reg’s delivery truck, unwittingly joining a poorly concealed cadaver, and Reg takes an immediate liking to Sophie on the drive as the two bond over Aussie tunes in the front seat. The boys shortly discover the body in the back, and chaos ensues—but before the trio can be turned into fertilizer, all of the characters’ most dysfunctional tendencies surface as the film progresses, heading toward an inevitable implosion. In addition, the plot thickens in a Stockholm Syndome-esque way as Sophie begins to develop feelings for her Reg (which, needless to say, are reciprocated).

As the situation gets increasingly out of hand (without spoiling anything, there is a scene involving hallucinogens set in a location called “Fairyland”), hilarious mayhem continues to unfold on this wild ride. The film is consistently humorous, and the Cairnes brothers excel in making a completely implausible situation reach its maximum capacity in terms of believability, with a storyline that has been carefully thought out and successfully executed. Its plot devices are strategically placed and employed; the pacing is right on, and the stakes start high and continue to rise as the situation becomes increasingly dire.

But perhaps 100 BLOODY ACRES’ strongest element is its regional uniqueness. The film is saturated in Australian dialect, slang and humor, and further pays homage to the culture with the quirky soundtrack. There is a deliberate amount of attention paid to character development—always a welcome trait in genre films—and the actors bring strong ability to their respective characters. 100 BLOODY ACRES is wonderfully bizarre, and worth a viewing for anyone with a taste for horror/comedy.

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About the author
Vivienne Vaughn
Vivienne is an undergraduate at New York University studying film and TV production and is also a horror screenwriter and director. Some of her favorite things include EYES WITHOUT A FACE, THE X-FILES, SANTA SANGRE, John Hughes movies, 1950s/60s girl groups and J.D. Salinger. She currently resides in Queens.
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