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100 Bloody Acres – 7

Director – Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes

Cast – Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan, Oliver Ackland, Jamie Kristian, John Jarratt, Chrissie Page

Release Year – 2013

Reviewed by John of the Dead

When David from Forget to Breathe recommends a film to me, 99.99% of the time I check it out. That was the case with 100 Bloody Acres, which is a simple film that gets a lot of things right. Heavy on the comedy, the laughs are there but the horror does take a back seat to this. Thankfully, this Australian flick from brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes still delivers a good horror experience in the end.

Brothers Reg and Lindsay run an organic fertilizer company that produces BIG results for farmers across the countryside. Their “secret ingredient” keeps them busy picking up road kill, along the dangerous county roads, including the occasional human corpse from an automobile accident. With a large quota to meet, they can’t pass on an opportunity for fresh ingredients when a trio of city folks petition Reg for a ride to a music festival.

This marks the first full-length film for the Cairnes brothers, and they did great with what little they had to work with. The story starts off really well and is very engaging, – easily sucking me in. We follow the protagonist trio as they suffer engine problems and then convince Reg, who just happened to be passing by, to give them a ride to the festival. Of course, little do they know, Reg has other plans for them. Early on we get a good look into the freight truck the brothers use to carry around dead animals and a dead human. I was surprised to see quite a bit of tension hitting the screen early on, and I applaud the filmmakers for writing in good tension for a horror/comedy. With all of the dead bodies laying about I had a feeling the film would be pretty gory, and while it was at first it seemed the gore took a bit of a backseat to the comedy. Naturally they could go hand in hand, but I think it would be safe to assume that budgetary constraints limited the gore and kills. I will say that the comedy in this flick was pretty good, and it actually left me laughing out loud on multiple occasions. There are seriously some “WTF” scenes that were so outlandish that I could not help but put down my pizza and laugh as loud as I could. What really surprised me though was how well the Cairnes brothers wrote their characters. I personally did not care for any of the protagonists and would have been happy to see them all ground into fertilizer, but I did highly enjoy the antagonists, Reg and Lindsay.

The majority of the story takes place in one location, and despite that I never found the film boring. This story came with good development and also developed at just the right pace to keep me engaged without having to show me everything it had to offer all at once. I did want to see more kills and more horror overall, but I can be a bit forgiving with a low budget film like this one. On top of that, I did mention that the comedy was pretty good, and because of that I did not feel dismayed with the lack of the good stuff. The climax is a bit unsatisfying though, but stick around during the end credits for something extra.

The Cairnes brothers did pretty well as directors too. From the get-go they had me hooked and much of that was because of their execution early on. They use live action effects for the early kills and subsequent gore, so naturally I was sitting there licking my lips and waiting for more. The sets and locations used were okay, and while they were far from scary they were enough to sell the story as a believable one. What really stands out about the direction though is their execution of the actors, and namely the antagonists Reg and Lindsay. The character play between these two – the naïve Reg and the brains of the operation he refers to as Lindsay – was great and provided a nice dynamic. Reg was definitely the star of the film though, as his bumbling not only made for good laughs but made you somewhat care for the guy as well.

Overall, 100 Bloody Acres is a fairly positive watch that gave me some good laughs and decent horror. The film is far from spectacular and won’t live up to other recent horror comedies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, but it does what it can and the end result is a positive one. This is not a flick I would recommend to everyone though, as it does have its flaws and is slightly unfulfilling at times, but if you need an easy watch with a decent payoff then this may be enough for you.

Rating: 7/10

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