Blu-ray Review: Boar (2018)

I would never have predicted that in the space of a week, two Australian movies about a killer pig would arrive in my mail box. First was Russell Mulcahy’s stylish classic Razorback, a film which now has a rival in the newly released Boar from director Chris Sun (Charlie’s Farm). Out now on Blu-ray from Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, this blood and guts romp in the Aussie bush has been a passion project for Sun these past few years, and recently enjoyed a limited run in select cinemas. Taking place in what appears to be the most laid-back of laid-back country towns, a monstrous wild boar is wreaking havoc on animals and humans alike, leaving in its wake several gut-wrenching sites!

Needless to say, it’s fairly obvious what viewers are expecting to see in this gory creature -feature which certainly delivers on these expectations. However, it’s important to note that Boar is far from a carbon copy of Razorback, as the two films differ significantly both in tone and storyline. Little time is wasted in showing the savage nature of our territorial beast, who has its tusks fixed on local farmers and holiday-makers alike. While generic and rather stereotypical, characters fill in the voids between attacks with fair dinkum Aussie humour and language, which even the film’s soul American protagonist (play by Bill Moseley) adopts in stride. Screen veterans John Jarratt (Wolf Creek) and Roger Ward (Mad Max) are an outback Abbott and Costello during their scenes together, keeping the atmosphere light with believable drunken antics. Simone Buchanan (Shame, Patrick) as family matriarch Debbie carries herself well with moments of motherly badassery, while Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road) is not waited as her brother Bernie, who has a rather spectrally duel against the titular boar. As you might expect, there’s a fun reference to Razorback via a cameo from Chris Haywood as a local old-timer Jack, providing some ominous exploratory dialogue, exchanged with staple character actor Ernie Dingo as the unassuming Ernie.  Impressively, traditional animatronics have been utilized to bring the film’s main antagonist, Boar, to life. Digital effects on the other hand, which were employed to bring to live more elaborate animal sequences, prove to be a commendable effort despite paling in comparison to our physically constructed antagonist described above.

VIDEO AND AUDIO

Presumably shot on digital equipment, the film looks very sharp and is well optimised for playback on modern home theatres, presented in 2.39:1 widescreen and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, which the film more than lives up to.

SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Interview with Director Chris Sun
  • The Making of the Practical Beast
  • Cast Interviews
  • Gag Reel

For a low-budget picture that has been faced with a few uphill battles, this release is the ultimate treat for fans with a variety of bonus content, including a look at the film’s practical elements and the emphasis placed in the traditional method.

Boar is a fun creature-feature that isn’t to be taken seriously and is an affectionate celebration of Ozploitaion cinema from decades past. Australian movie-goers have been a significant part in helping Chris Sun deliver his vision to audiences and I look forward to see what’s next.

Note: Boar is also available on DVD from Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

BOAR
(2018, dir: Chris Sun)

★★★

 

 

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