Razorback

1984

Razorback

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 6

49%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,828
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Movie Info

Before he directed the cult classic Highlander (1986), music video creator Russell Mulcahy adapted this stylish, tongue-in-cheek horror film from the novel by Peter Brennan. Gregory Harrison stars as Carl Winters, a grief-stricken American husband who has come to a remote corner of Australia to seek answers in the death of his wife, a TV journalist who was investigating a story on kangaroo poaching. Carl meets Jake Cullen (Bill Kerr), a man obsessed with hunting down what he says is an enormous razorback boar that consumed his grandson. Although he was acquitted, most of the locals believe that Jake murdered the boy himself and invented the crazy story about a giant pig. Jake tells Carl that he believes the razorback is also responsible for his wife's death. At first skeptical, Carl becomes a believer when he encounters the beast. He and Jake track it to a dog food processing plant, where the owners are illegally butchering kangaroos for industrial use. The factory operators are also feeding the dog food to the gigantic razorback, increasing its size and carnivorous appetite. Joined by farmer Sarah Cameron (Arkie Whiteley), Carl and Jake set out to kill the powerful mutant. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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Cast

Gregory Harrison
as Carl Winters
Arkie Whiteley
as Sarah Cameron
Bill Kerr
as Jake Cullen
Chris Haywood
as Benny Baker
David Argue
as Dicko Baker
Judy Morris
as Beth Winters
John Ewart
as Turner
Don Smith
as Wallace
Redmond Phillips
as Magistrate
Alan Beecher
as Counsel
Beth Child
as Louise Cullen
Peter Boswell
as Wagstaff
Brian Adams
as Male Newscaster
Jinx Lootens
as Female Newscaster
Don Lane
as Himself
Chris Hession
as TV Cowboy
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Critic Reviews for Razorback

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Razorback

  • Oct 10, 2013
    Boars can be downright merciless in their choice of victims as exemplified by the superlative B-movie 'Razorback'. The carnivorous boar in question eviscerates a pregnant woman, a toddler in his crib and worst of all, a vintage television set. Each attack is staged like an earthquake with the boar stampeding like a snarling freight train while the tremor-induced camera shakes uncontrollably. More than anything else in this rollicking offering from the Australian outback, the sun-dappled, orange-tinted cinematography is inimitable. It could almost be described as one of the most picturesque exploitation movies ever made. Of course, the film is chockful of hoary cliches like the barroom xenophobia of the local towards the American outsiders and the Robert Shaw-esque hunter with a revenge bent against the pernicious critter ("There are only 2 states of being-dangerous or dead."). There is also a jaunty dose of satirical bite around animal rights activism and whether these notably non-docile creatures need the crusading vocal support of people. The kamikaze visual energy of a young Sam Raimi sustains the film's momentum through a somewhat soggy midsection that prematurely introduces a love interest after the main character's wife has just been gored. Overall though, 'Razorback' is a rip-roaring juggernaut in the usually shallow pool of man-vs.-nature creature features.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Feb 14, 2013
    Creature feature films are always a good bet when it comes to deliver terrific mindless entertainment. Razorback is one of the best films in the genre. I've seen my fair share of films in this genre, and this is one of the most memorable pictures in the genre. There have been plenty of great movies in the nature gone wild genre; many of them bring original thrilling ideas to the screen. Razorback is a stellar film in the genre, and there are some truly chilling scenes before all the carnage caused by the razorback itself. There are some pretty good performances here and director Russell Mulcahy crafts a solid horror picture that steadily builds up the fear in the viewer. Mulcahy would later direct the cult hit Highlander, but Razorback is one of his standout films. This is a well crafted film that is sure to please genre fans. In terms of killer creature films, Razorback is a stunning film that definitely warrants a view from viewers that enjoy films such as Jaws, Piranha, Alligator and countless others. The film is aided by terrific atmosphere, which add to the enjoyment and tense experience of the picture. In the nature gone wild genre, there have been many great films, but Razorback is exceptional. Director Russell Mulcahy opts to direct a more serious film that we've previously seen in this genre, and gives us a movie that generates the tension, with good performances and a memorable creature that creates the carnage. This is one of the darker films I've seen in the genre, and in turn is among the finest as well. There are plenty of bone chilling moments to be had with this one, and Razorback is one of the most surprising Aussie films of the 1980's. Razorback is a great film with a truly unique villain, a giant razorback wild boar. That may sound a tad silly, but there's enough serious material at work on-screen to make this one a standout horror feature. Definitely worth checking out if you love nature gone wild horror films.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 14, 2011
    A pretty amusing and entertaining "animal invasion" horror movie, ala Jaws, but taking place in the Austrailian Outback and dealing with an oversized mutant hog. Opening scene, a grandfather loses his grandchild to the beast. He is put on trial as nobody believes his story of an oversized Razorback Hog, but ultimately his charges are dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence that he was responsible. A few years later an American journalist goes to the outback to do a story on the plight of Kangaroos in the area. However she soons runs into the ghastly hog and meets an unfortunate fate, but not before having a run in with two horny hillbillies. This brings the womans husband to the outback to find out what went wrong. Eventually he has a run in with the beast as well, thus leading to the movies final showdown. This was actually the second time I had seen this and I think I enjoyed it a little more the first time, where I saw it on TV at a friends house over beers and spliffs. In the end it still wasn't very memorbale, but a lot more entertaining that time around. I think the movie suffers due to unoriginality and Austrailians seeming inability to take anything seriously. That being said this is still amusing, I just don't think it's anything overly exceptional. A good movie to watch with friends over beers I suppose, but nothing really special either. Still worth a watch for fans of 80's camp horror and horror comedies.
    Ed Fucking H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2011
    "There's something about blasting the shit out of a razorback that brightens up my whole day."

    Razorback can best be described as Jaws in an Australian outback setting with people being killed by a large marauding pig rather than a killer shark. As far as the quality of these types of creature features go, this Ozploitation effort falls pretty much in the middle - while not as brilliant as Jaws, it's certainly not as dire as Jaws 3 or Jaws the Revenge. Former music video director (and future straight-to-DVD flick purveyor) Russell Mulcahy made his feature film debut as director here, resulting in a generally enjoyable horror flick thanks to its nostalgic '80s vibe, an engaging visual style, a few moments of genuine terror, and its camp appeal. Nonetheless, Razorback is marred by special effects restrictions and a poorly designed narrative which inadvisably concentrates more on boring villainous machinations than fun exploitation elements.

    New York journalist Beth Winters (Morris) is a vehement animal rights activist, and for her latest assignment she travels to the small town of Gamulla in the Australian outback to investigate the problematically widespread kangaroo slaughtering industry. Things do not go especially well for Beth, though - the colourful locals make her feel unwelcome, and she soon goes missing. Hearing the news of her disappearance, Beth's partner Carl (Harrison) travels to Gamulla in search of answers. Not long after, he meets an embittered hunter (Kerr) and a few unsavoury locals. It soon becomes clear to Carl that the community is being terrorised by a large marauding razorback with a taste for human flesh.

    A film solely focused on the effects of a killer pig on a small outback community would have easily been enough to sustain an 80-minute exploitation movie. Unfortunately, Razorback becomes weighed down by a wholly unnecessary subplot concerning evil kangaroo hunters which detracts a degree of focus, momentum and fun. Nevertheless, there's a lot to enjoy here. Using Jaws as a template in the way that the titular pig is not clearly glimpsed until the third act, the razorback attack scenes are fast, vicious, gory and aggressive, culminating with a climactic confrontation that's genuinely nail-biting. In its uncut form, Razorback is even better, with a larger amount of exploitative (Ozploitative?) gory violence. Director Mulcahy was clearly limited by the special effects available to him at the time which are by no means perfect, but the marauding beast nonetheless looks mean and serviceable enough.

    Before Mulcahy made his debut with Razorback, the Australian filmmaker was known as one of the most stylish music video directors in the industry, having made videos for such '80s musicians as Duran Duran and Elton John. In keeping with his background, the film looks like a product of the MTV generation, and this is a very beneficial asset. Leaps and bounds superior to lazier, more stereotypical horror films, Razorback is exceptionally stylised, with frequently artistic shot construction. After all, what else would you expect from the combined instincts of Mulcahy and Oscar-winning cinematographer Dean Semler (Max Mad 2, Dances With Wolves)? To the credit of Mulcahy and Semler, there is barely a scene that goes by that is not rich with atmosphere; a testament to the filmmakers' ability to both make the most of a tiny budget and present a rather ridiculous premise with visual panache.

    The visual styling clearly took precedence over plotting and acting, but at least the acting is not necessarily awful here. Bill Kerr impresses the most, slipping into his role of the gruff razorback hunter with often intense and engaging results. In the stereotypical hero role, Gregory Harrison is believable though by no means outstanding, and Judy Morris made the most of her somewhat thankless role of Beth. Meanwhile, Chris Haywood and David Argue are the proverbial villains of the story, and they seem to have been lifted straight out of the Mad Max series due to their behavioural instincts and costuming. They're serviceable enough, but entirely clichéd and unremarkable.

    Unfortunately and unexpectedly, Razorback foundered at the box office in both America and Australia during its 1984 theatrical release despite its distributors having confidence in the final product. Fortunately, though, it eventually found its audience on home video before transforming into a minor cult classic. Heck, Jaws director Steven Spielberg is even a big fan of this outback monster movie, while Quentin Tarantino can also be counted among the film's self-confessed fans.

    Cal ( Super Reviewer

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