Screen cap from promotional trailer
form y Razorback single work   film/TV   horror  
Adaptation of Razorback Peter Brennan 1981 single work novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1984 1984
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A vicious razorback boar terrorises the Australian outback, beginning with the death of a small child, whose grandfather is tried for his murder but acquitted. An American journalist (who holds strong conservationist views) follows the story and is attacked by two locals, who leave her for the boar to kill. Her husband then comes to Australia, determined to seek the boar who killed his wife (and, incidentally, revenge himself on the two locals).

Written by prolific screen-writer Everett De Roche, the film is based on a novel of the same name by American novelist Peter Brennan (a novel that, apparently, bears little resemblance to the film). The first full-length film directed by Russell Mulcahy, Razorback is a bridge between Mulcahy's early work on video clips and his later, more recognisable genre films, beginning (only two years after Razorback) with Highlander.

According to David Carroll at Tabula Rasa, 'Razorback is perhaps the most recognisable 'horror' film from Australia. It has a rising young director in the form of Russell Mulcahy, some reasonably well-known faces, both Australian and American, and a giant pig. It also has a depiction of the Australian outback as, basically, hell'.

Carroll specifies of the way in which the film approaches Australia (as a concept, rather than simply a country) that 'The brothers, their factory, the nightmare landscape and the pig itself, are all presented as a single, coherent malevolence. I have written previously, in more than one place, that the landscape is the defining feature of Australian horror. Razorback extends the idea into expressionism'. He emphasises that 'Of course, all this unnaturalistic splendour could just be attributed to shoddy film-making, but I don't think so. The change in tone and the way things are shot in different locations, such as Sarah's farm and the factory, is very striking, whilst the town itself shifts between the two. There seem to be two different realities, and a slippery border between them.'

Source: Tabula Rasa (http://www.tabula-rasa.info/AusHorror/Razorback.html). (Sighted: 15/6/2012)

Notes

  • The trailer for this film is available to watch via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-WKSnSagMg (Sighted: 15/6/2012)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

The Australian Horror Novel Since 1950 James Doig , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 112-127)
According to James Doig the horror genre 'was overlooked by the popular circulating libraries in Australia.' In this chapter he observes that this 'marginalization of horror reflects both the trepidation felt by the conservative library system towards 'penny dreadfuls,' and the fact that horror had limited popular appeal with the British (and Australian) reading public.' Doig concludes that there is 'no Australian author of horror novels with the same commercial cachet' as authors of fantasy or science fiction. He proposes that if Australian horror fiction wants to compete successfully 'in the long-term it needs to develop a flourishing and vibrant small press contingent prepared to nurture new talent' like the USA and UK small presses.' (Editor's foreword xii)
DVD Review Kevin M. Flanagan , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , 6 April vol. 5 no. 1 2011; (p. 95-96)

— Review of Razorback Everett de Roche 1984 single work film/TV
DVD Review Kevin M. Flanagan , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , 6 April vol. 5 no. 1 2011; (p. 95-96)

— Review of Razorback Everett de Roche 1984 single work film/TV
The Australian Horror Novel Since 1950 James Doig , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 112-127)
According to James Doig the horror genre 'was overlooked by the popular circulating libraries in Australia.' In this chapter he observes that this 'marginalization of horror reflects both the trepidation felt by the conservative library system towards 'penny dreadfuls,' and the fact that horror had limited popular appeal with the British (and Australian) reading public.' Doig concludes that there is 'no Australian author of horror novels with the same commercial cachet' as authors of fantasy or science fiction. He proposes that if Australian horror fiction wants to compete successfully 'in the long-term it needs to develop a flourishing and vibrant small press contingent prepared to nurture new talent' like the USA and UK small presses.' (Editor's foreword xii)

Awards

1984 nominated Australian Film Institute Awards Best Screenplay Adapted
Last amended 15 Oct 2014 11:00:18
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  • Australian Outback, Central Australia,
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