By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
Granted, campy Australian movies are an acquired taste. But for those who have acquired this particular fondness, “100 Bloody Acres” will truly be a guilty pleasure with an accent – one at times so garbled that subtitles would be appreciated.
As the title implies, the setting for this gruesome bit of butchery is a rural stretch of countryside out in the bush. There are also plenty of trees and a nice bit of two-lane blacktop, useful for chasing down victims determined to escape their fate at the hands of brothers Reg (Damon Herriman) and Lindsay Morgan (Angus Sampson).
The brothers have one ingenious idea – converting road kill (for which the two-lane blacktop is also useful) into what they call Organic Blood and Bone Fertilizer.
Apparently, among Australians obsessed with growing their own healthy food, organic blood and bone fertilizer is the only way to go. Something about getting a huge boost of phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen, or something.
The unfortunate part is that most road kill is rather smallish, maybe the occasional kangaroo is pretty good but all the rest is just rabbits and such. So one early morning when Reg in his company truck discovers a vehicle smashed into a tree and its driver dead, Reg is delighted.
He drags the dead man into the back of his truck and heads on home. Later on in a rather gruesome sequence, Lindsay will convert the body into their unique fertilizer’s most active ingredient.
However, in the meantime, good-natured Reg stops on his way back with the dead man hidden under some other and picks up three lively young people hitchhiking to a music festival. Of course you know what will happen next.
What is the next step below grave-digger’s humor? Whatever the name, that is the kingdom of “100 Bloody Acres.” With a burst of good-hearted élan we are assured there is little this bunch won’t do to get their laughs.
Their food processing plant is a rundown barn, their meat grinder couldn’t be more grossly disgusting, their motivations more grisly. Reg is the dim-witted one whose awkwardness covers a heart of gold. Lindsay is the true villain, a mountain of a sociopath who scrupulously wears hair and beard nets to grind up his victims.
It is little touches such as the hair nets included in writer/director brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes creativity that make “100 Bloody Acres” worthwhile.
There are no surprises in the plot. Knowing what to expect next actually makes the audience feel more involved. Much of the film feels crude, but that just feeds the conviction that their imagination will not only burst through the box but frolic in the meadow outside.
Just don’t plan on going out for burgers after the movie.