Friday, June 28, 2013

100 Bloody Acres: What “Organic” Really Means

The Morgan Brothers’ Organic Blood and Bone Fertilizer is a case of truth in advertising.  It is a tough business, but sometimes the raw materials are free.  However, their cottage industry implodes into grisly mayhem in Colin & Cameron Cairnes’ Australian horror mash-up 100 Bloody Acres (trailer here), which opens today in New York.

Think of it as roadkill.  In the past, Reg and his domineering older brother Lindsay have scavenged victims of highway accidents, “recycling” them back into their customers’ fields.  While returning from a solo run, Reg chances upon a fresh one.  He makes a rather messy job of it though.  Against all better judgment, he also picks up three hitchhiking made-to-order slasher movie teens on their way to a music festival.  By the time they discover the hastily concealed body they have practically been sitting on, Reg is back at the Morgan Farm, where Lindsay takes charge.  From this point on, things will not be pretty for anyone.

Although a bit slow out of the gate, 100 picks up speed nicely.  In fact, there are a number of big oh-no-they-didn’t-oh-yes-they-did laughs in the latter half of the picture.  The Cairnes Brothers definitely deliver enough comedic gore to satisfy genre fans, but they frankly could have gotten away with far less developed characters, so that is nice bonus as well.

As Reg, Damon Herriman is quite the game sad sack, but it is Angus Sampson who really takes the film by the horns as the hulking and increasingly harried Lindsay.  Their three reluctant guests are basically generic carbon copies of Scream franchise prototypes, but Chrissie Page has some unforgettable moments as Nancy, an old friend of the Morgan family.

The Cairnes clearly have a gleeful affection for over-the-top cinematic carnage.  It becomes rather infectious thanks to their energetic execution.  There is a bit of “Australianess” to the film that will stand out distractingly for American audiences, but on the plus side, they will gain a deeper appreciation for cheesy Australian pop music.  For those who do not mind severed body parts, 100 Blood Acres is just good, clean fun.  Recommended for horror fans with a taste for black humor, it opens today (6/28) at the Cinema Village.