My love for Australian horror is pretty well known at this point. Give me a comfy couch and a giant stack of Ozploitation cinema, and I'm basically done.
But, in the last few years, the choices in terms of quality films from Oz has gotten pretty abysmal. However, a Twitter follower suggested I check out a film called 100 Bloody Acres and frankly, I owe that person a sticker because this weird little gem became one of my new favorite films almost immediately.
The Plot: Morgan Brothers Organic Fertilizer is the toast of Australia, in that it has all of the growing power of the big name boys but is cultivated with only the finest all-natural products. It's a Morgan Brothers Guarantee!
The problem is, that while Reg is doing his best to keep the business legitimate, his monosyllabic brother Lindsay has discovered that the best bone and blood for the fertilizer is human bone and blood. So one by one, motorists start to disappear and Reg desperately tries to keep a sweet, plastered smile on. But then a young woman, her boyfriend, and their drugged out, horndog buddy cross paths with the Morgan Brothers. And more than the chemical composition of the fertilizer may be changing...
Even if you discount the fact that I have a soft spot where it comes to Australian cinema, 100 Bloody Acres is absolutely brilliant. Let's take this strange little movie bit by bit. 100 has an absolutely kick-ass final girl in Sophie, played by Anna McGahan. However, unlike our typical final girl, Sophie is a fully written character with goals and wants and needs that have nothing to do with the men in her life. She is a sexual being, and she takes exactly what she wants in every scene. But best of all, when it comes down to it, Sophie puts her needs and desires above what is considered conventional and frankly, I loved the crap out of it. I actually had a moment where I imagined myself making the same decision she did, and being totally okay with it. THAT is a gorgeously written character.
I also love a good comedic horror character and Reg Morgan is probably my favorite recent one not written by Edgar Wright. Damon Herriman, who I've loved on the series Justified, is absolute perfection in 100 Bloody Acres as a brother just trying to do right by the family business. Even when you know you should be horrified by his actions, you're secretly rooting for him to have a happy ending. I loved the layers to his character. He was sweet and funny without even the slightest bit of pretense. Even his more subtle quirks, such as singing only retro Top 40 music on the radio, seemed perfectly in keeping with his sensitive nature. Herriman really is a revelation and I can't wait to see him in more films like this.
The supporting cast is equally awesome, with Angus Sampson (Insidious) playing a terrifying heavy with a dark, vomit-inducing secret really well. 100's gore is perfect and purposeful, and there is nary an unnecessary tit in sight. Broken down to its simplest form, if I could have imagined the perfect dark comedy, this movie would have been pretty high on my list
Serious bonus points for an ending that just made my black heart flutter with joy!
Rating: 5 out of 5 Bags of "Fertilizer"