I have mentioned a number of times now that I prefer my horror to be played straight. It is not that I hate comedy with my horror, it is just that it is a very hard balance to get right and because of that there are very few great horror comedies. “100 Bloody Acres” is a brand new Australian film that is trying its luck in the horror comedy arena and is directed by newcomers, Cameron and Colin Cairnes.
“100 Bloody Acres” is about a couple of brothers, Reg and Lindsay, who have ventured out into the small business arena with their new fertilizer business whose specialty is a variety of “Blood and Bone”. Their new strain of it has been an absolute hit, mainly due to the very fresh ingredients the brother’s put into it, namely dead human bodies.
One day three friends, James, Sophie and Wesley, are travelling to a music festival when their car breaks down. Being in the middle of nowhere they wave down the first passing vehicle they find for help, which turns out to be Reg who is on the way to a delivery. After initially refusing to give the friends a lift, Reg is then convinced by Sophie and her ample assets to change his mind. He puts the two guys in the back with the manure and fertilizer with Sarah up front with him, but when the guys discover a fresh body hidden in the back with them, everyone’s fate seems to become a lot darker.
“100 Bloody Acres” was a seriously entertaining film and a rare great horror comedy. While I would never call the film scary, it is incredibly bloody and the comedy is also very well done. In fact, thinking about it, the film is really a black comedy and not a horror film at all. The hardest aspect of these films is getting the tone right and the Cairnes brothers have achieved a perfect balance here. The comedy doesn’t come from actual jokes but rather from the absurdity of the situations presented. It is obvious that everyone is on the same page, especially the actors because they are all fabulous. They wisely play their roles straight rather than looking for the gag and the film is better for it. The standout is Damon Herriman who plays the dim-witted but loveable Reg. He is a cup half full kind-of guy, just dealing with each situation the best that he can, but nothing ever seems to go right for the poor chap. Surprisingly Angus Sampson plays the straight man as Lindsay, the heavy of the film, and almost none of the comedy comes from him. That said, he does have the funniest (and most disgusting) scene of the whole film. I have got to mention just how stunning Anna McGahan is as Sophie (yeah, I know, I’ve got a thing for redheads) and she has such a presence on screen. The camera loves her and it is hard not to fall in love with her character because of it.
In terms of comedy the film has got some splendid moments including a hilarious scene involving “Rebecca Gibney” in Reg’s trailer, and a very amusing sequence at Fairy Park where Wesley ends up at after escaping the brothers while tripping on acid. The aforementioned scene with Angus Sampson though takes the cake because you just never see it coming and it is as funny as it is disgusting. “100 Bloody Acres” will always be known for this scene, mark my words. It is great to see a genre script with such great writing. The dialogue is brilliantly hilarious but again the actor’s delivery and comic timing amplify its greatness.
True horror is actually missing from “100 Bloody Acres” but there are plenty of moments of genuine suspense and as the stakes get higher, the blood flow definitely increases. It may not be a scary film but it is a very bloody one, and all of the blood gags have been done really well.
Overall I had a fantastic time with “100 Bloody Acres” and it turned out to be a fantastic surprise. The directors have obviously got a lot of talent and I look forward to more films from these Aussie siblings.