Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 096: Horror Down Under – Australian Horror Cinema

HMP Australian Horror
Welcome to HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies. This is Episode 096, another of our themed episodes and the first of our “Horror Around the World” series. This time, we bring you some thunder from down under to discuss Australian Horror Cinema. We begin with our usual, in-depth discussion when Jay of the Dead and Dr. Shock talk about the theme and a number of notable films. And then we bring you three Feature Reviews of Aussie horror flicks, each hand-picked by one of your hosts. First, Dr. Shock brings you his review of The Tunnel (2011). Next, Wolfman Josh talks The Loved Ones (2012). And Jay of the Dead wraps up our feature review portion of the show with his review of Wolf Creek (2005). Finally, we conclude with Jay and Dave giving you their Top 5 Favorite Aussie Horror Movies lists. Join us, or we’ll feed you to the dingos!

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I. Introduction
— Wolfman Josh will join us later this episode

— Foreign cinema, Hollywood vs. Bollywood
Primal (2010)
Razorback (1984)
Body Melt (1993)
Rogue (2007)
Black Water (2007)
The Babadook (2014)
Road Games (1981)
The Ruins (2008)
Bait (2012)
Lake Mungo (2012)
Queen of the Damned (2002)
Dead End Drive-In (1986)
Turkey Shoot (1982)
Storm Warning (2007)
Ghost Ship (2002)
House of Wax (2005)
Thirst (1979)
The Survivor (1981)
The Reef (2010)
Charlie’s Farm (2014)
Night of Fear (1972)
The Cars That Eat People (1974)
Inn of the Damned (1975)
The Plumber (1979)
Howling III: The Marsupials (1987)
The Wicked (1987)
Visitors (2003)
Undead (2003)
Van Diemen’s Land (2009)
Uninhabited (2010)
100 Bloody Acres (2012)
Patrick (2013)
Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse (2015)
Lemon Tree Passage (2015)
Houseboat Horror (1989)
Road Kill (2010) (aka “Road Train”)
Wolf Creek 2 (2013)
The Pack (2015)
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014)
Dying Breed (2008)
Stage Fright (1980) (aka “Nightmares”)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
The Horseman (2008)
Wake in Fright (1971)
The Dreaming (1988)
Cargo (2013) – short film
Cargo (2017)
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)

[ 1:48:18 ] III. Feature Review: THE TUNNEL (2011)
Dr. Shock = 8 ( Strong Rental )

[ 1:58:45 ] IV. Feature Review: THE LOVED ONES (2012)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( High-priority Rental )
Dr. Shock = 8.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 2:13:59 ] V. Feature Review: WOLF CREEK (2005)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 9 ( Buy it! )


Dr. Shock’s TOP 5:
1. Wolf Creek (2005)
2. Celia (1989)
3. Long Weekend (1978)
4. Patrick (1978)
5. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead (2014)

Dr. Shock’s Honorable Mentions:
Rogue (2007)
Razorback (1984)
Primal (2010)
Lake Mungo (2008)
The Tunnel (2011)
The Loved Ones (2009)
The Babadook (2014)

Jay of the Dead’s TOP 5:
1. The Babadook (2014)
2. Primal (2010)
3. Wolf Creek (2005)
4. The Loved Ones (2009)
5. The Reef (2010)

Jay of the Dead’s Honorable Mentions:
The Ruins (2008)
Rogue (2007)
Razorback (1984)
Ghost Ship (2002)

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 097: Horror Movies for Little Monsters!

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Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

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78 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 096: Horror Down Under – Australian Horror Cinema

  1. CORRECTION: Jay of the Dead here. Just wanted to correct one of the, probably, many dumb things I said in this episode. ha ha.

    I don’t know what’s happening to my mind, but when I was referring to the “BBK Killer,” obviously, I was trying to reference Dennis Rader — also known as “The BTK Killer,” which stands for “Bind, Torture, Kill.” How embarrassing.

    Given that BBK or 88K now means nothing, Mick’s license plate isn’t noteworthy after all…

    • Funny, I didn’t notice either.

      I think partly because at the time I thought you were going to say that it had to do with the number of missing people, but that number didn’t link up either.

      Maybe it is Mick’s tally of kills! Haha

      Or maybe it is the number of klicks to get to help, although it’s only about 4,000 clicks across Australia East to West or North to South, so there’d be some driving in circles.

      I’m with you that it must mean something. Just not sure what. Listeners, help us out!

      • Ha! Me too! I said to myself “I have to set him straight…”
        …then I saw that he went and corrected himself. Dang it!Now I kind of feel incomplete. Pathetic.

  2. My top 5 Aussie horror films

    1. Wolf Creek
    2. Black Water
    3. The Babadook
    4. Charlie’s Farm
    5. Rogue

    I have not actually seen many Aussie horror films but I will be checking out a lot of the ones you guys mentioned.

    also……Queen of The Damned is a guilty pleasure of mine..mainly for the soundtrack though.

    • Gareth, I’ll definitely be checking out your blog more often. 7.5 for Charlie’s Farm… not bad. Also, I’m with you on the Queen of the Damned soundtrack! I love it. I’m actually listening to Deftones right now. But yeah… the novel The Queen of the Damned is one of Anne Rice’s most ambitious, epic novels, and the movie does it no justice at all in any way. Still… I enjoyed dem riffs!

      • Thanks, Mister Watson, every view is appreciated! As for the Queen of the Damned soundtrack, with Jonathon Davis involved, it was clearly going to be awesome!

      • I was left cold by Queen of the Damned (the novel). My general problem with Rice (which is not to say that she lacks good qualities; I find her ability to activate the senses through her descriptions of scenes to be most impressive) is that she kept trying to top herself. So she took some concepts that were working (vampires as tormented sexually-flexible aesthetic souls, and Lestat as the “Brat Prince” of vampires), and drove them into the ground. Bad enough that all the Anne Rice knockoffs almost ruined vampire fiction for a while there, Rice herself just didn’t know to quit when she was ahead. Anyone who is thinking about reading Rice’s vampire books, I recommend stopping after the second one.

        (I have the same rant about Thomas Harris, by the way)

        • You make a lot of fair points, Professor, and I’m TOTALLY with you about Thomas Harris. It’s funny, though… Rice has said that for her, Queen of the Damned was her first novel that came out EXACTLY as she wanted. Ha ha. I still think it’s a terrific vampire epic, but that’s just me.

          I can understand someone saying that Rice drove many of her points into the ground, but do you really think she accomplished that so early in the series with Queen of the Damned? I’m a huge Rice fan, and I love ALL her vampire novels, but I feel like the real turning point of the series was Memnoch the Devil. You’re definitely 100% spot on about the Rice knockoffs! I just had to ignore ignore ignore.

          • I think that my biggest problem was that Rice had such a crush on Lestat that it became eye-rolling very fast for me. Someone who actually liked Lestat might have lasted longer, but I genuinely wanted him dead before the end of Queen of the Damned. I kept going out of a dogged persistence (and possibly the hope that the books might get better), but Body Thief just irritated me, Memnoch was pretentious and boring and dumb, and Vampire Armand was so forgettable that I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell anyone what it was about. I didn’t bother with the rest.

            What I did like about Queen of the Damned (in addition to Rice’s ability to describe a scene in a way that made me *feel* it) was the origin story, and the idea that vampires are connected because vampirism comes from a single ancient spirit.

        • I love Anne, I love the vampire saga and the Mayfair witches. However, I always find her stories to be overly wordy for the sake of wordiness and am left feeling like I need to have a room-sized genealogy chart to map the relationships. It’s exhausting. If I was writing a doctoral thesis it might be cool but for general reading (and movie watching) it’s not fun.

  3. Some people probably consider Saw an Australian film because James Wan, the director, is Australian, Leigh Whannell, the writer and one of the stars, is Australian and the short film was completely made in Australia. They initially started the feature in Australia but couldn’t get the funding together and so went to Hollywood and raised the funding, I believe. A mini-major may have been involved, but it is often talked about as an indie film. Anyway, I don’t think it’s categorically incorrect to call it an Australian film even though it was funded by and made in the US. Having Australian creators and a star is enough to consider it Australian for me, or at least not completely rule it out.

    • The killer-kanga image is from the poster of a short film called Waterborne. I don’t actually know if Jay and Doc covered it bc I wasn’t on that part of the ep, but it was too perfect not to use for the artwork. If you haven’t seen the short, it’s simple, but good and introduces the world to the Zombiroo! I’d love to see this turned into a feature. Could be the ultimate Aussie Horror flick. Here’s the short:

      • I loved the short, especially how spooky they made the offscreen “jumping” sounds. Thanks.

        So Australia gives us the zombiroo, New Zealand gives us weresheep (seriously, if you do an episode on Kiwi horror, a review of Black Sheep is mandatory)… the theme I’m getting is local filmmakers turning regional fauna into evil versions of themselves. So I wonder what we’d do here in Saskatchewan. Rise of the Living Dead Prairie Dogs? Burrowing Owls from Hell?

        • Speaking of Canada, when y’all get around to doing Canadian horror, there should at least be a brief mention of the Toronto-based TV show Forever Knight (not a horror *movie*, but still a solid addition to the vampire world that was totally ripped o… I mean, likely an inspiration for the Joss Whedon show Angel).

          And WolfCop. WolfCop must be in there as well. Don’t forget WolfCop.

  4. The Plumber (1979) is an awesome paranoid thriller. I absolutely loved it. There’s not much to it, but that 70s vibe is strong. There is none of the comedy of The Cable Guy, but I see why you’d make the comparison and how it could be an influence. The tone is closer to Straw Dogs with a pinch of The Conversation, but plot-wise The Cable Guy is an interesting one. Basically, it’s a movie about a madman f*ing with you and how the stress that creates turns YOU into the madman. Love it.

    • On the Peter Weir tip, the guy is a brilliant filmmaker. I would not consider Picnic at Hanging Rock a horror movie, though if there is horror in there, it is certainly psychological. It is definitely an art house film, but there is nothing pretentious about it. The thing I don’t like about it is how trippy it is–feels like you’re on acid. That’s not my thing. Still, it’s a great film and I think the only people who will find it pretentious are those who aren’t smart enough to understand it. 😉

  5. Obviously, we talked about Cargo on our short films episode and gave more detail about the short and the feature. It definitely makes the “Best Horror Short Films” list. If you didn’t check it out before when we recommended it on the shorts episode, I’d highly recommend watching it now: http://bit.ly/2bwMPnj

  6. Haven’t listened to the episode yet, but great to see some love for “Long Weekend” (1978) from Dr. Shock….Such a great, weird movie!! Excited to hear all of your thoughts on “Wolf Creek”…also fantastic! Yay for Aussie horror!

  7. I can’t believe we got through an entire episode discussing Australian slashers without anyone saying “That’s not a knife…” which is a distinct advantage of not having me on the show. Mick Dundee vs Mick Taylor would be a great movie.

  8. My favorite Australian horror movie features this big group of Americans dropped off in the outback and they start getting picked-off one by one.

    There is some natural survival horror stuff, to be sure. They have to deal with the heat and starvation. They consider killing a kangaroo for food, but never do it. They get so malnourished that “the hot chick” actually starts losing her hair. It’s falling out in clumps. There’s a forrest fire that drives a bunch of the wild animals toward them and they have to be careful of crocs and then there is this major flash flood that is extremely harrowing.

    They start turning on each other, the typical yelling and waving fingers in faces, and there is a fight because “the vegetarian girl” refuses to eat the chickens they have and everyone else is pissed about it. They eventually force her to eat brains and drink blood. I mean, it gets wild.

    And then one of the guys totally loses it and chases down this wild boar, killing it with a knife. He gets really creepy and is making war paint on his face with the pigs blood. And some people are thankful bc they are so hungry, but others are genuinely freaked out and they end up just letting the meat rot. Then, that guy falls into a fire and his skin melts off. No joke. It’s legit.

    Anyone remember what that was called? Dino, you recently saw this, right?

  9. I gotta say, as an Australian and an Australian horror fiend, I damn near squealed with joy when you mentioned Body Melt, what a treat it was to hear you guys talk about one of my favourite body-horrors. At this point in time I’m only 25 minutes in the podcast and I had to message (my first one too).

    As far as Australian horror that you might not have mentioned, a couple of old favourites that you should check out would be “Dark Age”- 80’s killer croc film starring John Jarratt, it’s got some pretty awesome ESP notes and some great bone crunching sound effects when the croc takes hold. Also, “Thirst” from 1979, which is up there as one of my all time greatest vampire films. It’s got an amazing score from Bryan May (not from Queen) and has a great appearance from David Hemmings, I wholeheartedly recommend this for a great slow-burn vampire pic.

    Thank you all so much for the (so far) great episode, I feel kind of blessed that we’re getting such an in-depth look in.

    I really enjoy listening to you all, so I’m gonna go back to it.



    • Wait, I cant read, I’ve just gotten to Thirst… My bad. Thanks again! Wait, I have to redeem myself! A BIG shoutout for “Houseboat Horror” from 1989. It’s a below par slasher, but damn it if I don’t love it to bits.



      • I love the premise / setting of Houseboat Horror. That was enough to make me want to check it out, despite Dave saying it wasn’t great. Thanks for the recommendation. Definitely going on the list.

    • Joel! I’d love to hear more feedback from you once you finish the episode. I know we have more Australian listeners, but you’re the only one to comment. So curious about your takes on these movies, OzHorror Cinema, and your take on our takes. I just find it fascinating.

      • It was a great episode! I felt the genre was really well represented and most bases were covered. I was really excited listening. I have a question, How do the accents and use of slang translate? Are there sentences that just seem completely foreign?
        Some of my favourite Australian film are so good because of how “Australian” they are, that’s why films like Saw and the Ruins, even Daybreakers feel like American productions.
        I also have a few more recommendations that might’ve been missed. Ok, “The 13th Floor”(1989) “Undead”(2003), “Cut”(2000) that’s a German coproduction starring Molly Ringwald?!, and the last I’ll mention here, not technically a horror movie but so damn unnerving and sinister is “Snowtown”(2011). Please, if you get the chance, check that out!

        • Thanks, Joel! Glad it worked for a real Aussie! Personally, I haven’t seen many, so I can’t comment on the slang too much other than to saw that I really like it. As I mentioned on the show, the more specific it is to the location, the more I enjoy it.

          Did we totally miss Daybreakers? Those guys DID mention Undead. Interested in checking out The 13th Floor and Cut. Those are going on the list. We were already called out on Twitter for missing The Snowtown Murders. Dang it! I saw that in research, but forgot about it since I was barely on this show. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen that one.

          Just FYI, to everyone, Dave is dealing with some pretty serious family stuff this week and so isn’t around to reply to comments. Jay rarely has time, so I am dominating the boards here. Sorry about that as well, but thank you all for your comments. A bunch of our commenters have migrated over to Twitter and forsaken us! It means a lot that you comment here.

          BTW, sorry to RedCapJack. I was moving your other comments around on the backend and accidentally posted as you twice. I’ve fixed it now, but I wanted to apologize. Playing God always gets you in trouble! Even in the podcast comments.

        • Oh, I fully think ‘Snowtown’ is a horror movie – especially if you apply JOTD’s T&A approach. :) I was just going to post how dismayed I was that they didn’t include this film and was happy to see that at least someone did. This movie disturbed me on all kinds of levels…much more so than ‘The Loved Ones’ and ‘Wolf Creek’ and others.

  10. My Top 5 list is non-existent, but my list of movies to watch is long and strong thanks to this episode. So, first, my Top 2 (hahaha) and some honorable mentions.

    1. The Babadook
    2. The Plumber

    Honorable mentions: The Loved Ones, Wolf Creek, The Howling 3, The Ruins, Wrymwood, Razorback

    Was already dying to see this: The Pack

    Now excited to watch shortlist: Dying Breed, The Reef, Dark Water and/or Rogue, Thirst (1979)

    Interested to search out: The Survivor, Charlie’s Farm, Body Melt, The Horseman, Lake Mungo, Storm Warning, Houseboat Horror

    • I was pumped to hear you guys mention Lake Mungo. It’s slow, murky, creepy and sad, and it’s so good. And one part in particular scares the crap out of me. Everywhere I’ve seen this movie discussed it gets tepid reviews, so maybe I’m crazy, but it’s one of my favorite movies. Horror or otherwise. I haven’t finished the episode to know if you’ve seen this one yet, Josh, but if you haven’t I’m hoping to get it on your “excited to watch” list – even if it’s toward the bottom…

  11. I cannot believe how many of these movies I have not seen. I feel weirdly ashamed, haha! I’m absolutely checking out The Pack, The Tunnel and like 20 of the other movies.

    My top 5 Aussie horror films are as follows (but subject to change at a later date, once I’ve watched ):

    1. Rogue
    2. The Babadook
    3. Black Water
    4. The Reef
    5. Dead End Drive in

    Wow, that Wolf creek discussion was interesting. I had the exact reaction that Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper had to it when I saw it back in 2006. I have not re-visited it since…but listening to you guys discuss it has made me entertain the notion of re-watching it.

    I want to send you guys something at HMP – where do I send it to?

    So excited for the next episode, can’t wait!!

    Thanks again for the great episode guys!

    • Bonnie, your comment has given me serious pause. It actually made me regret not revisiting Wolf Creek before going on-record about it. I had forgotten about the misogynistic elements of the film, until Jay mentioned that during our recording. Now, re-listening to Roger Ebert’s comments, I’m curious what exactly he was referring to. I am going to rewatch the movie now and I hope I haven’t given a pass to something reprehensible. That’s a fine line in horror. I suppose I give a pass to movies made in the 80s and earlier because they reflect the times in which the films were made. It’s harder to give a pass to a film that came out in the mid aughts. Of course, sometimes brutality and misogyny are the “horror” in question. I suppose it just relies on where you draw the line, personally. For me, my line is at something like Martyrs. That was the film where I thought “I don’t want to be in this anymore.” I felt like that with most of the torture films as well, but I don’t remember feeling that way about Wolf Creek. So, I guess we’ll see!

      • Josh, I agree. I resonate with the “fine line” point, big time. I felt the same way about Cannibal Holocaust, as you did about Martyrs.

        A couple of episodes back, Jay brought up his explanation about his efforts to try not to take in things that can be subconsciously toxic, or, to draw a line (referring back to our topic above). I completely agreed with his line of logic. I think some things in horror movies can be toxic for someone to take in, or even a trigger for those who have experienced it in real life.

        I remembered Wolf Creek being more nasty that I was prepared for, especially because John Jarrett was so convincing as Mick Taylor. However, since I’ve seen him in Rogue, and because he played such a sympathetic character in that role, I feel like I could possibly re-watch Wolf Creek and be more objective about it. It’s weird how an actor can be SO good in role, that it can actually sour their future roles for some of us.

        On another note, I do love Greg McLean’s long shots of the outback in the beginning of Rogue, and I feel like Wolf Creek might’ve had the same approach – which is another reason why I’d like to re-visit it. I felt like Rogue really captured something about the age and mystery of Australia’s outback in that initial montage, you know? I bet there’s a similar setup for Wolf Creek.

        Anyway, yeah! I’ll report back on here when I re-watch it, and I’d like to hear your thoughts if you re-watch it too, Josh.

        • See, I saw Martyrs as being empowering in the end, ultimately it’s a choice. I don’t want to say more because I fear it would give away major plot points (I may have already). As for Cannibal Holocaust, it’s not misogynistic in my opinion – all of those people, male or female, get theirs. Honestly, some of the male deaths are much more graphic than the female deaths. *Spoiler alert* the pole impaling (that everyone knows about even if they haven’t seen it) is nothing compared to what happens to a male character.

    • I’m trying to word this in the best possible manner so I don’t come across as some misogynist jerk, but I think the misogyny was one of the aspects I liked the most about the movie. A big part of why I loved the movie was that it did not go the way I expected it to go.


      Going into the movie, I thought it was obvious that Ben would be killed, Kristy would likely be killed, and if there was going to be a survivor, Liz would be the final girl. Instead, we get the shocking scene with Liz being killed off first that remains one of the bigger horror deaths I can think of, Kristy then is killed right at the end when my next thought was that she’d be the sole survivor, and ultimately it’s Ben who lives? My mind was blown.

      The treatment of the women was brutal, but I was glad to see the gritty style returning to horror. Personally, I found they met a good balance between being extremely brutal without crossing the line like you see whenever a horror portrays rape. For me at least, the brutal nature of the movie made see Mick Taylor as a scary and very dangerous horror villain without it going into the territory of feeling sick watching those scenes.

      I loved Wolf Creek though. Even though I went to see it at the theater with some college roommates, I ended up buying it on DVD the day it came out.

      While pulling out my DVD to re-watch a scene, I ended up finding this in the DVD case:


      The font faded a lot, but I love finding old ticket stubs.

  12. I hope you guys review Don’t Breath…It is my favorite horror movie of the year so far…Sorry 10 Cloverfield Lane…A solid 9 for me…

  13. Working my way through the episode, but wanted to pause and make a comment. Really glad Dr. Shock brought up Wake in Fright….probably one of my favorite Aussie films!

    Dr. Shock, you left out one important fact about the movie that I think the HMP listeners would like to know. I stars Donald Pleasance as one super creepy dude!

  14. hello all. excellent ep. first, i now have a new list of films to find, so my thanks. 2nd, re: picnic at hanging rock: a quick story. when i was a kid, well before i knew about this movie, i heard a campfire style story that was very similar to the main plot premise of this movie. it terrified me as a child and was astounded when i ran across the movie title and description in a movie catalog at about age 12. this was pre-internet so it wasn’t easy to get ahold of in the USA. it was a bucket list movie for me until i finally saw it in college. this is a be careful what you wish for tale, because when i finally saw it i was bored and disappointed. it was a good movie, but not scary and very reserved in its pace. i love peter weir, but that was one time i was at a loss. that’s the story except to say that after i saw the movie i wondered if the “campfire story” i heard was just a paraphrase of the premise of this movie. the time frame would be about right. so i wonder, anyone else ever hear that story as a folk tale or tall tale as a child, separate from its movie connection?

    • addendum to the above: the main issue with the film was my mind had built the story up to the point that no film could ever compare. not shade on the film at all.

  15. My review of Don’t Breathe

    When a trio of teens decide to target a blind Gulf War veteran, they get much more than they bargained for when the man wakes up and subjects the burglars to a savage funhouse of horrors. Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead remake) sits at the helm and uses every trick you come to expect while pushing the envelope a few steps beyond for some truly twisted bits of terror. Our three burglars are struggling kids who are trying to break free from their poverty-stricken Ohio slums. A “hot tip” leads them to the home of our Blind Vet, whose name we never learn. He is played by genre vet, Stephen Lang (Avatar). Having lost his daughter to a car accident some time previous, the man is living off a settlement with the driver’s family. The teens quickly find themselves trapped within the house and discover more locked doors than they’re expecting. Jane Levy (Evil Dead remake) and Dylan Minnette are cast in the lead roles of Rocky and Alex- Levy all but unrecognizable from her role in Alvarez’s previous film. Both are fairly standard character actors who really don’t stand out too much.

    So I was sitting in a pretty loud theater with a bunch of teenage boys who were trying to make themselves feel tough by scaring their girlfriends with inopportune “jumps” every few moments- all of which came to a head when one teen sitting in front of me declared “Wait… he’s blind?!?!!” after over an hour into the film and several moments where they specifically state the character was blind. Despite this interesting audience, I still found the film tense and that it worked well where it intended to work. Still, most of the film seemed to be a fairly “paint-by-numbers” affair with the traditional beats getting struck here and there.

    And then the third act began.

    And the film went from tense to downright terrifying, disgusting, and horrifying in a way that I didn’t expect from a wide release film. I felt my dinner gurgle up and threaten to leak out my throat, a little bit of that bile burn deep down in the back of the tonsils. The film ups the ante and our nerves get raked across an acre of broken glass. Our Blind Vet goes from tough as nails hardcore to sadistic monster in a steady progression that suddenly dips into the deep end of crazy town. The violence, both physical and mental, really ramps up in the final moments of the film.

    7.5 and a strong recommendation.

  16. Hey guys, I’m glad 2 “After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For” got some coverage on this episode: Lake Mungo and Dying Breed. Here’s a review of both of them I wrote back in 2012:

    Lake Mungo:

    After the drowning of their teenage daughter, a family experiences paranormal activity in their home. The documentary format is used, and the viewer is told that this is a retelling of actual events (not true, but more on that later). This was one of the After Dark Horrorfest IV selections.

    Amid the rising fad of paranormal entity films and television shows, this Australian film sets itself apart by acknowledging the fact that much of the” unexplainable” is actually very explainable either by science or hoax. Both sides of the equation are examined, and the film questions the validity of paranormal research, psychics, and the existence of spirits.

    Also, all performances were fantastic and really convincing, and the news archive footage and interview footage was extremely effective (for about two-thirds of the movie, but again, more on that later). It was all so real and well-done that waiting for the “This is a work of fiction…” disclaimer at the end credits was necessary to determine/validate its authenticity (which became suspect due to the film’s climax).

    This film u-turns too many times, resulting in a serious disconnect with the viewer. To add insult to injury, these u-turns erode the narrative cohesiveness, resulting in doubt and frustration with the film. It’s disappointing when a film is doing something cool and different and then backpedals into the mundane.

    While this isn’t necessarily a criticism of the film itself, it was a very out-of-place Horrorfest entry as all of the chills are psychological in nature rather than the standard violence and gore one come to expect from these films. Ultimately, this Aussie chiller starts very strong and spirals into “pretty good”.

    Score: 6/10
    Dying Breed:

    One of the After Dark Horrorfest III selections, this Aussie film is actually semi non-fiction, based on two pieces of actual Tasmanian history and folklore:

    In the 1800’s, Alexander “The Pieman” Pearce was hung for cannibalism, and the film proposes that his descendants follow the tradition to this day. Also, hunting expeditions for the thought-to-be-extinct Tasmanian tiger still happen to this day.

    Many hikers and hunters have gone missing with no remains ever found. Were they eaten by Pearce’s great-great grandchildren? Devoured by a ferocious tiger? Either way, it doesn’t look good for the film’s protagonists who are on an expedition to capture photographs of the elusive kitty while looking for one their sisters who disappeared eight years ago doing the same.

    Solid production values, sweeping landscapes, and fast pacing offset predictability and the standard recycled fare of every other horror film on earth featuring in-bred cannibals and obnoxious alpha-male lead characters. The climax borders on hokum, but it is a fun ride getting there.

    Score: 6/10

  17. I loved Don’t Breathe. So, so much. 9/10

    I say it was better than Witch even, or at least more entertaining. Green Room is still #1 with at a 10/10, but Don’t Breathe is my highest of the “9’s” which include, Witch, Hush, and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

    What say you guys?

  18. Also, I know this is my 3rd post today, but what Podcast app do Android users like best. I’ve been using Podcast Republic, but it glitches too often. It kept restarting this episode (and other podcasts too, so I know it is not a HMP issue) at random times.

    Any advice anybody?

    • 95% of the time, I’m using Stitcher. If I can’t find a podcast in Stitcher and have to go to the website to access it, I’ll play it with Podcast Addict since it’s very easy to click on a link on the website and tell the android to play it with Podcast Addict.

  19. Loved the episode. I had actually seen a lot more Australian horror films than I realized going in.

    My Top 5:

    1. Roadgames (1981)
    2. Patrick (1978)
    3. Blackwater (2007)
    4. The Babadook (2014)
    5. Rogue (2007)

    I will say while I can’t say that I actually like them, 1982’s ‘Next of Kin’ and 1990’s ‘Bloodmoon’ are well worth checking out for just how insane both of them are. I believe on ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ (which I highly reccomend along with everyone else) Quentin Tarantino touts the hell out of ‘Next of Kin.’

    I’m a huge Richard Franklin fan (as you can see from my top 2) – along with those films and the amazing ‘Psycho II,’ he might be one of the most underrated directors of that time period (late 70’s – early 80’s). I’m also apparently a big of fan of killer crocodile movies that came out in 2007.

    I have to say I’m not a huge fan of Wolf Creek and I couldn’t even get through much of Wolf Creek 2. I don’t have a particularly good reason; just wasn’t my thing I guess.

    • And not a horror movie or Australian film but Franklin also did the 80’s ‘should be a classic’ Cloak and Dagger. Just wanted to throw that out there; love that movie.

  20. Yay! I’m super excited for these Horror Around the World episodes. I’ve noted before that I’m personally more inclined towards digging up obscure horror movies from the past than just focusing on the new releases. I just love finding out about hidden gems and all the weird and wonderful stuff outside the mainstream of the genre so this is great.

    I tend to disagree with Jay that US horror is historically typified by Supernatural movies though. Maybe it seems that way at the moment but if someone mentions “US horror” to me my mind instantly goes to Slasher films. They feel like the bread and butter of North American horror to me; summer camps, college campuses, red neck enclaves, gritty urban landscapes, lonesome stretches of highway. But that’s speaking as an outsider of course. I feel like British horror, taking into account the limited scope of the genre here, leans a little more toward Supernatural stuff but Japan is certainly the epicentre of supernatural horror, which is no surprise considering the importance of folklore and traditional acceptance of the supernatural as a part of life there.

  21. Also, I’ve never seen Picnic at Hanging Rock. I’ve always been curious about that film but was put off (likely by Jay at some point). If I love patiently paced mystery type films will I like it?

  22. First time poster here. I’ve been listening for a little over a year. I watched “The Tunnel” this morning. I felt it was a bit reminiscent of “As Above So Below” but on a more raw level. I forget which one of you likes movies that utilize the environment but I thought that this aspect helped strengthen the film. We do not know what or who the monster is in this movie which allows the viewer to answer that on their own. One of the things I didn’t like about this film was disconnect between the government conspiracy and the creature(s) in the tunnel. Why wouldn’t the government just eradicate the monsters. They were going to spend over a million dollars recycling the water….why not use a fraction of that to hunt down and kill the obstacle that is getting in their way? Government doesn’t give up that quickly.

    Picnic at Hanging Rock….Didn’t like it very much. Artsy for artsy sake. I don’t mind movies that end ambiguously to give the viewer something to think about it but this entire movie seemed ambiguous. The characters seemed unreal and stuck in a haze most of the time. My rating would be a 4.

    Question…Is there a HMP episode that solely talks about originals versus remakes? If not, I think that would be a really fun one!

  23. Excellent episode as usual, guys. Like Jay, I am not much of a watcher of international films, but it sounds like I’m missing out. I put all of the movies you guys reviewed in my Netflix queue so I’ll be checking them out.

    I know this Aussie film isn’t mecessarily considered horror (IMDB calls it action/adventure/thriller), but if we’re going by JOTD’s classifications, I’d definitely call this one survival horror. The film is “Fortress” (1985), starring Rachel Ward and Sean Garlick. The film is about a one-room school house in Australia, and the children and teacher are kidnapped by four madked men for a ransom. Without going into spoilers, I’ll only say that the kidnapping plot goes terribly wrong. My aunt showed me this film when I was about 9 years old and it absolutely scared the shit out of me. I still feel extremely nervous and tense when I watch it. The climax is a tad cheesy, but to me this film is fantastic and really hits you. As I said, I’d call this survival horror. I give it an 8 out 10 and say it’s a high priority rental (I only say that because I feel my rating is influenced by the nostalgia factor).

  24. I am seriously lacking when it comes to Australian horror, but I recently watched Patrick from 1978 and really enjoyed it. I am also a big fan of Road Games and put Strange Behavior (a.k.a Dead Kids) on my list of lesser known 80’s slashers I enjoy. (The list is on the comment board for the last episode.)

  25. Glad to see a Downunder episode.

    Full list of Aussie horror (minus some new releases)


    we also have a list of Kiwi horror and a bunch of short films.

    Unfort we haven’t been updating the site due to the real world requirements, but are rebuilding the site including podcasts from a Downunder perspective in the near future, think we’re covering Cooties and Australiens in the first episode, crickey!

  26. Was surprised and excited to hear that “Picnic at Hanging Rock” even got a mention on here. Jay and Dr. Shock’s opinions on this film are exactly where I am if you were to combine them both.

    1. A beautiful compelling mystery that is very stylish and unsettling (from Dr. Shock)
    2. Pretentious and boring (from Jay)
    3. Not quite a horror, more of a mystery, but some how it always comes up in horror conversation. why!?

  27. Hey guys finally up to date with ALL Horror Movie Podcasts. Totally loving what you do and appreciate all the hard work you put into it.

    Recently really enjoyed watching another great Auzzy horror called Scare Campaign ’best described as following a prank-gone-extremely-wrong!’ quote from this review:

    Will try and join in as much with these discussions as possible. Keep up the good work.

  28. Man, I really haven’t watched much Aussie horror, which is a shame because what I have seen I’ve loved. The Tunnel has been on my list for awhile, so maybe this will get me moving on that one.

    Of the handful I have seen, this is how I would rate them:

    1. The Babadook
    2. The Loved Ones
    3. Wolf Creek

    As far as ratings, they are all in the 8.5-9.5 range for me. All excellent movies.

    Loved this episode, fellas. Hopefully we’ll see other countries highlighted on a regular basis. I vote for Japan to be the next stop.

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