Friday, October 3, 2014

Dark Age (1987)

Director: Arch Nicholson

Writers: Sonia Borg, Tony Morphett, Grahame Webb

Composer: Danny Beckermann

Starring: John Jarratt, Nikki Coghil, Max Phipps, Burnham Burnham, David Gulpilil, Ray Meagher, Jeff Ashby, Paul Bertram, Ron Blanchard, Gerry Duggan

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Death is only one bite away.

Plot: In Australia's Northern Territory, a massive saltwater crocodile is attacking and killing people. A ranger is assigned to deal with the killer crocodile, but he finds himself at odds with the local Aborigines, who believe the crocodile contains the spirit of their past, and want this Goliath-sized beast preserved. The ranger must work with the Aborigines to develop a plan to respect their wishes as well as protecting the local residents threatened by the crocodile.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

#36 on my on-going quest to watch every film from the amazing documentary, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! (2008)

I love Australian films and I'm partial to the many types of JAWS (1975) clones that followed in the wake of that massive hit.  This is one of the better ones. This is such a clone of JAWS that there are even some scenes that copy it and more successfully than I've seen done before.  Remember when Chief Brody caused a panic when he ran toward the beach yelling for everyone to get out of the water?  In this one it's Cathy (Coghill) doing it and you'll instantly recognize the editing, camera shots and people's movement in and out of the line of sight.  It's fucking great.  And what's better?  It ends with a small child getting chomped by the giant croc!!!  It's already a better film, right?  Yup.

This is one of the few JAWS rip offs that I can forgive because there's so much that's different about it in the location, animal, the use of the Aborigines and the final act of the film.  They make it their own.  The score doesn't work for me and part of that is the cheap sound of the 80s synthesizer.  There are a great number of scenes that don't have any music which was a pleasant surprise.  Some of the action cues are hokey.  If this sounds like your type of flick then it is.  It's not quite good enough for me to find a permanent home in my collection but I'm definitely glad I saw it.

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