100 Bloody Acres


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

100 Bloody Acres
"Herriman is perfect in the lead."

The new blend of organic blood and bone fertiliser, rich in calcium and potassium, is bound to make your garden grow - and that's a Morgan Brothers guarantee! It won't take horror fans long to guess what the secret ingredient is, but that's not really the point in this warm hearted Aussie comedy with a strong focus on character. Brothers Reg and Lindsay aren't psycho killers, you see, they're small business operators. The dream of being able to afford new farm machinery has led them astray, but only a little bit - they haven't actually killed anybody - until Reg makes the mistake of offering a lift to three tourists on their way to a music festival and everything spirals out of control.

Reg (Damon Herriman) isn't the smartest of guys but he's got a lot of heart, and he's quite smitten by Sophie (Anna McGahan), who has the sophistication of a city girl but has lived in the country and understands the things that matter to him. The circumstances of their meeting aren't exactly ideal for romance, though. Not only is there the awkward matter of her being tied up in the shed, but she already has a boyfriend. Said boyfriend and Sophie are not on the best terms, however, because she slept with their travelling companion who, out of his face on acid, fails to comprehend the gravity of the situation. Meanwhile, older brother Lindsay (a dour but still sometimes sympathetic Angus Sampson) sees no way out of the situation but to kill the three strangers. Needless to say, this is not a film in which anything goes to plan.

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This is the kind of film that could easily have been awful. It's a testament to the skill off the directors - themselves brothers - that it successfully keeps its balance and navigates the difficult territory of horror comedy without falling flat. Strong performances also help, and Herriman is perfect in the lead, somehow keeping us rooting for him despite his bad deeds and general uselessness. McGahan is also excellent, giving us a spirited heroine whose preoccupation with sorting out her relationship problems even in the face of impending slaughter feels entirely credible. As an extra treat, there's a cameo from John Jarrett, turning his Wolf Creek character on its head when he stops Lindsay on the road.

Wearing its low budget on its sleeve, 100 Bloody Acres is the most cheerful film about cutting up bodies that you're likely to see this year, and it succeeds admirably in its admittedly modest ambitions. Though it is perhaps too lighthearted for some genre fans, and too gory for many comedy fans, it's likely to become a favourite for some. There's nothing particularly original on display but the Cairnes brothers prove that simple ideas executed well can be a continuing source of delight.

Reviewed on: 07 Jul 2015
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Two enterprising brothers from the Australian boondocks launch a rickety business selling organic fertiliser - with a secret ingredient.

Director: Colin Cairnes, Cameron Cairnes

Writer: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes

Starring: Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan, Oliver Ackland, Paul Blackwell, Chrissie Page, John Jarrat, Reg the Dog

Year: 2012

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia

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