We are in country South Australia, on the road in broad daylight. We see a whole range of ads and notices along the road, funny, indicating the way of life in the backblocks of the state – and a parody tone.
Almost immediately, Reg Morgan (Damon Harriman) is busy lifting a man, bloodied in an accident, into his truck (very awkwardly), which advertises blood and bone on its side, the company owned by the Morgan brothers, Reg and his older, domineering brother, Lindsay (Angus Sampson). So, we know the tone of the film at once, comic with blood.
Three young people on their way to a country music festival break down and thumb a lift with the at first reluctant Reg: Sophie (Anna McGahan) in the front and James and Wes (Oliver Ackland and Jamie Kristian) in the back with the covered corpse.
We know, more or less, what is going to happen, so we keep anticipating every move to see if we are right. Lindsay is more bonkers than we thought. Reg is subservient, wanting to please his brother but also to assert himself.
We are in an Australian version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre territory – or a more local Wolf Creek (confirmed when John Jarratt turns up as the local, earnest, policeman). Those suggestions of inbred communities is confirmed when Aunty Nance turns up (with an unnecessarily explicit interlude between herself and Lindsay). It is also reminiscent of one of the best of these horror parodies, Tucker and Dale Vs Evil.
Meanwhile, back in the shed for the grinding of bodies, there is a surprise turn of events, soon remedied by some bloody action. Not quite all as we might that thought – but near enough, except for the final unexpected joke which puts a smile on your face whether you wanted to smile or not. There is some blood and gore, but not nearly as much as in the American backblocks horror stories. This one is more ironic and so much is played for smiles and laughs.
100 Acres, starring Damon Harriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan, Oliver Ackland, Jamie Kristian, John Jarratt. Directed by Colin and Cameron Cairnes.Rated MA 15+ (Strong violence and coarse language, blood and gore). 90 minutes.