Friday, April 17, 2009

Sweeney Todd, Aussie Backwoods-Style: Dying Breed (2008)

Last night I went back to the land of my upbringing, Australia, for a bit of cannibalistic sleaze.

Dying Breed is one of those Afterdark Horrorfest films, a series which is pretty hit or miss for the most part. I'd probably give this one a miss, despite the awesome poster....

...partly because it stars Leigh Whannell, one of the whiniest, most ineffectual actors to hit the silver screen. Look, I don't CARE if he was an original creator of the Saw franchise, he's BORING AND WIMPY. Every time you see him in a film you just know he is going to get offed in a particularly grisly way, and he is NOT gonna take it like a man.

Anyway, the plot. Such as it is.

Tormented scientist Nina (Mirrah Foulkes, whose character I think is supposed to be from New Zealand, but has a pretty hefty Irish accent) heads a small (read: four people, none particularly scientifically qualified) expedition into the Tasmanian wild to carry on her late sister's search for the legendary Tasmanian tiger. Her sister is, of course, Dead By Mysterious Circumstances.

Meaning, the local descendents of a cannibalistic 19th century convict called "The Pieman" captured her and did ugly fast-edit things to her.

When the ever-present Creepy Child starts singing about "The Pieman," and bites wimpoid Leigh, you can pretty much tell where this is going, even if you missed the film poster.

Except that Tasmanian cannibals are not as handsome or well-dressed as Johnny Depp.

And you don't see Helena Bonham-Carter slaughtering puppies. Ugh.

Anyway, off go the intrepid explorers. One of them is this immature doofus (a shame, he was good in Wolf Creek), who makes loud obnoxious noises at crucial times, and shoots cute bunnies, marking him for instant viewer's pick for First Grisly Death.

Sadly, his hott girlfriend gets it first.

Now here is where I have my first WTF, costume designer? moment. The cannibal decides to have a snack before taking the rest of the corpse to be made into pies, so he eats the girl's foot. In the toe-munching closeup, which I have no picture of, she is perfectly pedicured, polished and wearing a fairly heavy toe ring.

A toe ring? For hiking through the wilderness? Really, sports fans? Let me tell you, I've been on some Tasmanian wilderness hikes, and that ring would be cutting off my circulation within FIVE SECONDS. They would have to remove my toe and the ring on it surgically before I even got attacked by foot-munching cannibals. And why would anyone be wearing a toe ring UNDER their socks and shoes? Not to mention, wouldn't the cannibal choke on it, or break his teeth?

Why did they do this? Well, for much the same reason Quentin Tarantino chose to use one of the best Japanese girl-garage bands around in Kill Bill and then said, "Hey, let's have them play barefoot and then film their feet the whole time."

God, I hate Tarantino and his foot fetish.

I got off track there.

Okay, so do I really need to continue with the plot? Since he only knows how to use a crossbow to shoot helpless bunnies, the obnoxious guy dies, sending up a general cheer from the audience.

The scientist leaps off a bridge, and whiny Leigh almost makes it out alive, but, naturally, gets recaptured, thus proving that he is the least helpful person on earth that you want with you when you are in ANY life-threatening situation. Actually, maybe he'd be the best, since he is so ineffectual that he is obviously going to get it first while you make your escape.

And there is a final-shot twist that is almost exactly like Welcome To The Jungle (a film I actually found rather watchable compared to this because I sort of liked Cannibal Holocaust).

Coda: I actually found a newspaper article wherein people were hoping this film created an increase in tourism for Tasmania.

Yeah, that's my idea of a great vacation. Getting made into a meat pie by the local cannibal clan. Right on.


Anonymous said...

I love how much you hate feet.

The Costuminatrix said...

Joan Arkham: Oh, it's not that I hate feet, it's just that they should be shrouded in gorgeous shoes and not shoved in all their naked ickness into my face. Especially if it is getting into the way of the movie's PLOT, hence, Tarantino.

Ah, who am I kidding. I have the anti-foot fetish.

Tenebrous Kate said...

>>why would anyone be wearing a toe ring UNDER their socks and shoes?

Hmmmm.... Wedding ring dyslexia? Nah, I got nothin'. And you'd think if the cannibal was already butchering her to the point of eating her severed foot, he could take a snipper and off the toe to get the ring off. That's some inexperienced cannibalism right there!

The Costuminatrix said...

Tenebrous Empress: Seriously, WTF? I am also bemused at the lack of blisters and the perfection of the pedicure. Were they carrying girlfriend through the woods on a palanquin? Because that's about the only way I'd venture through the Tasmanian wilderness these days.