December 22, 2010

DVD Review: Red Hill (2010)

"Jason Stackhouse brings hard justice to the Australian outback... and kicks some ass!"
Cast Members of Note- Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tommy Lewis, and Claire Van Der Boom.

Jason Stackhouse moves to Australia, picks up an accent, and becomes a Sheriff's Deputy in some dusty, backwater town. Pregnant wife at home, he isn't afraid to jump into the heat of the local Law Enforcement battle, and look bewildered while doing so. I mean the guy forgets his gun at home and is made to walk to emergency calls... let's just say that he isn't big on first impressions.

Good job, "Mr. Shitty First Impression!"
When a convict escapes from Australian Rules Prison, the town goes into a panic, sure that the mad man is going to come back and kill them all. Because he's from there. And, they wronged him, mainly by arresting him for killing his preggers wife. Any way you slice it, the town is screwed, and when everyone starts dying horribly, it's up to Jason Stackhouse to save the day... on foot, and with no gun. True story.

Yeah... so he's not happy at all.
Will everyone in Red Hill die? Will Jason Stackhouse ever get his act together and find a gun or a car? Will a wild panther show up and start eating corpses? Far be it from me to spoil anything here, but suffice it to say that we do get a pretty heroic horse that shows up when it starts raining. Don't ask, just watch the movie.

Butternut had hell in her eyes, and revenge in her heart...
Every once in a while a movie comes along that just knocks it out of the park and leaves me smiling. Usually for me it's Porn, but in this case, Red Hill did just that. At its core, the movie is basically a Revenge Western with some Horror touches thrown in for good measure, and it works extremely well within those confines.

More than competently made, it had a realistic feel about it, and held our attention until the credits rolled, which is impressive. Jimmy Conway makes for a perfect killing machine; hell bent on revenge and extremely skilled in the arts of tracking and making things die rather painfully. Most of the movie is tense as hell ad Jimmy essentially "stalks and slashes" a town full of people, even though he uses guns instead of a knife or an axe, as most killers do in these types of movies.

Ryan Kwanten is the scene stealer here. Showstopper even. As good as he is on True Blood, he annoys the hell out of me more often than not. In Red Hill, Kwanten gets the chance to shine and he shows and proves. The kid is a ridiculously good actor, and after seeing this movie, I may hate Jason Stackhouse a little bit less. Steve Bisley is damned good as Old Bill too, as is Tommy Lewis as Jimmy Conway. Both are menacing in their own way, and command the flow of the scenes when they are on screen. Top notch acting all the way around.

This is called an "Australian Barn Raising." Doesn't seem very helpful to me.
What was with the panther? I personally think it was a spirit animal for Jimmy, but they left it a bit too ambiguous for my tastes. The movie needed a scene at the end where the panther attacked the bad guys with some panther karate, or had a litter of cubs and had to protect them against a lion or something.

That's a big dingo.
I'm still mad at Claire Van Der Boom for her role in The Pacific. Did Stella really have to be such a cold bitch to Leckie? He lived you know, Stella. So you telling him off because you didn't want to be sad if he died was pretty shitty! Bitch! I'm sure I'll get over it eventually, but it's still all too fresh for me...

Looks like I'm not the only one who was upset with her behavior in The Pacific!
It's a Revenge Western, so you know that there's going to be gun violence aplenty. Throw in some spear action, and even a gnarly boomerang death, and there's enough blood and violence in this one to satiate our creepy thirst for all things nasty.

It's no joke when a hemorrhoid explodes...
Aside from an implied rape, there's nothing dirty in this movie. That's not to say that rape, whether implied or actual, isn't dirty, because it is. Nasty dirty. I was talking about the good kind of dirty though, like naked school girls and sex. So, no, none of that kind of dirty business made the movie.

"We were going to have a boy." Surprisingly powerful stuff.

Revenge is best served cold in Australia. Also, panthers are real, and they sneak around real good. They will also kick your ass if you aren't nice to them.

Also, get your damned act together!
This is one hell of a film. Revenge Western, Thriller, Horror flick... it doesn't matter what you see it as, as long as you see it. Ryan Kwanten proves himself a hell of an actor here, and that he can carry a project outside of the True Blood universe. Well made, full of great acting and a strong script, Red Hill is an Aussie film that deserves some attention.


Red Hill is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

Claire Van Der Boom-Boom has no issue with petting her... nope. Too easy. Not gonna do it.

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