Razorback (1984)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Natural Horror  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - Australia   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Russell Mulcahy's directorial debut is visually stunning but ultimately a disappointment. The main problem with Razorback is that its storytelling is too diffused to support its wild imagery. Everett de Roche's script is ambitious but gets so bogged down in its overcomplicated plotting that it never provides the audience with a notable lead character to root for. Gregory Harrison was obviously intended to be such a lead, but his performance is so stiff and uncomfortable that he virtually blends into the background. The other actors turn in solid work, particularly Bill Kerr as a crusty old hunter, but none are strong enough to fill the hole at the center of this narrative. On the plus side, Razorback is a visual treat: Mulcahy crams the screen with every bizarre image he can pull from the story, and cinematographer Dean Semler serves each one up in a blaze of scope-format motion and color. Unfortunately, the cinematic rule "pretty pictures do not a good story make" holds true here and the parade of bizarre images becomes numbing after a while as there is no narrative focus to give them meaning. As a result, Razorback is best left to patient horror completists.