Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Oh yes, this movie is Jaws on Outback acid!

I wasn't expecting much from this movie, simply because I figured it was more of a 'crazed giant animal on the loose' movie-of-the-week.

Not so.
Simply put, 'Rogue', as you can tell by the dvd cover, is about a rogue, oversized crocodile in Australia and a group of tourists who get stranded in the croc's territory.

Surprisingly, I really liked this film. Compared with the other croc movie 'Primevil' (2007), this movie was Psycho and Primevil was the remake of Prom Night (ugh).

It is by the director (Greg McLean) of the un-nerving 'Wolf Creek' - and that guy knows something about tension.
And it wasn't like a creature feature of the week kind of thing. It was so much better than that.
The croc was a BIG one, yes - but not too unbelieveable.
In the dvd extras they explained they didn't want something that wasn't true-to-life, so they found that the biggest croc down there that anyone knew of was like 37 meters big (!!!) so they went with just 35 meters. Still, the thing was so huge. It really looked pretty authentic- they used both animatronic crocs and a bit of CGI - it was extremely realistic in my humble opinion.

I believe I will purchase this dvd for sure when the price goes below 10 bucks. It's worth multiple viewings in my book.

Radha Mitchell & Michael Vartan

The stars (Radha being of Silent Hill fame and Vartan was on Alias if you remember) were quite worthy and added a bit of star quality to the flick.

Story goes like this: Pete (Vartan) is a travel reporter on location in the Australian outback.
He takes a scenic river tour guided by Kate (Mitchell). Educationally, she seems to know what she's talking about and the tour is going along fine with its cast of random stereotypical characters on board (the asshole, the sickly mother, the mourning stranger, the annoying bickering couple, the token beer-guzzling locals and such).
Then some of the tourists think they saw a signal flare along the rocky cliffs at river's edge, so Kate goes to a secluded area of the river that is not part of the tour to see if someone is in distress. Turns out, it's them.

(Of course right here is where you stop and say wait a sec...)

But they proceed and end up stranding themselves on a tiny island of sorts along the river that is quickly being overtaken by the tide... as well as our friend the giant croc.
The remaining half of the movie has our heroes attempting to find a way to escape the wrath of the deadly killer.

The director pulls a Spielberg in that he doesn't show the crocodile until pretty far along into the film, and at one of those 'holy shit!' moments. Well done.
Some aspects are of course preposterous, but this IS a monster movie of sorts, right?

Basically it adheres to the notion that crocodiles are absolutely territorial and will defend their homes with a violence and cruelty like no other beast.
I couldn't help but think of the late Steve Irwin while watching this, and I tended to wonder if he'd ever come across a croc of this size. If so, I'm willing to bet a year's salary that he hasn't tackled it and tried to relocate it.
"Have a look at this little beauty!..... Isn't she just dahhhling?"
(Miss you, Steve.)

Rogue is not a gore-fest but should satisfy any horror fan with a hunger for a good monster flick.
The cinematography is fantastic, and shows the Northern Territory of Australia in all its stark wonder and natural beauty. It's like watching an R-rated National Geographic show, or perhaps 'Wild Kingdom' (I'm dating myself with that remark).

So I would have to recommend this movie as a must-see. It's so hard to find decent creature features that aren't bad enough to have a Mystery Science Theater dialogue added to it.
Check it out.

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