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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Dying Breed

\Man, it's been a crazy week! I joined a gym and a dating site, I've been getting hooked on some of the new fall shows(mostly Super Fun Night and Brooklyn-99), and now, we get to watch this Australian slasher film together! G'day mates, and get ready for SPOILERS!

Okay, so right off the top, we get thrown some fun facts: Apparently, Australia was a penal colony for Britain, between 1788 and 1868. In the region now known as Tasmania, a convict by the name of Alexander Pearce aka The Pieman, actually escaped. And...AND??? Ugh, less than a minute in, and this one's already pissing me off. Yeah, this'll be a fun time.

Now we get some guy running through some trees, chased by men with dogs. The year is 1820, and the man on the run is The Pieman. An armed officer has him backed up against a tree, but the gun misfires at the last second. The Pieman fights back, biting into the neck and shoulder of his opponent.

After The Pieman removes a good chunk of the other man's flesh, a wild cat from the jungle shows up. The killer uses the cop's body to distract the beast, then continues with his escape. Then, on with the opening credits. Leigh Whannell, from the Saw franchise is in this one, as is one of the co-stars of another Australian slasher flick, Wolf Creek. Rent that one if you haven't seen it, it's brutal.

Anyway, we meet an unnamed couple on an airplane. They're meeting up with a guy named Jack, to apparently look for an elusive tiger in Tasmania. Matt is the husband, and his wife, Nina, has hired Jack to not only track this tiger, but also investigate how her sister died while also searching for this animal. Oh, and Jack's bringing his gtirlfriend, Rebecca, along for the fun.

Rebecca and Nina get to know each other on the long car ride, and we discover that Nina and her sister had been out of contact with each other for a few years. Oh, and proof that this tiger exists is worth a million dollars. Sounds good to me.

They come to a stop at the ominous-sounding Pieman River, and get out of the car. Rebecca starts to snap some photographs, and they all see a sign advising them to hit a helpful call button if they require assistance. Being a "Jack" ass, Jack pretends to get electrocuted when he presses the button.

Still sitting in the car, Nina stares at a picture of her sister. This provokes a flashback, showing that there was a pretty brutal death by drowning. The corpse had no teeth left,and an eel slithered out of her mouth during the preliminary exam. Nina snaps out of the memory as a boat arrives to take them across the river.

While Matt and Jack wait for the boat to get closer, Rebecca has been taking a dump in the trees. During this process, she gets the feeling that someone is watching her. She runs all the way back to the car, where she joins Nina in the back seat. The boat tows the car onto a ramp, then they cross the river.

Matt wanders around the deck, then hears a child reciting the Simple Simon nursery rhyme. The kid looks creepy and angry, and bites Matt when he gets too close. Matt sheepishly admits that it was probably his fault for getting too close. When they get the car back on land, Rebecca compares the little girl to a monster from The X-Files.

Another Nina flashback: She's presenting her research of this Tasmanian Tiger to a group that she hopes will fund her trip, but they seem very skeptical. After several interruptions, she shows them a photograph of a massive paw print, apparently confirming the existence of the Tasmanian Tiger.

Back in the present, Nina swerves off of the road, because she thinks she sees someone standing there. Jack then looks for damage, and insists on being the one to drive. The journey comes to an end around sundown, and they pull into a "town" where the few buildings are all named after the infamous Pieman.

Rebecca steps into the local bar to use the bathroom(What, is her bladder the size of a thimble?), while the others have a look around. As the locals gawk at Rebecca, Nina peeks into a house, where she spots something that looks an awful lot like a bowl filled with teeth. What happened to her sister, again? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Jack decides to be a dick, and slashes one of the tires on a truck he leans against. Wow, this is the nicest group ever! While Nina also checks out the toilet situation, Matt asks about renting a room for the night. The woman behind the bar refuses to give him a room, but an older man named Harvey offers to let them crash at his place. Oh, and the bathroom is more disgusting than any slasher I've seen since I started writing this blog...

A young guy named Gareth discovers that his truck now has a mysteriously flat tire, so he heads out to change it. While doing so, he exchanges a greeting with another local named Liam. Then Matt, Nina and their friends order a meal at the bar. It's pie.

Nina asks the locals about the rumors of the tiger, and Harvey scoffs at the idea. But an old man serving the drinks says otherwise, and amuses them with his re-enactment of a tiger attack. Then he takes out his teeth and tries to get Nina to dance with him.

Jack and Matt go out to the vehicle to unpack their supplies and clothes, and Jack discovers that Gareth got back at his trick with the tire, by leaving a long scratch on his precious truck. As he examines the damage, a vicious dog leaps out from the darkness, snarling and snapping at him.

As they get settled for the night, Matt apologizes to Nina for both Jack's boorish behavior, and the addition of Nina to the group. She says that she's fine, then shows him some information she discovered about the region, including the Pieman's Curse. Jinkies!

Anyway, she has newspaper articles about the supposed curse, dating back all the way to 1954. Matt doesn't believe that the disappearances stem from a curse, because people disappear every day. He doesn't even get fazed when Nina mentions the cannibalism, or that the girl who bit him earlier was singing about the cannibal.

Then we get an abrupt shift, as we see Jack and Rebecca screwing like rabbits. The lights suddenly go out, and Rebecca freaks out when she hears someone in the room with them. Jack chases the person, and the others in the house check on Rebecca.

Jack catches up to the guy, then blames him for both scratching his vehicle, and being a pervert. He beats the kid up and leaves him on the ground, where he's both bleeding and laughing. Then the kid is attacked from behind, but seems to know his attacker.

Rebecca is pretty upset about being peeped on. While Nina calms her down, both Jack and Matt make sure that she knows that it's been handled. The rest of the evening is trouble-free.

They set out for the dreaded search in the morning, but Nina forgets her camera in the car. She goes back for it, but gets the feeling that someone is spying on her. When she takes a look around, she finds the bar owner killing puppies. Apparently, the pups were the product of inbreeding. Dead puppies, dead puppies, they don't come when you call!

The biter from the ferry tries to get Nina to play with her, but Nina just wants to get going. The kid follows her. As Nina's on the verge of blowing her top, the kid's father fetches her and Matt arrives. Everyone goes back to what they were doing. The foursome take a boat out on the water, as the puppy killin' mama watches them leave.

The river ends at a crude dam, but it's not marked on Matt's map. They see someone watching them from a distant bridge, and decide to look for a different route. The mysterious stranger vanishes. Mysteriously.

They get to a marshy area that makes Camp Crystal Lake look like Disney World. As they step onto dry land again, Jack reveals that he brought along a hefty crossbow. Nina doesn't approve, but Matt talks her down from having a hissy fit.

After hiking for a little while in sullen silence, Jack sings a marching drill to amuse the others: I don't know what you've told/Becky's ass is solid gold!/Sound off/1, 2, 3, 4! Anyone want to take bets on whether or not he gets killed first?

They decide to set up camp after about 15 kilometers, and Jack discovers a cave. Everybody else seems happy to explore, except for Rebecca. They continue in without her, and she pouts. They find a beer bottle inside, then Rebecca joins them, because she heard some thunder.

Nina looks for evidence of the tiger around the trees and on the ground, and even collects some samples in a bag. Then she nearly sprains her ankle, discovering a hole in the ground in the process. Nina tries to relax by taking a picture of a cute bunny, but Jack and his weapon kill da wabbit. But-de but-de-but-de, that's all folks!

She and Jack square off, each one accusing the other of ruining the trip. Then we see that the boat has drifted away, leaving the unaware group stranded. Well, I'm sure THAT won't lead to a fight!

Jack skins the rabbit back at the campfire, and Rebecca is disgusted by the sight. Then she spots the samples that Nina collected, and realizes that they're animal feces. Jack struggles as if in great pain, then holds the rabbit carcass in Rebecca's face to make her scream. Dead animals and poop...these folks must be a blast at a yankee swap!

While they all sleep, Nina dreams about her sister. In the dream, she's being hunted through the woods, and men and dogs are chasing her, just like the Pie Man was chased. As they catch up to her at the edge of a cliff, the dream ends...and it turns out to be a dream that an old man was having. Huh? That was some pretty sloppy editing.

The old man gets up to splash some cold water on his face, then notices a mess outside his daughter's room. He calls out her name, Katie, several times, waking up his wife in the process. She begs him to find Katie.

Matt wakes up, and hears something moving near the cave. When he gets up to take a look, he wakes up Nina as well. They see movement in the forest a few feet away, and a flashlight reveals the legendary Tasmanian Tiger, peering out at them. Nina rushes back to the campsite to fetch her camera, and wakes up the other couple.

The tiger has wandered away during the commotion, so they decide to see if they can track it. They get divided in the trees, and Rebecca uses her phone a as a flashlight, my least-favorite of the new cliches in modern horror films. She scans her surroundings, nearly dying of fright when she encounters the nasty little biter from the ferry.

While Rebecca tries to ask the child some basic questions, someone shines a light on them. Rebecca turns to see who it is, and is attacked. She cries out, then goes bye-bye. Damn, I just lost the bet! Did anyone have Rebecca in the betting pool?

Nina is wandering around looking for clues, but doesn't seem close enough to hear Rebecca crying out. Rebecca is soon dead, and her killer removes her tongue with his teeth. The little kid just stands there and watches.

Nina thinks that she found the tiger, but only Matt turns up. They regroup with Jack, and suddenly realize that they're now a trio. Jack calls out to Rebecca, and Matt comments to Nina that they should be close enough to hear her, and vice versa. Uh, y'mean like the way that Nina heard all of the noise Rebecca made while she was being murdered? How did that work out?

Nina tells them about the hidden tunnel she tripped over earlier, then the others realize that she has blood on her legs. Jack begs her to tell him where she was walking, and he goes off in search of his girlfriend. Nina gets hysterical, so Matt leaves her stranded to join Jack. What a thoughtful boyfriend, huh?

Jack gets deep into the woods looking for Rebecca. Nina heads into the cave, where she gets weepy again while looking at the picture of her sister. Matt joins her, claiming to have lost Jack. Wouldn't it be weird if there was a Saw-style plot twist, and Matt was a cannibal? Well, considering that I was wrong about my last hunch, forget I said anything.

Our favorite little ankle-biter shows up, covered in blood. Matt asks the little girl where the blood came from, then Harvey shows up, along with another townie. He sort of offers to help them, and they sort of agree. As they all exit the cave, someone nearby can be seen some human flesh.

Nina asks the townie if he knew her sister. He admits that he did, and that she stayed there for about a year, looking for the mysterious tiger. Then he makes a cryptic comment about a "bitch in heat", and continues toward the village. They reluctantly keep following him.

He leads them deeper into the woods, and Matt demands to know where they are. It turns out that the guy was leading them to the abandoned mine, on the theory that maybe Rebecca and Jack might have wandered in somehow. Then he contradicts his idea, when he has to kick down an iron gate to even get inside. Isn't logic fun, kids? The good news is, I think we must be getting near the end of this thing...

The weird townie triggers a bear trap(which he gleefully calls a "man trap"), then tells them that they'll have to search by themselves. He promises to meet them at the other end, and they decide that they can trust him. However, when they enter the mine, he stays at the entrance, just staring into the dark tunnel.

They make their way slowly down the dark tunnel, avoiding the few traps(1?) they see. The exit at the other end is eventually visible, and there's someone there. Jack? We know it's not the guy who showed them the entrance, because he's seen still standing where they left him. As they chase after the figure, the townie decides that he should follow them.

The townie steps out of the mine, but Nina and Matt are nowhere to be seen. He hears somebody moving toward him, and calls them Rowan. As he begs Rowan not to kill any more innocent victims, someone with a grey beard attacks him. Harvey, maybe? And who the heck is Rowan?

Our main couple decide to return to the tunnel. Then we see Jack, crossbow in hand, as he finds some bloody remains on the ground. How is this dipwad still alive? That just pisses me off, man.

When Matt and Nina arrive back at the mineshaft tunnel, they see blood on the ground near the entrance. Matt sees an object in the blood, which turns out to be a hunk of human flesh. As he drops it in sisgust, Jack gets spooked by a local who calls out to him. He accidentally fires his crossbow, and the bolt passes through the cheek of an old man, impaling him on a tree. Ouch!

The trio of "friends" reunite, and then Jack shows the other two what he did. When Matt and Nina question him, they discover that he found Rebecca's coat, her phone, and a few other things that belonged to her, all covered in blood. Despite his misgivings, they pull the old man off of the tree.

He agrees to lead them out of the woods, and takes them to a cabin(in the woods, YES!) instead. They ask him who lives there, and he says that it belongs to the biter's father. Terrific. Oh, and as if we needed to be reminded that Matt is the worst boyfriend in the galaxy, he tells Nina to remain outside with the weird old guy. Yeah, real sharp thinking there, Matt.

Jack leads the way into the small home, and they find tables and shelves full of human remains. Then they enter a small kitchen area, and spot something boiling on the stove, but it's only wet clothing. Matt waves to Nina to show her that all is well.

Nina hears a noise in the woods, and the old man indicates that she should remain calm and silent. Jack and Matt go behind the house, where they find Rebecca's torso hanging from a tree. As he freaks out, a bear trap grabs him by the throat. Nina hears the yelling and screaming, and the old man urges her to go to them.

She tries to pry the trap off of Jack's neck, but it's way too late to save him. Hip hip hooray! Jack emits one last gurgle, then Matt urges Nina to leave with him. As Matt spies a jeep near the house, he urges Nina to stay by the body. Wow. What's worse, that he keeps putting her in danger, or that she keeps agreeing to do whatever he wants?

Nina sees the old man scurry into the house, so she follows him. While Matt realizes that the jeep is deader than disco, Nina is attacked by the old man, who now has a very large knife at her throat. He gloats that he and the other villagers come from a long line of cannibals and hunters.

A chase begins, and Matt hears the ruckus. He picks up a nearby hatchet, then tries to follow them. As Nina gets to the mineshaft, Matt finds a secret tunnel under the cannibal shack. He yells Nina's name, and she stops and looks back into the dark tunnel. Then she continues her escape.

Matt has only a flimsy lighter, but it shows him that he's found a stash of old bones and other things that the cannibals have dumped. Nina trips and hurts her ankle, but limps away, until she realizes that she's now at the top of that bridge near the dam. Matt sees her when he emerges from the tunnel and shouts her name.

Matt tries to climb up to her, but then one of the older cannibals corners poor Nina. The old man who brought them to the house is on the other side of the bridge. Matt watches as the 2 old men close in on her, and they reveal that they need her alive, to produce more offspring. Nina defies them by jumping off of the bridge.

Matt sees her die, then resumes trying to escape. As he climbs his way up to the bridge, the elder cannibal leans over the railing to look for Nina's body. The woman from the tavern then stabs him, making yet another reference to killing pups. Dead puppies, dead-dead-dead-dead dead puppies, they're no fun at allll....

When Matt finally gets to the bridge, he mistakenly thinks that the woman killed Nina. As he yells at her, she withdraws a knife from her pocket, then slits her own throat. Matt watches her die at his feet.

The police arrive, and Harvey urges Matt to return to the city until the investigation is over. Matt is preoccupied, just staring at Rebecca's pink phone. He hands it to the cops, who throw it into a box with other physical evidence. As Matt gets in his car, he begins to choke on something.

There's a brief glimpse at a drink he was sipping earlier, then someone drags him out of the vehicle. Harvey has taken him to a slaughterhouse, and tied him down. Then Harvey enters another room, where Matt sees that they have Jack tied up as well. Then the little kid sits on Matt's lap, and reveals that his teeth are very, very sharp.

There's some more text about how 250 people have vanished in Tasmania, but no human remains have been found. Then we see the cops again, and the cell phone reveals that a picture of the elusive tiger does actually exist. THE END

Boy, I'm not sure how to rate this one. The kills and the concept were good, but the plotholes and dumb characters kind of ruined it. 3 out of 5,I can decide whether or not to deduct another point for not killing Jack first.

And what did Dying Breed teach me?

-Well, Australia sucks for tourists.

-Never let your friend Jack go on vacation with you.

-If a tiger wants to play Hide & Seek, LET HIM WIN.

Next up is either Child's Play, or River of Darkness. Or whatever they send me, if those aren't available. Whatever, it's all good.