Sunday, August 24, 2008
Rogue Aussie Mclean
Rogue is the best killer croc movie since....Alligator.
Aussie Greg Mclean's previous horror flick Wolf Creek divided opinion amongst gonzo goregoers as either post-Hostel torture-fu seat filling stock or a lyrical, poetic outback take on tendon cutting. In actuality the film is more a straight slasher with a charismatic and casual, languorous sadism, mirrored in his gradual introduction and the film's mid-point descent into hell.
That and the vaguest tint of tourist xenophobia are what merit Eli Roth comparisons, and Mclean depicts the divide the universal effete Anglo as they exist in Sidney...and Aussie wilderness populated not only by psychos and killer crocs but the unementionable local color.
Intriguingly Rogue is a classy killer animal movie. For vivid glimpse of a man being eaten whole and a mere handful of blood, this scarcely deserves unceremonious dumping to dvd under the Weinstein label "Dimension Extreme." Like Jaws it nears the sphere of a family film. Giant animals aren't outre, they're congenial uncomplicated monsters.
Rogue lets almost everyone who deserves to live, live...and keeps you guessing. Greg Mclean is a director to watch out for, having retained an eye for making the outback at first alluring and then gradually imposing in it's isolation when the story turns dangerous. The cast is large since the events befall a tour boat, and some of the performances are as compelling as anything you'd see outside a croc movie...okay, maybe Alligator this isn't, with b-movie star John Saxon as a cop fighting a rubber alligator who chews up 2-d b-movie victims.
The croc is great until we see too much of him. Then he's full cgi and moves with weight, albeit so quickly he becomes too fake. Mclean's direction compensates.