The feature debut from the Australian sibling writer-director team of Colin and Cameron Cairnes, "100 Bloody Acres" somehow manages to be both retro and up to date with its giddy, delightful gross-out horror-comedy mash-up storytelling.
In the story, two brothers — draw your own connections there — are struggling to keep their organic fertilizer business going. The overbearing Lindsay (Angus Sampson) and meek Reg (Damon Herriman) have been using human bodies in the formula and are running out of their secret ingredient. When they come across James, Sophie and Wes (Oliver Ackland, Anna McGahan, Jamie Kristian) stranded on their way to a music festival, the brothers take them captive. As the lonely Reg starts to have romantic feelings for Sophie, it unravels her complicated relationship with James and Wes.
The film revels not only in the flying body parts but also its erstwhile rom-com entanglements. There is something extra fun in seeing "100 Bloody Acres" as a self-conscious throwback to the sort of Australian exploitation films explored a few years back in the documentary "Not Quite Hollywood." That same sense of owning-it pride regarding something disreputable is also played out in the use of outrageously tacky vintage Australian country-pop music, heard via a radio program that specializes in the stuff. (The radio idea is also perhaps a nod to Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs.")
With a fun post-credits gag to round it off, "100 Bloody Acres" is great summer counterprogramming for anyone who wants to unwind with a bit of bloody fun and goofball gore.
"100 Bloody Acres"
MPAA rating: None.
Running Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Playing: At the Laemmle Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills and Pasadena's Playhouse 7.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun