Sunday, April 25, 2010


For a horror-thriller that breaks no new ground, the Australian STORM WARNING is a passable DELIVERANCE meets TEXAS CHAINSAW hybrid that delivers the gore (briefly) but fails in the brutality department. This damn thing needs to be a lot more brutal than it is. And the brutality that’s there doesn’t have any conviction.

This Australian lawyer and his French artist wife get lost in the mangroves while boating and take refuge in a perfectly art-directed slob palace. You’ve seen them before: houses in a horror movie that are designed to let the audience know that, hey, the family that lives here are psycho rapists.

They also happen to be pot growers. And the lawyer ruins their pot. Which also makes the psycho rapists a little more psycho rapisty in the long run.

So the father and his two sons who psycho rape the place up on a regular basis lock our two protagonists in the barn for most of the movie and terrorize them. They also have to contend with a psycho rapist mutt named Honky. Of course, using their artist and lawyer cunning, they fight back. Actually the French artist fights back because the Australian lawyer is too pussy to fight and gets a broken leg due to his pussiness.

As far as acting goes, the pussy lawyer is pretty much a statue. The French artist is perfectly realized by Nadia Fares (CRIMSON RIVERS). She’s no Ripley, but she lends the character a nice blend of femininity and resilience. The psycho rapists aren’t a bad lot of actors either, providing the off-kilter menace scumbags like these need.

However, the film itself is so pedestrian, it’s hard to recommend it, even as a weekend time-waster. The film looks good overall, but we’ve seen this so many times that this exercise in commendable, competent filmmaking is a crushing bore (Jamie Blanks, director of URBAN LEGEND and VALENTINE helms the pic, which now makes me realize why STORM WARNING is so blah).

STORM WARNING’s biggest mistake is that it pulls back on its brutality on numerous occasions, as if the makers are almost too scared to push anything over the limit. It had such a good shot at being a total bastard of a movie. Released on the Dimension Extreme label but the only thing extreme about it is how extremely yawn-inducing the film as a whole ends up being.

This type of film is better handled by Canadians. Somebody should have slipped the script to Paul Lynch (who was born in the UK, but makes Canada a viable exploitation mecca).

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