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Razorback (1984)

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A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The ... See full summary »



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Title: Razorback (1984)

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3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carl Winters
Arkie Whiteley ...
Sarah Cameron
Bill Kerr ...
Jake Cullen
Benny Baker
David Argue ...
Dicko Baker
Beth Winters
Don Smith ...
Mervyn Drake ...
Redmond Phillips ...
Alan Becher ...
Counsel (as Alan Beecher)
Peter Schwarz ...
Lawyer (as Peter Schwartz)
Beth Child ...
Louise Cullen
Rick Kennedy ...


A vicious wild boar terrorizes the Australian outback. The first victim is a small child who is killed. The child's granddad is brought to trial for killing the child but acquitted. The next victim is an American TV-journalist. Her husband Carl gets there and starts to search for the truth. The local inhabitants won't really help him, but he is joined by a hunter and a female farmer to find the beast. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's waiting outside and it can sense your fear. No nightmare will prepare you for it! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dödens käftar  »

Box Office


AUD 5,500,000 (estimated)


$150,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) audio commentary, Russell Mulcahy said that the producer of Razorback offered him the chance to direct it after seeing the Duran Duran music video "Hungry Like The Wolf," also directed by Mulcahy. See more »


[first lines]
Jake Cullen: [to Scotty] Come on, off to bed. There, there, Scotty. Now, now, now, boy, it's alright.
See more »


Featured in Jaws on Trotters: The Making of 'Razorback' (2005) See more »


Blue Eyes
Written and Composed by Elton John and Gary Osborne
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Now that is one very big boar!
12 May 2006 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

In a small outback town a child is carried off by a massive wild boar, but the grandfather who was looking after the boy gets accused of killing the youngster. He tells that of a gigantic wild boar killed his grandson, but naturally the town's folk won't hear any off it. But in the trail there wasn't enough evidence to convict him so he's acquitted. Next a American female reporter who's an animal rights activist goes down under to get some interviews with some kangaroo hunters, but instead she comes face to face with the rampaging boar and disappears. The locals believe that she must have fallen down a mine shaft, but her husband Carl thinks otherwise and heads to Australia to dig up any dirt to what really happen.

Da Da.. Da Da dadada... Get out of the water! Oops, wrong film. Sorry about that as I just couldn't get that Jaws theme out of my head. "Razorback" is what you can call Australia's answer to "Jaws", but instead this one is on land and we get one angry looking boar terrorising locals and out-of-town visitors. The two films do share some similar characteristics, but while "Jaws" plays it mostly serious I found "Razorback" the opposite. Well, it would be hard to get anyone to take the story seriously because of how ridiculously stupid it is, but that doesn't stop this stylishly, grim shocker from being entertaining. Well, actually that wasn't the case on my first viewing of this flick as I wasn't particularly smitten over it. Maybe I was in a grumpy mood at the time, but on this occasion I enjoyed the silly experience far more.

The premise might cross into "Jaws", but the beginning also adds to the story - Australia's most infamous case of the baby that was taken by dingo, which still causes controversy today. The fella who penned this particular film Everett D Roche is probably Australian's most prominent screenwriter in the genre with such films like Patrick, Harlequin and Road Games under his belt. While, the story might be highly derivative there's enough imagination and excitement in spots to keep it from being uneventful. But there's one thing I can say about this production is that the thick style is all over thin substance. Who you can thank for that is a music video director making his debut in films - Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, The Shadow). He brought to the table an atmosphere that was visually stunning with its sprawling, desolate backdrop that has never been so eerily caught. Well lately, "Wolf Creek" did a good job on that aspect. But here there's a surreal quality about it with it's vibrant colour scheme and blanket of mist. The lighting composition is well staged with a visual goldmine exploding on screen with the spectacular shots of the horizon. The vacant outback simply spills off the screen that you just think that it's such a great backdrop for a horror flick. The expansive camera-work is swift in it's movement by capturing every frame with a certain amount of panache and the odd inventive angle and POV shot. The electronic score is effectively worked into the piece along with hissing sound effects that added even more to the unsteady, dreamlike texture.

Since there is not much in the way of surprises, director Mulcahy ups the thrills and action in such an unyielding fashion to set the film alight. While, the gore might be lacking, the deaths are unpleasant and also thrown in some animal cruelty. What was surprising is that the since the spot light is basically on the mechanical boar - it doesn't look too bad, well towards the end it might lose some of the effect it created early on. But I have seen far worse.

The performances are tolerable enough even with some eccentric yahoos who generated some agreeable humour. The script is purely senseless dribble, but there's some dry sarcasm, thick slang and a laid back attitude that works its way in because of the culture. Gregory Harrison is passable as Carl Winters. Bill Kerr is excellent as the stubborn boar hunter Jake Cullan who has a chip on his shoulder and who's crusade is to get the giant pig. Arkie Whiteley is lovely Sarah Cameron and Judy Morris is decent as Beth Winters. But the most memorable performances is the cheerful maniac brothers Benny and Dicko who are marvellously played by Chris Haywood and David Argue that add the wild and wacky feel to the flick.

A highly spirited and trashy Australian knock-off that goes down well with a few cold ones.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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