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In the Australian outback, a park ranger and two local guides set out to track down a giant crocodile that has been killing and eating the local populace. During the hunt, one of the guides discovers that he has an ESP connection to the giant creature. Written by
You want a good crocodile flick which gives you the carnage but also well-meaning in its context, then you can't look any further than the 1987 Aussie exploitation ecological monster fare "Dark Age" starring a very young John Jarrett (who would be best remembered for his unnerving performance in 2005 horror feature "Wolf Creek") playing a Northern Territory park ranger Steve who's in-charge of conserving the disappearing crocodile population. But things go bad to worse, when locals start becoming a target for one very large crocodile and the hunters of the area (who always seem to a beer can in their hand) go about trying to wipe out the species. But Steve has a plan, but needs the help of an aboriginal elder who believes the crocodile to be sacred. You could probably say this was Australia's answer to "Jaws" and it would do a good job of scaring you out of the water. The material doesn't go into a lot depth with the character dramas (though they are there), but it effectively draws upon its conservational message but never letting it get in the way of a good jolt. Sonia Borg's smartly penned screenplay gels all elements rather well. Director Arch Nicholson (who also did the excellent 1986 made-for-TV survival hostage flick "Fortress") crafts out an exciting outback adventure, using conventional genre staples with unsparing force and the atmospherics of the terrain provided some arresting sequences of beauty and chills. Even the characters interactions draw up intensity, but it's the attack scenes which will stay with you. Watching the croc prey on its victims, then in a matter of seconds have them in a vice grip as we hear their bones crunching under the pressure with blood engulfing the water is an unnerving sight. But just seeing this creation in its glory is scary enough and the effects are outstanding, despite that it might seem a bit stiff in its movements. It's well shot and the camera uses different angles, which also helps. The performances are all game with some memorable turns by Max Phipps as gun-happy hunter John Besser, Nikki Goghill (whose blue eyes really stand out) as Steve's girlfriend Cathy, Burnam Burnam as the native elder Oonadabund and David Gulpill as his fellow tracker Adjaral. It had been awhile seen I last saw it and it surprised how well it actually stood up. Great nature-runs-amok outing which would make a perfect double bill with "Razorback".
"We born. We die. Spirit lives."
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