Dying Breed interweaves the two most fascinating icons of Tasmanian history: the extinct Tasmanian tiger and "The Pieman" (aka Alexander Pearce) who was hanged for cannibalism in 1824. ... See full summary »
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Dying Breed interweaves the two most fascinating icons of Tasmanian history: the extinct Tasmanian tiger and "The Pieman" (aka Alexander Pearce) who was hanged for cannibalism in 1824. Against all odds, Pearce escaped from the most feared penal settlement of the British Empire - Sarah Island - and disappeared into the impenetrable forests of Western Tasmania. Seven convicts escaped with him, yet Pearce was the only one that emerged... along with chunks of human flesh in his pockets. The legend of Pearce was born. An extinct species... a long forgotten legend... both had a desperate need to survive; both could now have living descendants within the Tasmanian bush. Many sightings of the tiger have been reported. Many hikers have gone missing. Hundreds in fact. Zoologist Nina is convinced there are still tigers remaining in the Tasmanian wilderness, and she has proof - a photograph of a paw print snapped by her sister just before she met with a fatal accident in the bush eight years ... Written by
"Dying Breed" is a largely derivative and predictable Aussie horror flick that nevertheless benefices from a handful of marvelous elements, like a fascinating historical plot outline (albeit not at all accurate), breathtaking filming locations & scenery and a few unyielding shock sequences. The pivot character in "Dying Breed", even though he only briefly appears during the opening sequence, is Alexander Pearce a.k.a. "The Pieman". He was a cannibalistic murderer of Irish descent who got exiled to Tasmania to pay for the crimes he committed. Back in the early eighteen hundreds, when the whole of Australia was still a British prison colony and Tasmania an island where the heaviest cases were shipped off to, Alexander "Pieman" Pearce was the only convict how managed to escape and flee into the impenetrable Tasmanian forests. Obviously this plot outline isn't entirely accurate, as the real Pieman was in fact the nickname of a completely different prisoner and the real Alexander Pearce died at the gallows in 1824, but hey, it's a horror movie so everything goes. After the introduction of Pearce and the Tasmanian region, the plot resumes in present day Tasmania with the arrival of four twenty-something adventurers. Nina is a zoologist and wishes to continue the research of her sister who died here eight years ago whilst looking for last remaining species of the Tasmanian Tiger. She and her friends quickly discover that her sister didn't just drown, but fell victim to the bewildered and horribly inbred descendants of Alexander Pearce. They have only one goal in their miserable existence and that is to keep the bloodline alive. At the festival where I watched this movie, "Dying Breed" was exaggeratedly promoted like an Aussie interpretation of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes". Perhaps this is a fairly apt comparison, but stating something like that inevitably raises high expectations that "Dying Breed" can't possible fill in. Director Jody Dwyer does a reasonably good job, but he/she (?) yet doesn't succeed in generating an atmosphere of despair and sheer terror. It also takes slightly too long before the suspense and nastiness truly breaks loose. The first half of the film is overly stuffed with typical inbred jokes and stereotypical tourist behavior. There are a handful of downright disgusting sequences, notably a gruesome bear trap death sequence and a few close ups of pick-axes-in-the-head moments, which will undoubtedly appeal to the bloodhounds among us. The nature and wildlife images are dreamy to stare at and the acting performances are surprisingly above average. One of the lead actors is Leigh Whannell who, along with James Wan, created the original concept of "Saw".
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