Hmmm, what can one say about the Aussie slasher flick "Cut" ?
Being a total horror nut since I was a teenager, I remember being so excited in the months leading up to the release of this film late in the year 2000, I could hardly stand the wait! I had a four page article about the film from Empire magazine, and a visual teaser, a photo of ex Echo Point (defunct Aussie Soapie) star Jessica Napier bruised and bloodied, locked in battle with Scarman (Frank Roberts) surrounded by flames. It looked absolutely magical! Australia were making their very own "Scream". I was SO excited!
I saw it the very day it came out, and left in such a weird state of mind. I WANTED so much to like it, really I did, but the truth is, the film is SO BAD! So badly written, so badly acted and just an absolute MESS in parts. (I'm going to overlook some of the corny dialogue, I'm not sure if it was the dialogue, or the bad actors delivering it!!)
The acting by pretty much 75% of the cast is laughable, however the two leads, Molly Ringwald and Jessica Napier are convincing, Jessica Napier in particular showing considerable talent in her acting ability. Warning though, the two police officers at the end could well be the WORST actors EVER to get a gig in a film. Then there is Sarah Kants who plays Hester. Terrible actress, TERRIBLE TERRIBLE actress! And when her character suddenly out of the blue decides she's a lesbian and wants to snog Raffy (what the hell was that about??) you just want her to get splattered.
But then the most bizaar thing happens in her death scene. She suddenly turns in an Oscar winning performance! She runs, she hides, she cries, she whimpers, she falls, she gets up, she runs again, she even attacks the villain with a pair of hedge shears shreiking a venemous "Get away from me!!!". Sadly just as Sarah Kants is stealing the whole movie and you are too enthralled in her performance to remember how terrible she'd been for the 45 minutes prior, she gets her head squashed in some kind of lathe type machine and carks it (not before letting out one final breath taking shriek which any slasher flick actress would be proud to call her own!).
I say put this girl in more horror films!! But keep her silent until her death scene and then just sit back and watch the magic! Truly one of the best performances I've seen from a slasher victim in the last 10 years or so!
There are two other highlights, the cameo by singer Kylie Minogue at the start is interesting, she looks so tiny, which she attempts to counteract by pouting and doing the 'Bossy domineering director' role before ticking off the murderer with her attitude and having her tongue cut out.
The finale' is quite decent one part, the shot where Scarface melts and turns into this horrid moaning creature laying on top of Jessica Napier trying to drive a knife into her chest before dissolving into a stream of what can only be described as 'goo' is quite cool and freaky. However Scarface is really not that scary once you hear him talk, he's kind of a Freddy Kruger wanna be, without the wit.
The film is good for a laugh at times, but that's a laugh at how terrible some of it is, like when Scarman decides to try and hack off Molly Ringwald during a scene they're filming in the 'film within a film' ("Hot Blooded") and they realise it's not an actor, it's the killer! (Eeeeek!) They all kind of jog outside in this bored way which is quite amusing, it looks like a practise run which got filmed and somehow ended up in the film. And of course Molly Ringwald holding a serving tray (for use as a shield) and a knife saying "Let's kill the bastard" is just laughable in it's delivery. Not to mention Raffy's professor who gets speared through the neck and 15 minutes later reappears to do the "I'm not really dead!" entrance, THEN decides he might pull the spear out of his neck, why didn't he do that 15 minutes prior???
Anyways, in truth the dialogue is terrible, even thinking about it now I'm cringing, but if you're the kind who has the patience to sit through even the worst of horror films and you've run out of slasher flicks to see, give "Cut" a go just to see Kylie Minogue, Sarah Kants death scene, and of course Scarman melting all over the blonde heroine at the end.
Aside from that do not expect anything even remotely original, scary or worth remembering about this tragic failure of a film (what went wrong? We did "Razorback" in the 80's and ended up with "Cut" in the year 2000!!) But then again, it WAS directed by an ex member of Aussie garage band the Hoodoo Gurus!!
As you can see I still can't make my mind up about this film, I so want to like it, and some parts I do, but also part of me wants it banished from video stores across the world for the shame of seeing what happens when you let ex one hit wonder band members behind a movie camera! It's sad to see from the special effects at the end that they did indeed have a bit of a budget (by Australian standards) and how the film could have been quite ok with a few changes, ok wait ALOT of changes! If only we could turn back time, fire most of the cast, rewrite most of it, and re-film it. So yes, we tried to make an Aussie Slasher Flick and we failed. But we'll be back! We will match the brilliance of "Picnic At Hanging Rock" you'll see!
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