dir.kimble rendall
jessica napier, molly ringwald, kylie minogue, simon bossell, sarah kants, sam lewis, geoff revell, frank roberts, stephen curry

There was some excitement amongst my friends because finally there was another Australian big screen horror film. After Blood Moon and Houseboat Horror, I was too dubious to feel much excitement, but at least here was an Australian film that wasn't a period drama nor was it a view of suburban life, two genres that bore me intensely but seem to thrill Australian filmmakers.

Cut is the story of Hot Blooded, a slasher film being shot in the eighties by Kylie Minogue. Hot Blooded stops filming when the Michael Myers/Jason Vorhees style character in the movie freaks out and starts killing, and is in turn killed by the film's star Molly Ringwald. The film is now cursed and whenever it is screened, someone dies. Eventually a group of film students decide to finish the film for a project and they lure Molly back from the States to star in it, and the killing starts again.

If you have seen Scream 2 (the film within a film) and the final Nightmare on Elm Street film (where Freddie Kreuger is brought to life because he is the essence of the script) then you know how this film works. Derivative does not sufficiently describe how uninspired this movie is. Pedestrian direction, tiresome acting, and a lack of original ideas do not make for entertaining viewing. The film is being promoted as a comedy, trying to cash in on the success of the Scream series, but I think that is just because the end product is not as good as it was intended to be. I can picture the filmmakers sitting around going,'Mmmm, it's not very good is it. Let's call it a comedy and pretend we meant it to be this bad.' The film was written by Dave Warner, who will be best remembered for his musical contributions to Australian history, not his film scripts.

I read an interview with Simon Bossell (one of the actors) where he said the crew deliberately overacted. Vincent Price overacted in horror movies, the cast in this effort can't act, let alone overact. I don't think this film is the parody it is meant to be, I don't think it is as tongue in cheek as it is meant to be, I think it is just dull and the promoters are trying to justify their inability to create something original by passing it off as a joke. In the same way the Blair Witch Project is passed off as innovative because of its dreadful camera work and script, even though it is all the creators were capable off given their budget and experience. Track down Cannibal Holocaust to see the Blair Witch project idea done more effectively (and of course earlier). Cut also seems inspired by the Blair Witch Project - wooden acting, a distinct lack of surprise value, a website advertising reference for Hot Blooded.

Cut does have its good points. The adverts for it are great, and certainly lead you to believe that the film is worthy of your attention. The stalking scenes and the killings are as good as, if not better than, most Eighties stalk and slash films. These are gruesome, detailed and competently handled, full marks to the special effects team. The effectiveness of the killings and the intensity of the killer also betray the fact that the film is meant to be played straight. Films of this genre rely on a bit of violence, a bit of story, and some jokes to relieve tension before building up to the next kill. Cut is let down by the story component. If you have seen Scream, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and you want to see another parody of the genre, rent Bride of Chucky on video, it is a successful tongue in cheek production.

Sebastian Niemand
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Another Cut review by Adam Rivett

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