DVD REVIEW: THROWBACK / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR: TRAVIS BAIN / SCREENPLAY: TRAVIS BAIN / STARRING: SHAWN BRACK, ANTHONY RING, MELANIE SERAFIN, VERNON WELLS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Set in the luscious tropical forests of Queensland, Australia, Throwback follows two treasure hunters in their search for gold abandoned by a legendary outlaw from the 1800s. Unknown to what caused his disappearance and too busy planning their ascent to riches, the adventurers soon find themselves hunted by Australia’s answer to Big Foot; the terrifying Yowie.
As you’d hope from a low budget horror about a mythological ape, Throwback wears silliness on its hairy sleeves. The dialogue is cheese-ridden, characters possess a dramatic head-turn affliction, and while the Yowie is smartly filmed to amp the mystery, you’re always aware someone has landed a brilliant gig running amok in Australian woodland dressed as a gorilla. Vernon Wells of Mad Max 2 and Commando fame even briefly turns up as the exquisite Detective McNab.
But that isn’t to put down Throwback. Director Travis Bain certainly has an eye for cinematography; with certain opening shots over and under the tropics echoing a budgeted Jurassic Park. It’s the beautifully captured setting which hints at great talent here, with actor Anthony Ring also rising above the script with a memorable performance as the dastardly, wealth-hungry Kent.
While always entertaining, the horror dial could have been cranked up. Throwback is suitably tagged as an ‘adventure horror’ but falls short of delivering extreme thrills in either camp, leaving its lasting impression to unfortunately suffer. However, while it lasts, it’s the kind of filmmaking that’ll keep a smile on your face throughout – even during a bout of blunt rock dismemberment.
So if you’re looking for a lovingly created slice of B-movie fun, Throwback will satisfy that grizzly itch. It might be a short-lived tickle, but there’s enough potential brewing under the hood to warrant attention and belief in the definitely-not-a-costume Yowie.
Special Features: Alternative ending / Behind the scenes / Famous Monsters Film Festival Q&A and video blogs / Travis Bain short films / Vernon Wells reads as except from Henry Lawson’s The Hairy Man / Radio interviews / Deleted scenes / Trailers
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