"Dying Breed" DVD
Breed DVD cover
All right, folks--strap
in and brace yourself, because it's that special time of year
again. Never mind that it seems to come at a different time every
year, because even though it does, it still comes, and that's
It's After Dark Horrorfest
time again, folks, and the time of year when horror buffs get
to feel their mojo the very hardest. This time around, we're kicking
things off with Dying Breed, a story that makes dinner time fun
time once again.
While hunting for a
rare tiger in the depths of Tasmania, four adventurous types discover
the town of Sarah, formerly the home of the cannibalistic monster
known as the Pieman. This would be bad enough under normal circumstances--stumbling
across a lost town in the middle of nowhere that was the former
home of a cannibal isn't exactly the thing you do on vacation.
But here's where it gets worse; seems the town took a liking to
the Pieman's way of life...and began to favor the long pig themselves.
Oh...and they're also
needing fresh "breeding stock".
This is actually the
kind of movie that Australians seem to flock to in droves--it
reminds me greatly of Wolf Creek and I hoped and prayed going
in that this wasn't going to suck anywhere near as hard as that
miserable wreck did. And gratefully, it didn't. This isn't to
say it was anything fantastic, but it definitely wasn't a complete
waste of time. This is likely not the dog in the series.
What Dying Breed does
not do well is scare anybody worth anything at all. This is really
not scary. There's not a whole lot of blood, maybe a handful of
jump scares, it's actually rather tame as horror movies go. With
only a couple of exceptions this will be so sedate you'd think
it'd qualify for PG-13 rank. This does change up somewhat in the
last half hour of the movie, but aside from this it's actually
However, what Dying
Breed DOES do well is project malice. There is something very
clearly wrong here--for the entire first hour you will be largely
unable to shake the overwhelming feeling that there is SOMETHING
very wrong here. Just what, who knows? And you won't know until
the last half hour or so. This ultimate surprise is not so ultimate
at all--there will actually be several of them before the end.
And the ending, meanwhile,
will pack in tons of great surprises, so that's another plus in
The special features
include English and Spanish subtitles, a producer's trailer, a
making of featurette, some Miss Horrorfest webisodes, and a collection
of trailers to lead off--they're unaccessible from the disk, so
you'll get to see them in the beginning if you don't skip over
All in all, the After
Dark Horrorfest gets off to a fair start--let's just see how well
it can hold up. Dying Breed starts out a bit slow, but turns out
fairly well in the end.
You've got to hand
it to The Tale of Despereaux--I thought going into this one that
it'd be a cheesy Disney-esque fairy tale, but I was surprised
to find that...I'd be surprised.
I may have expected
some sad little kiddie story here, but what I actually got was
a surprisingly heartwarming story with some carefully added morals
and a few nifty surprises. I got the story of needles as swords,
of scheming rats and cowardly mice (except for one that defies
his own nature), and of a country that's entirely too fixated
with soup. This was actually almost nominated for an Oscar, and
frankly, it shows.
In The Tale of Despereaux,
we find a bizarre royal accident, in which a rat manages to kill
the queen of the land of Dor by landing in her bowl of soup. The
king of Dor follows this up by declaring both soup AND rats to
be illegal. From there, the entire country falls into a depression,
and the rats go into hiding. The mice find little different in
this new order and continue their lives of hiding inside Dor's
walls. But Despereaux is a mouse who doesn't like this world order,
and winds up exiled from the world he knew.
There's no doubt that
this a kid movie that'll play with the best, but the grownups
out there will get plenty of fun out of this too. It's a feel-good
sort of movie with lots of excellent voice acting and a pretty
dense plot. Oh, sure, grownups will easily notice some of the
weak points here, but they'll likely not mind them much. That's
part of the magic of The Tale of Despereaux--it plays to its strengths
so hard that you'll scarcely notice the weaknesses.
So go grab a copy of
this one--it's well worth your time.
Directed by Jody Dwyer
Written by Michael Boughen, Rod Morris, Jody Dwyer
Starring Nathan Phillips, Leigh Whannell, Bille Brown, Mirrah
Produced by Michael Boughen, Rod Morris
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