Did I mention how many “Best Horror Movies of 2011” lists I’ve been reading? Quite a few. Which might also confuse you because you can clearly see that this movie was made in 2010. Take it easy! Even though it made its debut in 2010, it didn’t get a wider release until 2011, doi! Look at that poster! How can you not want to see this movie after seeing that poster? Despite having read enough about this movie to pique my interest, when Rampaige asked what it was about, I believe all I could muster was, “It’s about a clinic or something and I guess stuff happens there,” which was enough for her to tolerate it. Five minutes into the movie you see a pregnant woman and Rampaige threatened to not watch it if something gross happened to the baby, which it did, but she stuck around anyway. Hahaha, sucker! And before I forget, there are going to be spoilers, and those spoilers make the film more enjoyable, so I recommend seeing it before reading the review.
Her hand originally said “NOT PENNY’S BABY” but then it conflicted with that popular TV show called “The People who went Missing on that Island”.
A pregnant woman (Tabrett Bethell) and her husband (Andy Whitfield) are driving through Australia in 1979 when they stop at the only motel they can find. When the husband goes out for food, he returns to find his wife missing. Wait, “found her missing” doesn’t make any sense, because if she was found, she wouldn’t be missing. Is that a George Carlin joke, anyone? Point is, we see her wake up (naked) in a bathtub full of ice and with a scar on her stomach. Her baby was removed! She’s in a large complex with a bunch of other women, all recently with their babies removed. Eventually this group finds a bunch of caged babies with colored tags on them which they learn match up with colored tags that have been sewn into each of these women. One woman starts killing all the others to find out what color her internal tag clearly isn’t, rather than cutting up her own guts. Clever girl! Unfortunately, the other girls don’t like this, so they are now not only confused by what the fuck is going on, but also have a crazy lady trying to kill them.
I guess this was the guy who played Spartacus who died and they had to find a new Spartacus. Now I know who he is, and now I’m sad! Well, not that sad.
While all of this is going on, the husband is dealing with the shady motel owner and crappy detective, but unfortunately is killed when a car he has stolen crashes into a tree. As the women are picked off one by one, we see that there are a few people who are monitoring this whole process through security cameras. Our lead character, whose name is Beth, by the way, is able to avoid death much more successfully than the other mothers, and is even able to kill the woman who has been killing everyone else. In short, Beth is the only one left and learns her tag was violet. When she goes to retrieve her baby, she is knocked out and wakes up chained to a floor as she sees a baby with a purple tag being held by a strange Russian couple. Apparently this whole thing is set up by a woman who makes expected mothers fight one another while a potential couple can observe how the mothers react, ensuring their baby comes from strong stock. The woman who runs the whole operation offers this less than legal service and has been doing so for years, assisted by her mentally disabled son. Part of the adoption is the parents are forced to kill the mom, but lucky for Beth, she was nice to the disabled son who barges in and shoots the adopting parents but is also shot in the head at the same time by the couple. Beth breaks free and confronts the woman in charge, only to learn that she was adopted out of this program as a baby and the people she thought were her parents were the ones who killed her birth mom. After killing the woman in charge, Beth visits the grave of her birth mom and sees a man walking away from the grave. She learns that this was her birth father, and the movie ends were her planning to meet him.
Fun fact I learned about Australian women thanks to this movie is that they get their periods in their stomachs.
Admittedly, I nodded off maybe two or three times during this movie. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy it! Especially considering that Rampaige was with me to fill in the gaps of what I had missed! I really enjoyed the way this film was shot, speaking from a stylistic perspective. Some might say I enjoyed its mise-en-scène, if we’re going to start whipping out terms we learned in college. I should point out that there was a title on the screen that let us know it took place in 1979 and it also said that it was a few years before DNA testing. It seemed arbitrary in the beginning to mention that but the twist at the end involving all these women being doctors or athletes explained why it was important we knew that. In this day and age of DNA testing, everyone would love to have a kid who was genetically predisposed to be an athlete capable of surviving a battle royale with a bunch of other qualified candidates, so that explains the whole reasoning behind it. Supposedly this movie is “based on true events” despite never claiming that in the credits, but rather is centered around a series of kidnappings? Or something? Makes sense, I guess, to claim that a series of kidnappings is some weird eugenics based thunderdome thing. I also thought it was funny that the guy who ran the hotel commented on Beth’s jugs, and I thought, “This girl’s pregnant, but if she wasn’t, that line means we are DEFINITELY seeing her jugs,” and then five minutes later she had her knockers out because she wasn’t pregnant anymore. Isn’t that convenient?! The direction they went with the plot was fun, and there were enough twists and turns that I weren’t anticipated to make it unpredictable, but there were a few lulls in the action and had a few too many endings. Other than that, I recommend it! yay Australia!
Wolfman Moon Scale
Notes from the producers:
1. Fake tit technology was perfected by 1976 right?
2. Logic is for nerds. Nobody notices plot holes anymore.
3. The cop and the motel guy are loose ends. Leave them that way. People love that.
4. Love the bleak/downer ending with the fiance dying but our focus groups say that they need a tacked-on, feel-good epilogue. Maybe Beth finds her real dad by freak coincidence? She should probably have a bad wig to show passage of time too.
5. The bodies that accumulate from this clinic need to go somewhere right? How about a cemetery with modest but tasteful headstones?
6. Are there enough slasher tropes in this? What if one of the women is ordered to kill the other ones for absolutely no fucking reason?
7. If the fiance is going to die in a car crash, don’t bother developing his character or showing him dying. We’ll save money not shooting that superfluous shit.
8. Let’s cut the scene establishing why that retard has a gun. People probably assume everyone in Australia has one.
9. Marketing tells us that if we can squeeze a song/dance number in here, that would play well to our gay audience bases. Future midnight movie sing-a-longs a la Rocky Horror?
Notes from filmmakers:
2. Had to cut the song out though. Tabrett is THE WORSE singer. Her dancing’s not great either on account of her high center of gravity (silicone induced.)