REVIEW: Red Billabong
Tim Pocock, Dan Ewing, Felix Williamson, Gregory J. Fryer
FilmInk rates movies out of $20 — the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
…a special effects driven action movie that’s undeniably Australian.
Home And Away stars, Tim Pocock and Dan Ewing, move from the Bay to the billabong in this Aussie monster movie that marks the directorial debut of Luke Sparke. The two men play estranged brothers brought together after the loss of their grandfather, who has left them a huge amount of land out in the bushland. When a shady land developer (Felix Williamson hamming it up deluxe) shows interest in taking the property off their hands for a princely sum, Tristan (Pocock) wants to sell up, but Nick (Ewing) is concerned about a warning from grandad’s friend, Mr. Garvey, played by Gregory J. Fryer (The Sapphires). There’s something in the dark, and it’s feeding time.
And that’s all that can be said plot wise, as Red Billabong relies on the audience going in as cold as possible to preserve its numerous twists and genre shifts. Tipping its hat to Aliens, Jurassic Park, and even Crocodile Dundee, it’s clear that Sparke’s passion is the bolshy action films of the ‘80s and ‘90s. A fact further demonstrated when drug dealer, BJ (Ben Chisholm), rocks up with his group of mates for a party in the brothers’ new home; a drug fuelled party plus an evil lurking in the bush never works out well for anyone.
With so much in the mix – there’s guns, girls, and The Dreaming yet to be mentioned – Red Billabong starts off surprisingly slow. Perhaps too slow for those in the audience looking for a quick, one-hit-and-you’re-done monster massacre. But once Sparke lets the film off its leash, Red Billabong mutates into a special effects driven action movie that’s undeniably Australian. And whilst the credits hint at a potential sequel, it’s hard not to cross your fingers for the possibility of a spinoff with Mr. Garvey and his band of indigenous Ghostbusters.