REVIEW: Red Billabong

August 25, 2016

Review, Theatrical, This Week 4 Comments

"...a special effects driven action movie that’s undeniably Australian."

REVIEW: Red Billabong

John Noonan
Year: 2016
Rating: MA
Director: Luke Sparke

Tim Pocock, Dan Ewing, Felix Williamson, Gregory J. Fryer

Distributor: Pinnacle
Released: August 25
Running Time: 113 minutes
Worth: $16.00

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.




  1. Pauline S

    Great movie with a strong female cast – which seems to get overlooked. Anya gets smashed around as much as the boys. Let’s hear it for the women in Aussie films

  2. Zil

    Why was this terrible film ever made & why are there obviously “inside jobs” saying it’s the best Aussie movie out there … it’s the pits … & below

  3. Malcolm Quirey

    I saw this film today at an AFI screening and it was very enjoyable. Suspenseful with at mythical storyline and well acted all round and with an intermittent pulsing soundtrack throughout. Do yourself a favour and get out and see this unique Aussie film. The two lead lads ( Dan Ewing and Tim Pocock ) complement each other admirably. Touché

  4. Adrian P

    Just watched this film on a sunday arvo with my teenage daughter and it was a lot of fun. Classic isolated house with beautiful people disappearing; throw in an old-school oz rock soundtrack, hot zombie babes and good looking soap hunks, an old kombi, a likeable dog, jump scares a plenty and some pretty funny lines and what’s not to like. Don’t take it too seriously and you’ll enjoy it a lot. 3.5 stars from me.

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