Film Review: AUSTRALIENS (2014)

AUSTRALIENS (2014)

The synopsis reads as oddly as the film weaves itself: Ten year old, Australian born, Andi Gibson had what she describes as an encounter with a flying saucer. Although others think she is clearly insane to some degree, she begins to prove them wrong when extra- terrestrial beings begin to descend on Australia in a bizarre nation wide attack. With no assistance coming from any foreign countries, it is up to Andi and her gaggle of misfits to save the day!

It is such a bizarrely unique film that I must apologise in advance for spoilers, but this is actually an award winning film – picking up no less than 10 awards at various film festivals in America and Australia!

Now I admit I love me some pure Grade A cheddar and this film will placate fans of such, like me. Heck I think even old Ed Wood would’ve loved this one!!

Following the antics of Andi (Rita Artmann), filmmaker friend Cam (Tamara McLaughlin), her brother Elliot (Doug Hatch), bandmate John (Joe Bauer) and retired boxer Keith (Lawrence Silver) , Australiens will definitely make you chuckle at least once.

Seriously, the easily enjoyable OVER acting, the tacky but lovable CGI of Brisbane being annihilated by aliens, the moronic cast that seem to drive this awful vehicle, and the all round lunacy that goes with watching this film are actually good points to make.

From the first moments watching Andi’s awful punk rock band Titanium Turdles (yes that is the name used) we immediately know not to expect too much from this modest made film or its $16000(USD) budget.

The “turdles” perform to an audience of pretty much no one right before an alien attack on Australia . Of course Aussies are caught unaware and clamber to hide as the aliens commit mass genocide. Sadly what could’ve been serious fuel for the film, bursts into flames like the hopes and dreams of all the Aussies that are wiped out by the initial attack. That is all before the robot and whatnot show up.

Andi believes her alien encounter many years ago has bestowed her with some form of telepathic powers. Each scene where she feigns telepathy is horrendously funny. I swear she looked somewhat constipated.

The cast form the usual suspects in a horror film. Elliot, Andi’s brother, is an asthmatic nerd. Cam, her best friend, is pretty and a poor camera operator but a filmmaker none the less. Keith is a moron, no sugar coating that this boxer was a halfwit well before getting punched in the head. And bandmate John is just the unluckiest pawn in it all.

I must admit Joe Bauer was the saving grace of this film. His portrayal of John was what kept me watching this awful yet unbearably appealing train wreck of a film, because I loved his character. Poor John is murdered by an alien early on and stuffed in the trunk of the car , whilst the alien shapeshifts into a green version of John (much like Ug in CRITTERS). How these freaking imbeciles don’t realise John has changed colour or is twitching awkwardly at times cracked me up.

The hilarity continues as we realise the rest of the world has basically made the attack a huge Fuck Australia, by refusing to help the alien onslaught because (lets face it it’s kinda of true) they wallow at the bottom of the world.

Through a presidential statement via the news from the USA , a very pre Trump like representative lays out the world’s plan to just let the aliens claim Australia in the hopes they will leave everyone else alone.

Honestly I am perhaps being harsh and am happy I do own this film. Clearly the films small budget and considerable lack of accomplished performers aside, Australiens will still be a fun watch for any fan of horror, sci fi or comedy, as this film transcends all three genres.

The film was written by Joe Bauer and his leading lady Rita Artmann.

Joe Bauer also directed the film and I have to admit it did flow through all of the insanity quite nicely, considering just how peculiar the film gets on various moments.

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Author: Michelle Sayles

Michelle is a long term horror fan, who writes reviews to purge her thoughts. Horror has been her favorite genre since she was 5yrs old- the 1976 film The Omen being her favorite, and Stephen King became her favorite author at the age of 10 when she saw Pet Sematary and begged her parents for the novel. Michelle was raised on Hammer Horror and her specialty is learning more about independent films, especially in the Australian market . Michelle writes the way she thinks, which folks don't always agree with but that is her....she shoots from the hip

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