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Review: TWO HEADS CREEK (2019)

Australia, the country where if it swims, flies, walks or slithers it’s probably trying to kill and eat you. In Two Heads Creek, a new film from writer/star Jordan Waller and director Jesse O’Brien (Arrowhead) that extends to the locals as well. But this isn’t just another bloody bit of Ozploitation, this is also a bloody bit of political satire with a real bite.

England in the looming shadow of Brexit. Norman (Jordan Waller) is a butcher of Polish descent. His mother has recently died, and the locals harass him for not being a “real” Briton. An inadvertent comment reveals that the deceased was actually his stepmother. He and his sister Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder) decide to head down under to find their birth mother. This takes them to the town of Two Heads Creek.

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Arriving there in the company of tour guide Apple (Helen Dallimore, Into the Woods, Mr. Accident) and a busload of Asian tourists, they’re in for some serious culture shock. Two Heads Creek is a decrepit and dying hamlet in the middle of nowhere. And the inhabitants are, to put it mildly, eccentric. But they needn’t worry about fitting in. The townsfolk have their own way of assimilating newcomers.

Two Heads Creek starts out as what would be called an “ocker” comedy, the Australian equivalent of backwoods, redneck humour over here. But as the film progresses, the tone becomes progressively darker, while never losing its sense of humour. The turning point being the halfway mark when the siblings discover that their mother’s coffin is empty.

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Once the town’s secret is revealed, Two Heads Creek looks like it will become something of a down under mix of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and, of all things, Acacia Motel. Only with a lot more blood. Indeed, the last act is a wild mix of stabbings, impalings and an inventively staged decapitation. And we can’t forget the industrial meat grinder.

But along with the well-crafted humour and gore, there’s a serious side to Two Heads Creek. Waller intended Two Heads Creek as a comment on Australia’s and, to a degree the UK’s, current issues with immigration and xenophobia. And it does that, with humour as pointed as the knives the characters wield. And he does it without changing the tone of that humour to make his points. It stays as dark, bloody and non PC as the rest of the film.

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Two Heads Creek made its debut at last years’ Monster Fest ahead of its Australian run. The Horror Collective will release it in North America this summer. You can check the film’s website and Facebook page for updates.

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