Two Heads Creek Movie Review
Written by Stuart D. Monroe
Released by The Horror Collective
Directed by Jesse O’Brien
Written by Jordan Waller
2019, 85 minutes, Not Rated
Released on June 23rd, 2020
Jordan Waller as Norman
Kathryn Wilder as Annabelle
Kerry Armstrong as Mary Pearce
Madelaine Nunn as Daisy
Don Bridges as Uncle Morris
Helen Dallimore as Apple
Stephen Hunter as Clive
Gary Sweet as Hans
David Adlam as Eric
You know, I’m still waiting for the Australians to give me a film that I don’t like. I keep thinking that it has to happen eventually, but if I were holding my breath, I’d be a goner. There’s something seemingly imbedded in their creative psyche that instinctually knows how to blend comedy and horror with ease. They can also give you some first-rate darkness like Hounds of Love or Wake in Fright. They are quite versatile down under.
Two Heads Creek is the story of Norman (writer Jordan Waller; Darkest Hour) and his sister, Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder; Murder on the Orient Express). Norman is a mousy, timid butcher living in his late mother’s shadow. Annabelle is an actress who’s famous for doing a stool softener ad (Stoolaway Laxative Tablets!). When Annabelle returns home for the funeral, the siblings discover that their Polish mother wasn’t actually their mother at all! Leaving a post-Brexit Great Britain that doesn’t want them there, they head to the town of Two Heads Creek, Australia, to find out what they can about their real mother, Mary Pearce (Kerry Armstrong; Lantana). When they arrive in Two Heads Creek, however, they find a backwater shithole full of people who look like character actors from an Aussie version of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. What they don’t find is their mother, Mary. Once they dig deeper, they find a mystery on a national scale that is as amusing as it is horrifying.
Two Heads Creek is one of those movies that lets you know right out of the starting box that it has clear influences (you’ll see clear stylistic nods to Shaun of the Dead, 2000 Maniacs, and Wake in Fright). It doesn’t completely ape those influences, however, opting instead for the more subtle approaches (like the heavy use of those Shaun-style quick cuts from moment to moment that heighten the humorous tone in the heavier scenes). With that groundwork laid to make you feel right at home, Two Heads Creek hits you with a pretty dope combination of political and social relevance mixed with gleeful gore and crude humor.
Look for David Adlam to steal practically every scene as Eric, the idiot man-child. His mildly brain-damaged and joyously disturbed presentation of the character make the cadaver playmate scene a highlight of the film. I was caught off guard by how twisted and funny that one is. Pay special attention to the background details. A Nice Chianti? Seriously?!
On that note, there’s no weak link in the cast. Everyone embraces the insanity of their backwoods characters. There’s fantastic chemistry between Jordan Waller and Kathryn Wilder (herself a decorated veteran Aussie who’s done a slew of long-running TV shows). It’s a solid ensemble without the big names an ensemble usually carries.
The not-at-all-subtle message of immigration hostility is driven home with real skill, letting the humor do the work and understanding that the best jokes hide terrifying truths. The secret behind the town of Two Heads Creek is cleverly written and presented. Even before the siblings travel to Australia, the animosity towards immigrants is still prevalent in the character of the dogshit-flinging youths who hound the family butcher shop. Subtlety is overrated, anyways.
And that gore! The price of admission would be worth it for the cannibal karaoke party scene alone. It’s a feast that felt like Herschell Gordon Lewis should have an executive producer credit set to an original tune that brought the pyro and the party. I mean, if you’re going to be venturing into cannibal territory, then I’d damn well better get a proper gut-munching pig-out. Don’t leave us hanging.
Two Heads Creek steps up to take a spot as one of the best horror-comedies of 2020 easily. While it’s not quite as epic-level funny as, say, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, it’s not far off the mark either. The distance between the two, you might say, is only a finger length. So, chow down on that little digit! It’ll go great with a can of XXXX (provided you don’t drink it like a Nancy).
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