The slasher genre holds a genuine favorite place in the hearts and minds of the average horror fan, but for those who grew up during the 1980s the machines of the horror industry turned them out faster than the days of the year, each weekend brought more carnage candy to the theaters. The concept simple enough, a group of teens or young adults going to a location cursed or uninvited and with a sinister past, and still it provided more entertainment than the commonplace found-footage and reboots stories littering the landscape of today’s horror relics. Then the home market of VHS ramped up production, and DVDs continue the trend, and now the worldwide market online exploded it all to gooey glorified gore-fest for the likeminded to satisfy their urges and director and writer Chris Sun (Come and Get Me ) does just that with Charlie’s Farm, and not that the film reinvents the wheel rather it bludgeons the victims in new fashion and the fans with delicious treats. Sun provides a quality twisted jaunt with a passionate creation of new villainous iconic monster who takes the opportunity to battle with a famous horror actor.
Set in Queensland, Australia, namely the outback exists the location of Charlie’s Farm, equivalent to the backwoods and rural area often associated with America horror tales, sadly never really placed in the cites. The family that occupies the farm is the Wilson family, John (Bill Moseley (Big Top Evil )) as the patriarch and Merideth as mother (Trudi Ross (Boar )) and their son Charlie (Cameron Caulfield), needless to say the parents share severe brutality in front of their son. The parents partake with the murderous delights of killing young women and girls that John tortures with sexual sadism and removed from existence by momma for showing and showering the sexual prowess and teasing to John. Pacing accelerates the finality of the family, with the townspeople storming the residence, with the similar pattern playing out as it has done frequently in other movies, such as Lost after Dark  and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Although, the actual manifestation of revenge not only carries over to genres, namely the revenge films but back to Frankenstein , of the residence rising up with pitchforks and torches to take down the monster plaguing their peaceful society. However, Charlie escapes, and why not, without him, we have no story or killing spree, hence introduce the four friends seeking adventure Natasha (Tara Reid (Bus Party to Hell )), Jason (Dean Kirkright (The Slaughterhouse Killer )), Melanie (Allira Jaques (Daddy’s Little Girl )) and Donkey (Sam Coward) drive out to the farm. Natasha holds the reigns of the nagging and frowning character and doom-gloom naysayer. A smattering of urban legends dot the story and things move quickly with the stripping away of the rawest elements, and providing the T&A for everyone to enjoy, a skinny dipping scene with Donkey and Melanie, needless this standouts for multiple reasons, first Sam really steals every scene he stars in and the sequence leads to the rampaging mayhem. All deliver from Nathan Jones (Charlie – now a man, in fact an Australian muscle-bound giant) who takes on and belittles Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood ), from strength, height and standardized bad-ass. Sadly, Moseley’s role, well undeserving of his acting talents, for his role that which still a quality highpoint, it doesn’t deliver on the quantity of his time. Hodder’s scenes (while trying to avoid spoilers) don’t measure up to the horrors around him, even though he portrays an American Boxer. The acting falls into the measured line of average, which is the standard for the slasher genre, and especially as this has no real bearing on the viewer, after all they want to gore and killing in all forms of money shots for their gore-hound delights. Fret not, the customary warning of a local (a famed Crazy Ralph kin) sets the doom factor in place for the travelers and this cliché is just one amongst several through the movie. The kills come often and increasingly cartoonish freakish degrees of absurdity and but never feels repeat loop, especially when dealing with the final girl – hint… she was in Sharknado.
When one presents a serving of slasher it comes with caveats that the horror audience understands and accepts on face value, the some poor acting, and dialogue light with nothing too deep to ponder, a fun and easy to follow storyline. Then sprinkle in a named horror actor and this case three, and make sure the editing, lighting, and sound all fit together and the rest brings in another rural murder by numbers film. Some pan the movie, for the cliché usage of hillbilly killing, but the culture keeps bringing in more disgusting killings and the popular franchise series Wrong Turn proves the market enjoys the down home righteous of them.
This movie acquires a healthy body count builds the trophy case and delivers a ruthless killing machine, which hints a bit to Charles Manson and back to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but never lays the connection to either one, rather a set-up of good versus evil. One should note something unsuspecting never comes between a killer and his teddy bear, favorite toy or it could lead to an abrupt conclusion of life itself.
This review was originally published in April 2016 on the now defunct Rogue Cinema website.
- The violent history of Charlie’s Farm is brought brutally to life when four horror seeking youths stumble across a legend that refuses to die.
IMDb Rating: 4.6/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10