I had no idea how many ‘killer animal’ flicks there really were floating around out there. I’ve seen a whole bunch, as I’m actually a pretty big fan of the sub-genre, but I always love hearing and reading about ones that I’ve managed to miss over the years. I thought I had a pretty good grasp, but it seems that a lot of the old 70’s and 80’s ones are completely off my radar. Until now, that is! Synapse Films has managed to pull yet another Ozploitation classic from obscurity and release Colin Eggleston’s Long Weekend, beautifully remastered.
Peter and Marcia have a fun camping trip planned for a holiday weekend, in hopes of mending their rocky marriage. It doesn’t take very long for the couple to get on each other’s nerves, however, as a weekend of fishing, hunting, surfing, and sleeping under the stars isn’t exactly Marcia’s idea of fun. Things turn even more ugly as mother nature decides to strike back against the careless couple, who seemed to do nothing but destroy the living things around them…
I’ve seen quite a few of the Australian horror releases that Synapse has put out over the past year or so, but I still don’t quite have my finger on the style from down under. I was expecting a pretty terrifying flick about animals attacking the unsuspecting characters, but instead I got a slow burn type of film with much more to it. Long Weekend actually made me wait and see what was to unfold and thankfully the climax brought everything full circle and ended up being rather enjoyable.
Long Weekend stars John Hargreaves and Briony Behets as husband and wife duo, Peter and Marcia. The two actors did wonderfully, performing rather naturally throughout the film. They managed to feed off of each other, making a film starring [pretty much] only two characters way more bearable than one would imagine.
While the film is about mother nature getting even with a destructive couple, there is a greater sense of character development in the works. Writer Everett De Roche created a script that illustrated a tragic experience for the two, allowing details to bleed out slowly as the film progressed. Hargreaves and Behets did a great job portraying quarreling lovers who are trying to overcome something that is practically unspeakable, making the audience feel as though they could be a couple in real life. This brought a greater sense of authenticity to the film and helped with the pacing a tad, as well.
I would have loved to see more gruesome attacks by the various wildlife seen throughout Long Weekend, but in the end, the film worked perfectly fine as is. There are always films like Frogs and of course Jaws to fill my more terrifying needs, if I so desire.
If you enjoy Aussie horror and have never watched Long Weekend, I recommend giving it a shot. It is available now on Blu-ray [and DVD] from Synapse Films.
I give it 3 sea cows out of 5.