Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Greg McLean talks killer crocodiles

Last night I interviewed director Greg McLean about Wolf Creek, his new movie Rogue and his thoughts on the state of the Australian film industry, in particular the recent spate of low budget horror films. Mclean revealed himself to be a huge fan of Alien and Jaws so the thought of a giant crocodile rampaging through Australia's Northern Territory just gets better and better. The interview will appear in Shivers magazine and will form part of my Antipodean horror film article in Dazed & Confused next year.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back to School

Here are the details of the film symposium I will be taking part in this Friday at the University of Sydney. I will a member of the film forum discussion panel at 12:10pm.

Eternal Sunshine of the Academic Mind:
Film, Faith, Culture and the University.

A one day symposium on current trends in
Film study and film teaching

Supported by the Religion, Literature and the Arts Society And Studies in Religion
University of Sydney

9.00AM - 5.30PM
22 September 2006
Woolley Common Room

Call for papers: research on film, culture, religion and pedagogy are welcome, please submit your abstract to Chris Hartney by 31 August at ( Studies in Religion, Woolley A20, University of Sydney, NSW 2006.
- Registration Cost: $35/$20 (inc. lunch, morning/afternoon tea, notes etc)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Latest News

Last night I spent a splendid few hours chatting away with Doug Turner and Stacey Edmonds; the creative force behind the forthcoming I Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer. We were also joined by the films lead Jai Koutrae. Check out the trailer at My interviews will feature in Shivers and an Aussie horror special that will appear early next year in the newly launched Australian version of Dazed & Confused. My interview with Malcolm McDowell will be appearing in issue 2 of the magazine hitting newstands soon.

In other news the second part of my on set report on Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes features in issue #129 of Shivers magazine. Last week I also had the great pleasure of interviewing John Rhys Davies about the forthcoming The Ferryman. The consumate professional, he was an absolute delight to talk to. I look forward to sharing our discussions in the pages of Shivers early next year.

Next week I'll be taking part in the University of Sydney's Film Symposium. I'll be appearing on a panel with Jamie Leonarder from the Mu Mesons archive and SBS's At the Movies show to discuss religion in film. The film forum takes place on Friday 22nd September.

On a final note I've finally sercomed to the dreaded MySpace so check me out on Its probably the only way I can pretend that Ennio Morricone is my friend.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


This Friday at 17:30 I'll once again be appearing on Sydney's Eastside FM 89.7's Cinemascape show. Unfortunately this time around I'll be reviewing Mike Binder's Man About Town starring the woeful Ben Affleck.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Snakes on a Plane review

“I’ve had it with these motherf**king Snakes of this motherf**king plane!” There you go, I’ve said it, the line that Samuel. L. Jackson was born to say. The whole film seems to be building up to that line but unfortunately by the time it comes Snakes on a Plane has run out of steam. Don’t get me wrong, Pacific Air Flight 121 is a fun ride, but after all the internet generated conjecture, rumours and publicity, that’s all this film is. Any hope of Snakes on a Plane being the ultimate trash experience have been sucked out of the window along with a few rotting snake riddled corpses along the way.

The premise is slim to say the least, a mere excuse to get the cast on the plane and become snake food. The cast too is a glorious collection of clich├ęs that wouldn’t be out of place on any 70s disaster movie, with the possible exception of the Paris Hilton look-alike Mercedes Harbunt with her pet Chihuahua Mary Kate who provides the film with one of its biggest deliciously macabre laughs. Samuel. L. Jackson is fantastic as the FBI agent Flynn and Julianna Marguiles is likeable as airhostess Claire Miller despite continuing her run of post E.R. performances in trash like Ghost Ship. Australian actor Nathan Philips of You and Your Stupid Mate and Wolf Creek is fine as Sean Jones but to be honest everyone pales into insignificance next to Jackson at full throttle. Ex- stuntman David. R. Ellis handles the directing duties with aplomb moving up from previous efforts like Cellular and Final Destination 2 but the biggest let down unfortunately for a film called Snakes on a Plane, is the snakes. The dreaded CGI beasts just don’t look real, the image is often blurred and despite the best efforts of the actors, just don’t look scary. They even throw in a green tinged snake-cam to no real effect. This is possibly why the studio allowed the crew an additional five days to up the horror and move the film away from the family fun of a PG-13 to a harsher, hopefully more profitable R. The moments that are added are pretty obvious, copious mile high club style nudity, bloody insert shots and the glorious profanity of Jackson’s infamous line were all added after poor audience reaction at test screenings.

Here come’s the crunch; with a film like Snakes on a Plane you have to be able to laugh at people being killed by snakes in a more and more preposterous fashion. If you don’t find the thought of snakes leaping out of a toilet funny, then don’t go and see Snakes on a Plane. If the name of this film gets you excited at its mere utterance then grab a group of friends and see it at a packed multiplex. It’s as simple as that.