Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

THE FLICKS: Movie reviews by Richard Freeman

Director/writer Greg McLean

Giant crocodile films are a genre all to themselves. There have been dozens of them over the years, some better than others. This latest offering from the director of Australian psycho movie Wolf Creek revolves around an ill-fated tourist trip along a remote river in Australia’s Northern Territory. American travel writer Peter McKell (Michael Varten) is among the group taken via boat by guide Kate Ryan (Radha Mitchell). When they see a distress flare they investigate and find a smashed up boat in a swamp. At that point their own vessel is attacked and sunk by a 7.2 metre, two-tonne indo-pacific crocodile.

The survivors (including a British family with an annoyingly stereotypical upper-class accent) are forced onto a tidal island that is rapidly vanishing under water as the monster crocodile lies in wait to pick them off.

The film was inspired by the real life rogue crocodile called Sweetheart who attacked a number of boats between 1974 and 1979. Apparently he was mistaking the noise of outboard motors for rival male crocodiles.

In reality a man-eater, even a huge one, would spend at least a week digesting a human after eating them. In the film, however, the croc keeps coming back for more victims and storing them in a ‘larder’ underneath a huge tree.

The film’s ending is somewhat predictable but as killer croc films go it’s not bad. The crocodile itself is quite well realised though it looks a little stumpy with the tail seemingly too short in comparison with the head and body. Rogue is better than Dark Water or Bloodsurf but not as good as Primeval or Dark Age.


Director Jody Dwyer
Writers Jody Dwyer/Michael Boughen

A film about an expedition in search of the thylacine sounds like a great idea and it would be but sadly this film misses a great chance. The plot revolves around zoology student called Nina (Mirrah Foulkes) who travels to northern Tasmania ostensibly to search for thylacines. However, we learn that her sister vanished in the same area five years before, shortly after photographing a thylacine track.

She takes her boyfriend and his annoying friend (who partially finances the trip) and his girlfriend along with her.

From here on the film degenerates into a cross between Deliverance and Cannibal Holocaust. The group happen across a tiny hamlet inhabited by inbred, degenerate cannibals with sharp teeth who waylay travellers and turn them into pie filling! The mutants are apparently the descendents of escaped convicts. Women travellers are used to breed with before getting the chop. We find out this is what befell Nina’s sister.

We are treated to a brief glimpse of a thylacine but it lasts only a few seconds. How much more interesting the film would have been if it had concentrated on the Tasmanian wolf, a creature that really does exist, rather than a hackneyed bunch of derivative, mythical cannibals.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

a little bit scary movie ;)