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100 Bloody Acres

100 Bloody AcresCameron & Colin Cairnes

Hot on the heels of the domestic release of their horror-comedy, 100 Bloody Acres, X-Press recently caught up with sibling directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes to talk about the film.

While they may look different in the flesh, over the phone Cameron and Colin Cairnes sound identical, like a kind of gestalt entity that likes to interrupt its own musings. How apt, then, that their debut feature is such a singular film, drawing on a wide range of influences but transmuting them into something new in the crucible of their fraternal imagination.

“Well, we started out on this journey maybe seven or eight years ago,” Cameron (we think) says about the origins of their film, which sees three backpackers run afoul of two murderous brothers who want to use their corpses to make organic fertiliser. “We simply had an idea that we wanted to make a horror film both to entertain and scare people.”

“Both of us have dabbled in comedy,” Colin (possibly) interjects. “And all the short films we’ve made have been comedies, so I guess it was inevitable that eventually jokes would appear in our script and we would kind of fall in love with our characters, because we do like characters with more than one dimension. So there was that and the fact that Wolf Creek came out midway through our development process and that obviously made a straight, pure outback horror film better than anyone else could – there was no way we were gonna top that, but that just encouraged us to continue along that more comedic path.”

That instinctive veering towards comedy aside, the brothers, who cut their teeth on television and short film projects before chancing a shot at making a feature, maintain that it didn’t change too much from conception to execution. “Structurally, it’s much the same. It’s pretty much just the third act which kind of changed in maybe the last year or so before we started filming, but generally we didn’t mess around too much with the structure,” says Calvin.

Colin adds, “We originally wanted to make a real time horror film and shoot it in one shot like Slacker or Russian Ark or something where it really was pure real time, and I guess there was a time when we realised that was probably gonna be a bit ambitious, but I think the film still evokes some of that real time sense. It does take place over the course of one afternoon. I think we captured some of that vibe without necessarily doing the real time thing.”

As for direct influences, they cite the aforementioned Wolf Creek, Wake In Fright, Badlands and, most of all, the Mad Max series.

“The first Mad Max was a low budget film in its day. It probably had a budget equivalent to what ours was. So we thought, well, if those guys could do it, then so could we – we’ll at least give it a crack. Our film does eschew the more contemporary, handheld, anxious camera kind of technique and does let scenes and the staging play out on the wide-angle lens a  little more, so that was an influence.”

 TRAVIS JOHNSON

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