Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

Australia 1987
Directed by
Rolf De Heer
87 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Incident At Raven's Gate

The executive producer of Incident At Raven's Gate, Anthony I Ginnane is best known for exploitational genre films like Patrick (1978), Thirst (1979), Harlequin (1980) and Turkey Shoot (1982) and this sci-fi/horror/thriller potboiler is well within his territory. Less so for Rolf De Heer whose only previous directorial effort  was the sentimental children’s film, Tail Of A Tiger (1984). After a 4 year hiatus De Heer probably needed the money as it is hard to imagine this film having much appeal on paper.

Steve Vidler plays Eddie, a crop-haired quasi-punk with a knack for trouble who is living with his boring hydroponics-obsessed brother (Ritchie Singer) and his bored wife, Rachel (Celine O'Leary), on a farm near Raven’s Gate, a dot on a map somewhere in the Outback. Eddie, who has plenty of sex appeal that is not lost on Rachel, is carrying on with the local barmaid (Saturday Rosenberg) who is also the object of desire of the opera-loving local cop. You might think this is enough to keep any film going but in typical shlock style we have weird, apparently extra-terrestrial-induced goings on that result in fried flesh

With its low-budget special effects and cheap frights, eerie sound design and pop, thrash, opera mash-up sound-track, the film looks and sounds like many others of its breed. Aside from having that ability, characteristic of the style, to be laughed at as much as taken seriously. the best bits belong to a kind of comedic interplay between Max Cullen and Terry Camilleri that frames the main story. Overall, however, there is simply too much going on for it to cohere into anything compelling and the cast are not strong enough to inject the prosaic dialogue with life. The film was not a commercial or critical success but De Heer would give the ET theme another crack in Epsilon (1995) with arguably even less felicity..

DVD Extras: Available as part of a 6 disc Rolf De Heer Collection from Umbrella Entertainment that also includes The Quiet Room, Epsilon, Bad Boy Bubby, Dingo, and Tail Of A Tiger.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




Want something different?

random vintage best worst