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CUT

SYNOPSIS:
A student film crew, led by director Raffy (Jessica Napier), decide to complete a horror film called Hot Blooded that was left unfinished following the grisly murder of its original director, Hilary Jacobs (Kylie Minogue), 14 years previously. Despite legends of a curse being placed on the film, Raffy and producer Hester (Sarah Kants) succeed in raising completion finance from the widow of its original producer and convince American star Vanessa Turnbill (Molly Ringwald) to reprise her role. Shooting commences at the original Hot Blooded location and it is not long before macabre events occur and the killing starts again.

"Who'd have thought Australia would ever produce such a zesty and fun entry in the stalk and stab/slice and dice/have sex and die genre? Our industry has always suffered from far too much respectability, as if it's not the done thing to send a bunch of likeable kids off to a spooky location and let a maniac loose on them. What I like about Cut is how it does just that with a big grin on its face and a touch of class to boot. What's more it has a host of ultra-respectable names like co-producers Bill and Jennifer Bennett on its credits. If you do this kind of thing wrong you end up with Friday The 13th (but still make 8 sequels and squillions in profit). If you do it right you end up with Scream (2 sequels plus critical and box office payoff). Thanks to everyone involved embracing the material and knowing how to have fun with it, Cut ends up far closer to the Scream side of the fright film ledger. For that plenty of credit goes to writer (and Oz-Rock legend) Dave Warner and first-time feature director Kimble Rendall. Known as an ace rock-clip and TV commercial maker (and as a founding member of Le Hoodoo Gurus when they were bass-less and brilliant), Rendall delivers just what Hot Blooded's young target audience wants and throws in enough snazzy touches to give it a good shot with savvy ticket-buyers in upper age brackets. It doesn't all work: some gags fall flat, performances are a little wobbly at times and there are a few rough spots technically. But this is B-grade and proud of it, making it easy to forgive the bumps and enjoy the tongue in cheek spirit of the whole enterprise. A substantial body count with plenty of gristle, death by garden tap, masked maniacs wielding garden clippers, Molly Ringwald, Kylie Minogue and an hilarious explanation of the Hot Blooded curse. All this and more make Hot Blooded well worth the ticket price and earns it kudos as a cheerfully disreputable shot in the arm for our national cinema."
Richard Kuipers

"Taking the teen slasher genre, adding elements of the supernatural and framing it with an Australian stamp, Cut brings an interesting slant to an otherwise formulaic and derivative approach. Cleverly titled with its play on words – filmmaking and gore – the film has a great look, interesting direction and a minimalist, unsettling music score from talented composer Guy Gross. Although some elements are strong, Cut is a bit of a mixed bag – what's good is really good, and what's bad is pretty rotten. There are some strong performances, namely by Jessica Napier, and Molly Ringwald it seems, has a following of her own. If you're waiting to see Kylie Minogue, you won't have to wait long into the film. But you may be disappointed – her cameo does nothing to display the talents she showed in 1989's The Delinquents. There's a good dose of tension with shadowy lighting and a few creepy surprises, but it's patchy and there are scenes that border on the ridiculous. Horror movies are supposed to be therapy for teens, says one character, making craters on faces less the centre of focus. Good point. But it's all pretty unbelievable, predictable and some embarrassingly poor performances (in smaller roles) lose us totally. (Bad fake American accents have no place in any film.) The script is pretty so-so: lines like 'you stay away from me' and 'let's get the son-of-a-bitch' are limiting to say the least. The headless horseman would do well to come by to collect the bevy of heads – there's no subtlety whatsoever, and the slasher stuff is pretty graphic, with plenty of fake blood and bodies that are… er, cut. Flawed but interesting, Cut is a new flavour on the Aussie smorgasbord of film."
Louise Keller

"All genre films are derivative, of course; but derivative doesn't need to be slavish, especially in Australian filmmaking where the horror genre is underdeveloped and open to total bravura. In this respect, Cut is a disappointment, with its occasional stabs of humour showing signs of what might have been. And since the essence of a good horror film is tension and believable characters, Cut scores poorly here, too. The sum of too many stretches of credibility finally defeats the film, despite its technical and visual elements being rather good. Music, design, cinematography and editing work well; but … there is a but. Another few drafts of the script and a few more days in rehearsal may have made all the difference. But even as it stands, Cut is heading in the right direction; and it will prove reasonably popular with its target audience."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

TRAILER

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CD SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

CUT (MA)
(AUS)

CAST: Molly Ringwald, Jessica Napier, Simon Bossell, Tiriel Mora, Stephen Curry and Kylie Minogue

DIRECTOR: Kimble Rendall

PRODUCER: Martin Fabinyi, Julia Overton

SCRIPT: Dave Warner

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Foreman

EDITOR: Henry Dangar

MUSIC: Guy Gross

PRODUCTION DESIGN:

RUNNING TIME: 78 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 2, 2000







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