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Some New Aussie Stuff Worth Checking Out
"Talk to Me" and "Deadloch" are some new quality exports from Down Under.
Daly Grind readers know that I’m always up for a good horror film, but while I have a strong affection for the genre, the unfortunate reality is that the overwhelming majority of horror films aren’t very good. The typically lie somewhere between “just okay” and downright terrible. So, on those rare occasions when a new one comes out that’s exceptionally good, I feel obligated to let people know about it.
Over the weekend, my wife compelled me to go with her to the theater to see Talk to Me, an Australian supernatural horror film that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise heard of. She thought the trailer looked very good. I, on the other hand, didn’t. To me, it seemed like just another hokey, spirit-possession movie… of which there is already a ton. But I’m inclined to indulge my wife in these types of situations, and boy was I glad I did it this time.
The story follows Mia, a 17-year-old who’s still struggling with the death of her mother from two years earlier. She’s trying to fit in socially with her classmates, which includes participating one night in an unconventional seance that she and her friend initially believe is part of an internet hoax. Things go very wrong (don’t they always), and though my generic description of the film may not make it sound terribly original or even interesting, I assure you that “Talk to Me” is genuinely creepy, scary, and well-executed. The writing and acting is very good, and the possession scenes may be some of the most unnerving I’ve seen since the original Exorcist. I’m not joking.
The film’s already a leading candidate for the feature spot at this year’s Halloween Horror Movie Fest.
“Talk to Me” isn’t the only Australian entertainment export that’s impressed me lately. A few weeks ago, my wife and I finished up Deadloch, a crime-mystery/black-comedy television series from Down Under. We absolutely loved it.
Similar to horror films, I find most comedies to be sorely lacking. It’s not easy to write and execute truly funny material over an entire season of television, but the creators of this unique show pulled it off magnificently.
The story takes place in a small coastal town in Tasmania, where a dead body washes ashore, and an odd-couple pair of women detectives reluctantly work together to identify the killer. I’d never heard of actresses Kate Box and Madeleine Sami (Sami is also one of the show’s writers), but their respective portrayals of the uptight Dulcie Collins, and hilariously brash and reckless Eddie Redcliffe, are a laugh a minute. The rest of the mostly female cast is great too.
The trailer below will give you a feel for the show, but the episodes are far funnier than the preview suggests.
Also, surprisingly, the show only gets better with each new episode.
I’ll offer one suggestion for watching the series: turn on the sub-titles, just to make sure you don’t miss any jokes.
Australian comedy sure has come a long way since Yahoo Serious, and it’s a good thing to see.
Have you seen "Talk to Me" or "Deadloch"? Let me know what you thought of them in an email or in the comment section below.
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This may sound weird to a lot of fellow classic rock fans, but as a child of the 80s, my first real interest in Bad Company actually came after the band’s iconic lead singer Paul Rodgers had already moved on to other things. I later became a huge fan of Rodgers’ earlier work with (and without) the band, but as far as I knew in the late 80s, Bad Company’s run with Brian Howe was entirely representative of their sound. And boy was I into that sound!
It wasn’t heavy metal, but I’d definitely consider it hard rock. Howe’s strong vocals stood out, and the band’s revival really caught steam with 1988’s “Dangerous Age,” which had a memorable album cover and included the hit, “No Smoke Without A Fire.”
(The band would really hit pay-dirt with their next album, “Holy Water,” which — as my old college roommates can attest — I was obsessed with for a while).
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