June 23, 2020 Two Heads Creek (Movie Review)
Everything in the Outback wants to kill you—even family! The UK/Australian Horror-Comedy Two Heads Creek arrives to VOD and On Demand on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020, via The Horror Collective.
We open on decimated wieners and a graffiti-covered butcher shop. Here, after the death of their mother, twins Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder: Murder on the Orient Express 2017, Ready Player One 2018) and Norman (Jordan Waller: Darkest Hour 2017, Victoria series) discover that they were adopted. Intent upon finding their birth mother (Kerry Armstrong: Lantana 2001, Neighbours series), “girlie” butcher Norman sells the family shop in England to fund the trip to Australia. Meanwhile, famous for her StoolAway laxative ads, actress-wannabe Annabelle is hopeful that their real mother is a glamorous and rich woman who will welcome them with open arms. After all, the sign does say: “Welcome to Two Heads Creek—you’ll never want to leave!”
In reality, Two Heads Creek is a mysterious little enclave, a dusty, forgotten speck in the middle of nowhere. It’s home to some seriously unfriendly locals, including Hans (Gary Sweet: Police Rescue series, Wolf Creek series), who would have you believe that he is the de facto leader, but that honor actually goes to the loud-mouthed Apple (Helen Dallimore: Into the Woods 2011, Here Come the Habibs! series). The sassy matriarch maintains control thanks to her well-trained family: Noah (Kevin Harrington: The Dish 2000, SeaChange series), Eric (David Adlam: Underskin short 2011, Tape Over Me short 2012), Clive (Stephen Hunter: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies 2014), Jayne (Casey Hotz), and Uncle Morris (Don Bridges: Troll Bridge short 2019, Judy & Punch 2019).
Stunned by what they encounter, after a truly hilarious funeral, Annabelle and Norman realize that the entire town is hiding a bloody secret—but what? Can the vegan diva and the timid momma’s boy work together long enough to find out what is really happening in this unsettling piece of Australia?
Clocking in at 85 minutes, Two Heads Creek was directed by Jesse O’Brien (Arrowhead: Signal short 2012, Alien Arrival 2016) and written by Waller, who brilliantly portrays Norman in the film. The film also features the acting talents of Gregory J. Fryer (The Sapphires 2012, Red Billabong 2016), Madelaine Nunn (Film 102 mini-series), Kent Lee (Unbroken 2014, Let’s Talk Numbers short 2019), and more.
A Horror-Comedy that goes for the jugular (quite literally!), Two Heads Creek uses its carnage and cannibalism to comment on immigration, family, and flesh. Initially set in a post-Brexit Britain where immigrants are unwanted, the story travels across the globe to a dingy Outback town where outsiders are, well, equally unwanted. A savvy commentary embedded in the bones of a horrifyingly witty romp, the film gets dark and slings butcher knives to prove its many points—not the least of which is “there’s nothing worse than extended family!” It’s all done in good fun, with the bulk of the carnage being intentionally goofy and meant to make moviegoers laugh and not cringe.
As the invigorating romp sees heads and penises flying, its cast do their worst, as in best, to deliver their truly quirky characters. In a tale that relies on dominating female leads, Wilder’s Annabelle is often the fiercest. A contradictory character who, though not well-rounded, has enough edges and angles to feel complicated and real. Initially a bit of a snob, Wilder allows Annabelle’s transformation to unfold throughout the story, bringing us wit and ferocity as she evolves from entitlement to murderous intent.
Her perfect foil, Waller’s Norman has a bit of a reverse journey: able to leave behind his timid and meek demeanor when it is necessary to save the women he loves. His motivation is always obvious and, for this, he is often much more likable than his self-centered twin. A compliment to Waller’s acting (and writing) skills, Norman’s journey throughout Two Heads Creek is always humorous, even when he’s being demeaned.
Dallimore’s Apple refuses to be overlooked. A sassy matriarch who accepts no mouthing off from her inferior male counterparts, she allows the actress to be completely over-the-top in all the best ways. In the role, Dallimore even manages to deliver an exceptional performance of the film’s unofficial theme song, Skyhooks’ “Horror Movie.” Yes, Apple rocks the Australia Day Festival with her vocal cords before she rallies her troops to spill some outsider blood. However, one cannot overlook Bridges’ Morris, who is absolutely hysterical in his lunacy—and provides a truly hysterical eulogy.
Together, all of these components make for a light-hearted experience with timely commentary sitting just beneath the surface. Based on a wonderful script that raises these important issues of nationalism, immigration, and family, the dark humor of Two Heads Creek is an enjoyable respite from our troubled world. Furthermore, unlike many recent Horror-Comedy attempts, this one is actually funny! G’day, Cryptic Rock gives Two Heads Creek 4 of 5 stars.