I Sat Through It on Netflix: THE LOVED ONES

One thing I have learned from my (gift) subscription to Netflix …. it isn’t only Americans who  make mediocre movies.

I’ve sat through incoherent Asian chop socky flicks (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, Yakuza Weapon) and lukewarm French thrillers (Inspector Bellamy, Rapt).

So why should Australian films be any different? I mean, they can’t all be Breaker Morant  (a pre-Equalizer Edward Woodward heads up a sterling cast in this fact-based drama about honor and duty that is as relevant today as it was when it was first released in 1980.)

And so we come to 2009’s The Loved Ones.

Robin McLeavy as Lola in The Loved Ones - She Knows the Drill
Robin McLeavy as `Princess`Lola in The Loved Ones – She Knows the Drill

I thought everyone in the movie shamelessly overacted and the screenplay by director Sean Byrne had been left in the Outback heat too long.

Imagine my surprise when I clicked over to rottentomatoes.com and saw that the flick had received a 98% approval ratings from critics who had  actually seen the movie. True, there were only 40 reviewers polled for The Loved Ones as compared to 109 for Oz-shot shocker Wolf Creek  (58 Fresh and 51 Rotten .)

The only viewer who seemed to agree with me on the RT site was `Super Reviewer` Kevin Cookman (It’s just really messed up, with no great pay-off.)

Still, you gotta give Byrne some credit (even if he hasn’t made a film since The Loved Ones, according to imdb.com). At least, in this pic, a buxom hottie, played by Ms. McLeavy,  gets to torture a young hunk (Xavier Samuel). Usually, it’s the other way around (which may account for some of the rave reviews.) 

Personally, I liked Ms. McLeavy a lot better in the cable TV series Hell on Wheels (also available on Netflix.) But then she has a lot more to work with in the AMC drama.

Robin McLeavy as the facially scarred Eva in Hell on Wheels
Robin McLeavy as facially scarred heroine Eva in Hell on Wheels

Ar any rate, it is a change from watching some poor young woman victimized by a predatory male.

Everytime I see one of those movies (or TV shows) I wanna phone up my attractive young nieces (I have no daughters and, yes, each one of my nieces is an attractive young woman. I’m not just saying that because I am their uncle. I have pictures) and tell them to a) avoid dimly lit streets b) stay way from underground parking garages and c) if you hear a noise don’t go into the basement (or into the woods, for that matter) armed only with a flashlight (call 911 and/or take a can of Mace with you.). Yes, I know, mace is illegal but, like I said, they are attractive young women (and they can be impulsive.)

The Loved Ones writerédirector Sean Byrne
The Loved Ones writer-director Sean Byrne (no, he is not Stephen King`s Australian cousin)
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