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Christopher Webster [Celluloid 04.10.11] movie review horror comedy

Year: 2010
Directors: James MacPherson
Writers: Anne K. Black/Jason Faller/Kynan Griffin/ Justin Partridge
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 7 out of 10

My theory that Park Rangers derive their powers from their moustaches was proved right when I caught Orcs! over the weekend. You might have thought they get them from their excessive slacking, pot smoking or even their ability to keep cashew crumbs off their boxer shorts, but no - it's all about the moustache, baby.

Orcs! is a low budget horror/comedy about Orcs that come down from their mountain home and terrorize a Nationl Park. The film aims for the funny bone before the juggular and while it won't have you rolling on the floor, it at least has what it takes to make you consistently crack a smile. This is due in huge part to the pairing of Park Rangers Cal played by Adam Johnson (Frozen) and Hobart played by Maclain Nelson (Dragon Hunter). In classic buddy cop fashion, cynical Park Ranger Cal unwillingly takes on the idealistic (and somwhat Bigfoot obsessed) young Hobart. It's this 'Odd Couple' approach that generates most of the laughs.

I don't know much about the genesis of the Orcs! project, but I can't help but wonder if it started out as a Lord of the Rings fan film. Becasue why else would you recreate the Orcs from that film so perfectly? As it stands, Orcs totally lives within its own world and nobody actually mentions LOTR, but if you're a fan of Peter Jackson's trilogy you'll see two or three sequences that pay fairly overt homage.

While the Orc make-up and costumes are great, the filmmakers could have pushed it a little further in terms of the Orc encounters. They could have been a little better choreographed and they could have been a little bloodier. At the very least they could have added to the humour, but for the most part the action beats are fairly mediocre. The film's climax, which is designed to mirror the attack on Helm's Deep, starts strongly enough, but then becomes repetitive to the point where it seems like the filmmakers might even be reusing shots.

Orcs! is exactly the kind of film that flies under the radar, but innevitably picks up a legion of loyal fans as people discover it. I think if you pair Orcs! with Kyle Rankin's hilarious giant bug flick Infestation (review) you'll have yourself one hell of a PG-13 funfest.

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Michael Allen (11 years ago) Reply

I noticed the homages to LOTR as well. There is one scene where they are hiding behind the root of the tree from a winged rider, that is straight from LOTR.

Check "coreographed" and "repetative" from second to last paragraph.

Good review,


agentorange (11 years ago) Reply

Yeah, that scene, the one at the golf course when Hobart feels the ground a sees a vision of the battle and also the whole Helms Deep siege are straight from LOTR.

P.S. Thanks for the human spell check. I need all the help I can get since my firefox crapped out.


Michael Allen (11 years ago) Reply

Yeah, I recognized the Helm's Deep part, too. But, I was expecting more white paint on the armour. It was a good climax.

Okay, here is a little more help. Check the title e.g. moustaches. Can be spelled mustache, moustache.

I dont know about that new Woman in Black film. Definitely a new role for Radcliffe, lol.

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