Saturday, February 27, 2010

In short: Kadaicha (1988)

aka Stones of Death

Believe it or not, but committing genocide on your indigenous population and then building houses on its sacred burial grounds is not a tactically well considered decision. Take the Australian community in Kadaicha as an example.

Some dead Aboriginal Australians a frightfully angry about past sins of the ancestors of people now living merrily on their graves, and do the logical thing - send bad dreams to the local teenage population, gift the teenagers with death-announcing crystals, and kill them off through super killer animals.

Teenage girl Gail (Zoe Carides) doesn't like that her friends are offed by eels and spiders who jump into their eyes, so she does some rigorous research and tries to make amends with the only Aboriginal she has ever met. Will the excitement never stop?

Going by the plot synopsis, you'd hope Kadaicha to feel a little less generic than it actually does. You could change the word "Aboriginal" in the script with "Native American", use slightly different animal species and take actors without Australian accents, replace the didgeridoo on the soundtrack with a banjo and you'd have a typical piece of US teen horror. It is a bit depressing to see how little the film is interested in milking the local and the specific for mood and instead insists on being as been there, done that as humanly possible.

I wouldn't complain if Kadaicha would at least be an entertaining generic teen horror film, but the script is just too slow and uninvolving, the acting too bland and James Bogle's direction too flavourless to leave me with any kind words for it.

I have a difficult time explaining why this film was made at all. It doesn't dare to be exploitative in any worthwhile manner, it's not fun enough to be taken seriously as teen horror, and it sure as hell doesn't have anything to say.



Lorin said...

Hi, I've actually been trying to track down a copy of this film to give as a present (for humour's sake) but can't find it anywhere. Do you happen to know where I could get one?

houseinrlyeh aka Denis said...

This has never had a DVD release, so the best physical copies floating around are VHS tapes.
Ebay's your best bet here.

Mike Thaxton said...

Maybe u should have started by saying this is a Australian movie from 1988 ! Not every country had their Hollywood back then ! Tho i got intrested in the movie when i thought it was a werewolf movie ! Im a sucker for werewolf movies !