個性有點懦弱的男A跟動物學家女A來到澳洲的塔斯馬尼亞省要找尋傳說中已經絕種的袋狼(註),由男A的澳洲朋友瘋狂男B帶領,男B還帶了聽話的情人女B。女A的姊姊八年前在這裡拍攝過袋狼的足跡,但最後不知何故淹死於湖邊,牙齒全部被拔光。

度過岸邊疑似有血跡的湖泊後(出現會咬人的神祕小女孩),四人來到一個偏僻的小村莊並留宿酒館中。男B跟女B當晚嘿咻時被偷窺,男B打了個矢口否認的男人。

隔天,四個人渡河來到荒郊野外尋覓傳說蹤影。走累了,他們那晚就住宿在一個山洞中,晚餐是男B用十字弓射殺的兔子。

晚上,男A發現洞口有聲音,女A也來看,一隻活生生的袋狼就在樹叢中間看著人類。男B聞訊也跑了出來,不過袋狼已經消失了。四人分開去找,女B遇到食人強暴魔,想逃走卻被喀啦的扭斷了脖子,嘴被咬爛後右腿被剁下來吃。

剩下的三人回去發現少了同伴,但女A身上沾了血跡。氣急敗壞的男B問不出所以然,自己拿著手電筒就跑走了。男女A在洞穴看見了神秘小女孩,女孩指著女A姐姐的照片說她是「媽媽」。女孩的爸爸(酒館老闆)出現帶走女孩,一個留下的村民說要帶他們去找同伴,接著將他們引到了廢棄的礦道中。兩人穿越礦道後,村民追了出來對樹叢中看不見的食人魔說他們不需要遵循傳統,話說完腦袋就被劈成兩半。



男女A找到了男B,他誤把十字弓的矢射穿了酒館老闆的臉頰,把他釘在樹上。男A聽男B的指示把他的臉順勢拔了出來,他帶三個人到食人魔的住家外頭。兩個男的進去查看,在屋後找到了被吊在樹上的女B的屍體。男B又怒,亂跑亂叫的結果是腳踩到了陷阱,跌倒的時候脖子又被另一個陷阱夾上。男B掛點。

男A跑去發動一台報廢車,女A被酒館老闆跟他的食人魔兒子抓住(小女孩是食人魔強暴了A姐生下的孩子)。女A脫逃。男A找不到女A,拿著斧頭爬下屋內的階梯,發現地下礦穴有不少白骨。洞穴連到了一座峭壁,而女A就在峭壁上方的鐵軌橋處被包圍。為了自保,女A跳河自盡。酒館老闆娘出現,殺死了食人魔。男A跑到橋上,指控老闆娘殺人,老闆娘用小刀自刎而死。

回到村莊,警方來調查兇殺案,喝完飲料的男A準備回家,坐上駕駛座方知被下了藥。旅館老闆將男A拖進倉庫,說了些血統的純正之類的話,說完後就打開旁邊的一扇門,女A臉朝下的被綁在裡頭的台上,窗外一堆男人眼中充滿獸慾。關起門,倉庫大門開啟,小女孩走進來。拆下牙套露出利齒,女孩要吃飯了.....



註:又稱作塔斯馬尼亞虎,是現今社會已知的最大型肉食性有袋動物,據國際自然保護聯盟的「瀕危物種紅色名錄」記載於1936年滅絕。



導演是新人,沒拍過什麼作品,這部是他第一次執導的劇情長片,幾個編劇也不是什麼熟面孔。倒是男主角Matt(也就是上頭的男A)是編劇、製片經驗頗豐的Leigh Whannell,〈奪魂鋸〉系列第二集開始皆出自他手中。

除了混合傳說級生物「袋狼」及澳洲著名的食人囚犯亞歷山大‧皮爾斯(Alexander Pearce)的事蹟,〈絕種〉明顯也參考了〈瘋狂理髮師〉的故事設定,食人魔住屋下的山洞可比對陶德理髮店的地下室,做成人肉派的梗也被用來暗示觀眾。好吃嗎?我相信肉類只要新鮮,經過正確的調味後應該都不錯。



既然提到了食人魔,這大名鼎鼎的皮爾斯的傳奇當然要說一下。澳洲早期是英國罪犯被流放之處(現在則是炙手可熱的遊學去處),而塔斯馬尼亞由於是島嶼更增添了逃離的困難。在北愛爾蘭因偷了六雙鞋子而被判流放到馮‧迪門之島(Van Diemen's Land,塔斯馬尼亞的舊稱)。在島上他因多次攻擊紀錄而被通緝,被捕獲後進行二次流放,這次來到了位於離島「莎拉島」上惡名昭彰的「馬奎里港流放站」(Macquarie Harbour Penal Station)。在這裡,鞭刑是家常便飯,食材因取得不易而帶來了營養不良跟疾病。而為了讓這些重罪犯無力脫逃,麵包裡還特別混入蕈類而讓它們能在最短時間內發霉,逼迫囚犯拿到手就趕緊吞掉否則只能拿來培養香菇。想逃?莎拉島對外唯一的峽谷被囚犯們稱為「地獄之門」,既窄而淺,許多囚犯在輸送途中就淹死在海中。有一名島上的囚犯殺死了另一名囚犯只為被判處死刑,因為這是他唯一的解脫方式。

然而,我們的英雄皮爾斯及同伴組成的逃獄六人隊(本來八個,其中兩個後來自首退出)居然順利脫逃。數月後,皮爾斯在荷巴特(塔斯馬尼亞第一大城)周邊被捕。據他供稱,他們藉由互相殺害食用而存活,最後只剩他跟一名叫格林希爾(Greenhill)的犯人,兩人總擔心著被對方殺掉。不幸的,格林希爾打了個盹,隨即被皮爾斯一斧劈死當糧食。皮爾斯的食人故事未被採信,官員將他送回了莎拉島。

不到一年,皮爾斯再次脫逃,這次有個年輕的犯人相伴。不到十天即被捕,皮爾斯的口袋還有著年輕人的肉塊。『你明明還有食物,為什麼要殺他呢?』『他礙手礙腳的』。這次官方終於認清了皮爾斯的實力,改以謀殺及食人的罪名將他起訴。1824年7月19號上午9點,皮爾斯被處以吊刑,結束了他三十四年的人生。



在〈絕種〉中,暱稱「派男」(Pieman)的皮爾斯被設定活了下來(雖然沒有講很清楚),有一幕還拍到了他雜草中的墓碑。不僅如此,他還有一整村的後裔。可惜由於近親相姦,他們的存活率不高,因此必須靠強姦女遊客並逼迫她們懷胎生子方可繁衍(非常嚴重的自閉現象),男遊客的話則被吃掉或做成派(一樣沒明講)......這樣不知道算不算得上「自給自足」?



技巧上,〈絕種〉主要是透過大量的剪接來呈現殺人的畫面,效果相當有限。老頭拿假牙嚇人、酒館老闆被弓箭穿頰、男B被捕獸夾夾到都還蠻歡樂的,我有笑;大家演技都還可以,不過Leigh Whannell感覺沒有很入戲;劇情還OK,過程中也不會有太多讓人覺得煩悶的地方,但相對也沒什麼驚喜。最後結局時我本來想說應該是被火車撞死的老橋段,沒想到居然是酒館老闆娘亂入後還自殺,出人意料,但也沒特別使我眼睛一亮。合理嗎?也算啦!畢竟一開始老闆娘就不想讓這群外來客過夜,其實是想保護他們吧!



除了我比較詬病的慢動作殘影(開頭用了兩次,近結尾一次)使用得很沒有必要外,〈絕種〉雖然還沒到好看,不過配飯吃倒是還OK,就小本的叢林冒險電影那樣。另外,有人知道為什麼要把A姐的牙齒拔掉嗎?理由之一可以參考〈沒問題先生〉。




附錄:

由於皮爾斯先生的事跡頗受敬重(?),有兩個團體將它寫成了歌曲,以下附上youtube的影音檔及對應歌詞。

1. A Tale They Won't Believe
By Weddings Parties Anything



Lyrics:

We left Macquarie Harbour it was in the pouring rain
none of us quite sure if we would see England again
some fool muttered death or liberty
there was six of us together a jolly hungry crew
and as the days went by you know our hunger quickly grew
some fool muttered death or liberty

So that night we made fires out of twigs and out of bark
and our stomachs they were grumbling all through the night so dark
we were only trying to keep ourselves alive
but when the sun came up next morning well the six had turned to five

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe,
When I get down to Hobart town

All five of us were nervous and I'll tell you that’s a fact
bu you should have seen the bastard who was carrying the axe
He was a sick man he had murder in his heart

And then we reached the Franklin River, and it took two days to cross
we were wet and almost starvin’ and for food were at a loss
we were hungry men with murder on our minds.

So that night we made a fire out of twigs and out of bark
and our stomachs they were rumbling all through the night so dark,
And they were making noises the dead could not ignore
and when the sun came up next morning,
the five had turned to four!

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe,
When I get down to Hobart town

Well the four of us kept marching to a place called Western Teirs
A country full of tasty game but for us it held no cheer
we had no guns we were traveling without hope.
But the axe it loomed so ominous and God's hand was at play
a sick man is a type of game which can not run away
so stay easy, my poor man, your time's at hand.

So that night we made fires out of twigs and out of bark
and our stomachs they were grumbling all through the night so dark
I can't say I feel guilty, after all it wasn't me
but when the sun came up next morning the four had turned to three

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe,
When I get down to Hobart town

well the three of us kept moving but one was fading fast
he had been bitten by a snake and you could see he would not last
stay easy my good man your time is at hand
and when he could last no longer his days were fading fast
we were far to weak to carry him subsistency comes first
stay easy my good man your time is at hand

So that night we made fires out of twigs and out of bark
and our stomachs they were grumbling all through the night so dark
It was a messy job but it was one we had to do
but when the sun came up next morning the three had turned to two

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe,
When I get down to Hobart town

Now he had been looking at me funny, sort of eyeing me for days,
And you would not need to be too bright to know that bastard’s ways:
He was a sick man, he had murder in his heart.
But even bastards have to rest, and even bastards have to sleep,
And when he was in the land of Nod straight over I did creep,
and the axe that he had wielded now was mine.

So that night, I made the fire, out of twigs and out of bark,
and my stomach it kept rumbling all through the night so dark.
I can’t say that I enjoyed it, and it wasn’t exactly fun,
but when the sun came up next morning, the two had turned to one!

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe,
When I get down to Hobart town

Well now history is a pack of lies, as any fool can tell,
So when I got down to Hobart town I told my story well,
But do you think they would believe one word I said?
For they thought that I was covering for my mates still at large,
Said they’d be roaming in the bush so wild and free,
And back to old Macquarie Harbour they sent me

But I remember the fires made out of twigs and made of bark
and my stomach it was grumbling all through the night so dark
And this young fool he just said to me it's liberty or death
and he looked a rather tasty one, I just could not help it singing

And I said, right there’s another one, don’t you frown,
Chew the meat and hold it down, It’s a tale they won’t believe
When I get down to Hobart town

A tale they won't believe



2. Words From The Executioner To Alexander Pearce
By The Drones



Lyrics:

Tell me how are you coping
Now that it's time to go
Can you see the chariots
Swinging low
Up over the huon pine and out to the snow
How much treachery
Can you possibly know

Well your chaplain loves these
Death row boys
More than he loves me
As though I have the choice
You pour in from the trees
You say an Irish boy should never
Wear the hood
But I wear it for you
And you are here for me

Tell me how are you coping
Now that it's time to leave
How can you burn more
You've been burning for years
They assumed when you fled
You were good as dead
Was their indifference crueler
Than your nothing to eat

How much of the venom
Can a tiger snake eat
There are no whores in heaven
No boys at your feet
And tell me how do we taste
It's a curious place, a mountain
To resort to customs of the sea

Well your chaplain loves your
Death row boys
More than he loves me
He abandons you to prayer
Turns so he won't see
You standing alone
As you were all along
To descend fear first
Abscond from the earth
Alone

We were meant to meet
Your exile is reached
You're home
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