Dying Breed

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This article is about the horror film. For the song by Five Finger Death Punch, see Dying Breed (song).
Dying Breed
Dying Breed Theatrical Poster.jpg
Theatrical film poster
Directed by Jody Dywer[1]
Produced by Michael Boughen
Rod Morris
Written by Michael Boughen
Rod Morris[2]
Starring Leigh Whannell
Mirrah Foulkes
Nathan Phillips
Melanie Vallejo
Music by Nerida Tyson-Chew
Cinematography Geoffrey Hall
Edited by Mark Perry
Ambience Entertainment
Distributed by Hoyts Distribution[3]
Release dates
Running time
91 minutes[5]
Country Australia
Language English

Dying Breed is a 2008 Australian horror film that was directed by Jody Dwyer and stars Leigh Whannell and Nathan Phillips.[6]


The film opens with the back story of Van Diemen's Land, a penal colony used by the British Empire. During the 1820s, Alexander Pearce, a prisoner known as "the Pieman", has escaped into the wilderness and he is being hunted by policemen with dogs. He is faced by a policeman who attempts to shoot Pearce, but his gun does not fire. Pearce then bites the policeman's neck, taking a large chunk from his throat, killing him, allowing Pearce to escape.

In present day, Nina, a zoologist, plans a trip with her boyfriend Matt to Tasmania to find the supposedly extinct Tasmanian tiger. Her endeavor is encouraged by a paw print that was discovered by her older sister in a remote area of the island before her body was mysteriously found in the Pieman River several years before. Matt's friend, Jack, and his girlfriend, Rebecca, help pay for the trip and accompany the fellow couple. When they arrive, Matt sees a small girl on the boat playing a game with yellow-tinted teeth. When Matt asks what she is doing, she recites a rhyme, but Matt gets too close and then bites his hand, causing it to bleed.

The group reaches their small town destination, and Jack decides to puncture the tire of one of the vehicles because it "makes him feel better". They enter the local pub and commingle with the odd natives of the town. Jack later discovers that his new vehicle has been scratched in retaliation for puncturing the tire, causing him to become angry. Later in the evening, the couples retreat to their rooms, and Jack and Rebecca amorusly copulate until they realize that somebody is watching them. A nude Jack runs after the voyeur, restrains him against a tree, and beats him.

The next day, the group goes out on a boat in the river along the forest. They decide to camp in a cave out in the woods, and later that evening Matt and Nina discover one of the Tasmanian tigers creeping through the bush. Nina rushes to get her camera to take a picture of the tiger, but it has run into the woods. The group goes into the dark after the tiger using their cell phones as light because capturing proof of its existence is critical to Nina's research. Unbeknownst to the rest of the group, Rebecca is captured and eaten by a cannibal. When the other three re-group, they realize that Rebecca is missing and that Nina has blood on her pant legs.

Confused, the group searches for Rebecca and encounter the young girl from the boat near the cave. Nina drops a picture of her sister, which the young girl picks up, and announces, "It's Mama!" The girl's apparent father arrives in search of the girl. He agrees to help them find Rebecca, and leads them to an old mine tunnel and warns them of the booby traps, but he will not be going any further with them. The group goes in search of Rebecca, but the man who helped them, starts after them but is killed shortly after pausing and saying to an unseen figure, "We don't have to do this."

Jack finds Rebecca's phone and jacket covered in blood when Nina and Matt catch up to him. Jack mistakenly shoots one of the native villagers with a crossbow through the cheek, causing the villager to have his face pinned against a tree. Matt pulls the man's head off the arrow, and they start walking further. Soon they encounter a shack, and Matt and Jack begin to investigate. They find the dismembered body of Rebecca hanging in the trees by the shack. Jack starts to go crazy, but his leg gets caught in a bear trap, which causes him to fall to the ground, forcing his head into another bear trap. Scared, Nina flees the area and Matt attempts to find her.

The cannibals head after Nina, but Nina injures her leg while trying to escape. She hobbles onto a bridge where they cannibals reveal that her sister was fertile and gave birth to a child, but she jumped into the river while trying to escape capture. They imply that Nina will also be used for breeding like her sister was. Nina decides to jump from a bridge into the river while Matt screams in horror. When Matt arrives at the bridge, a village woman is standing there, and Matt believes that she killed Nina. The woman then pulls a knife and cuts her own throat.

Later, Matt is back at the town and the police have come to investigate the incident. Because Matt was separated from Nina, he is unaware of the face-punctured man's role in the incident. He is given a mug with a drink in it, and when he gets into his car to drive away, he finds that the drink was drugged and he cannot move.

He is later seen paralyzed in a chair while one of the cannibals explains that their settlement, much like the tiger, must stay hidden to survive. The cannibal then opens a door exposing a live Nina tied to a table, about to be raped for breeding purposes. While Matt watches, the young girl who was actually Nina's niece approaches him, removes a set of dentures, thus exposing a set of sharp deformed teeth. She then lunges at Matt, saying "I'm hungry!"



Dying Breed premiered on 26 April 2008 at Tribeca Film Festival.[7] The cinema release was originally planned for 14 August, but was changed to 6 November 2008.[8] It is rated MA15+ for Strong Horror Violence and Sex Scene, Blood and Gore.[3] It was part of the third After Dark Horrorfest in 2009.[9]

In Australia, one of the posters was banned, due to the "gruesome" picture; however, the poster will be allowed to be seen in cinema foyers, and online.[10]

Box office[edit]

In its first weekend in Australia it was ranked #11 making A$220,878 at 113 cinemas with an average of $1,995.[11] The film did poorly in the Australian box office, and made $525,384.[12][13]

Home media[edit]

In Australia, the DVD was released during 8 April 2009. There are three different DVD covers that are available. The first features a meat pie, broken open with human organs inside.[14] The second features four characters on the top, and the bottom is a woman running through woods.[15] The third cover features a man being held by an elderly man.[16] Special Features on all editions include:

  • 40 minute behind the scenes featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director, Producer, Writer
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Deleted Scene
  • Cast Interviews


While the number of reviews for the film is slim, the majority for Dying Breed have been positive. Dreadcentral.com gave the film 4/5 stars,[17] while Urbancinefile.com.au also gave it a positive review. Critics Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, however, gave the film negative reviews. On their show At the Movies, they rated Dying Breed at 2/5 stars and 1.5/5 stars respectively. Stratton said "It tries hard to be horrific and gruesome, even introducing a bit of fashionable torture near the end, but only the most credulous will find it genuinely scary."[18] Rotten Tomatoes currently rates the film 50%.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]