Cinema's most effective use of the criminally neglected Tassie rainforests. Few, subtle, but effective uses of surrealist visual metaphor. The hallucination of the bleeding tree is a brilliantly vivid way to foreshadow both cannibalism and Pearce's metaphysical obsession with blood. Stasis emphasises the immensity of landscapes and the significance of inexplicable states of mind. Really beautiful to look at.
Beautifully styled. A 'heart of darkness' slant on the true story of Alexander Pearce. It was preceded by a more historically informative and in some ways more rounded account (albeit less styleful) called 'The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce'. I suggest watching one after the other to get a full account of this man. I certainly think he was more desperate than monster. APs Gaelic voiceover is very evocative.
'VDL’ is a glimpse into the collective psyche of disenfranchised, desperate white men dying in a wilderness that had sustained bands of indigenous people for millennia. With subject matter that could easily veer into exploitation, Pearce’s story is told well - was Pearce an unhinged killer, or a man driven to cannibalism out of desperation? Well, he did re-escape, murder, and eat someone else, so you tell me.