Bad neigh­bours

HOUNDS OF LOVE I It’s def­i­nitely not 36 a film about Kate Bush…

Total Film - - Teaser - JM

Never mind the snakes, spi­ders and sharks. If Aus­tralian cinema is to be be­lieved – films such as Wolf Creek, The Boys, Snow­town and Animal King­dom – killers and crims lurk be­hind ev­ery door. “It’s ac­tu­ally a re­ally safe place!” laughs writer-di­rec­tor Ben Young. Yeah, right. Young’s ter­ri­fy­ing de­but fea­ture, Hounds Of Love, tells of a fic­tional cou­ple in Perth’s sub­urbs, in the ’80s, who kid­nap, tor­ture and kill young girls.

Specif­i­cally, the film sees teenager Vicki (Ash­leigh Cum­mings) ab­ducted from the streets by the vi­o­lent and dis­turbed John (Stephen Curry) and Eve­lyn (Emma Booth). “It’s not all in my imag­i­na­tion – I read cases about cou­ples who kill. I did a lot of re­search,” says Young, who was clearly af­fected by real-life Perth killers Eric Edgar Cooke (aka the ‘Night Caller’) and David and Cather­ine Birnie, the cou­ple be­hind Western Aus­tralia’s so-called Moor­house Mur­ders.

The re­ac­tions to Young’s film have largely been stel­lar since it pre­miered at the Venice Film Fes­ti­val last year. “I did see a re­view where some­one was very an­gry,” he chuck­les. “They said: ‘I watched this film and it had noth­ing to do with Kate Bush!’” De­spite the ti­tle, the film has no connection to the singer’s 1985 al­bum, though Young did try to get the rights to the ti­tle track. “That was go­ing to be $250,000,” he sighs.

Nev­er­the­less, Young did spend 20 per cent of his tiny bud­get on mu­sic – with every­thing from the Moody Blues to Cat Stevens and Joy Di­vi­sion mak­ing the cut. Ex­plain­ing why, he re­calls be­ing asked who the star of his film would be. “I said: ‘The mu­sic. No-one’s go­ing to know who any­body is [ in the cast] out­side of Aus­tralia, so let’s get mu­sic you don’t nor­mally hear in Aus­tralian films.’”

Iron­i­cally, in Aus­tralia, Stephen Curry – who plays the volatile John – is famed for be­ing a co­me­dian and awards-show host. Young es­ti­mates that cast­ing Curry was a neat re­flec­tion of re­al­ity, where killers in th­ese sub­ur­ban neigh­bour­hoods are of­ten those you least sus­pect. “It’s al­ways the like­able per­son, not the guy who sits there twirling his mous­tache and tor­tur­ing an­i­mals.”

ETA | 30 JUNE / HOUNDS OF LOVE OPENS late r this MONTH.

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