A film telling the story of Australian cannibal Alexander Pearce has made audience members physically sick.
Van Diemen’s Land, starring Neighbours actor Oscar Redding and directed by Jonathan Auf Der Heide depicts the 1822 escape from a prison on Tasmania’s Sarah Island by Alexander Pearce and seven other inmates. After escaping Pearce murdered and cannibalised his fellow escapees.
Auf Der Heide believes it’s the film’s realism which has caused such a reaction with his audience.
“The vomiting thing was a real surprise to me — we had two people vomit in New Zealand, and a couple of people have fainted during the first killing scene,” he told The Mercury.
“But it’s nowhere near as intense as a lot of the cinema that’s out there today because we did shy away from the gruesome stuff.
“What people find so gruesome about it is that it is approached as authentically as possible.
“So there are no blood splatters or any of that stuff that we’re used to … but when it becomes a reality, murder can be mundane and clumsy and ugly. And terrifying.”
Van Diemen’s Land has an Australian theatrical release on the 24th September.