In 1932, the Australian Army went to war against emus. No, that’s not a euphemism. Known as The Emu War, the campaign lasted for a little over a month and had the stated goal of stopping the wild emu population from destroying crops in Western Australia. Now, Australia’s most absurd historical event is being reimagined in a suitably absurdist comedy movie that promises to channel the so-bad-it’s-good energy of Sharknado or Snakes on a Plane, if the first trailer for The Emu War is any indication.
In the film, Major Meredith leads a platoon of soldiers in a campaign to kill the Queen Emu in response to the kidnapping of his son. The trailer is completely ridiculous, replete with awful CGI, corny dialog, lots of fire, a reference to Waltzing Matilda, and emus with machine guns — and I love every second of it. You just have to see it for yourself:
While the cast list is unlikely to spark recognition for most viewers, Major Meredith is played by Damian Callinan (The Merger), with other stars including Luke McGregor (Utopia) and Dane Simpson.
The film will debut at Monster Fest in Melbourne on October 22, 2023, though a date for a wide release is yet to be announced.
In reality, The Emu War saw almost 1,000 emus killed (and no humans), with the success of the cull being heavily debated. While it is generally seen as having saved the wheat crops, there were issues across the entire process, and Meredith is reported to have praised the emus: “If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world. They can face machine-guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop.”