Cane Toads: The Conquest

It sounds like a horror movie, but is in fact a 3D documentary about the literally irresistible toad and its spread from Queensland, where it was introduced in 1935 to control the greyback cane beetle. The filmmaker, Mark Lewis, has developed a great respect for these born survivors, to the extent that no toads were harmed for the filming. Though he might have availed himself of a few that had already been frozen by other people…

This witty film is as much about Australians as is about the toad itself. It has been friend, foe and source of employment for many quirky outback types. And while it’s poisonous to anything that bites it, at least one dog has discovered the hallucinogenic thrill of a lick (don’t try this at home). Some of the characters may get a little too much screen time, but it’s quite an achievement. 7/10

Released June 2, 2011.

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