Category Archives: Australian Film

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

Directed by Mark Hartley
Produced by Craig Griffin & Michael Lynch
Written by Mark Hartley
Music by Stephen Cummings
Cinematography
Germain McMicking & Karl von Moller
Editing by Jamie Blanks, Sara Edwards & Mark Hartley
Distributed by Madman Entertainment
Release date 28 August 2008
Running time 103 minutes
Country Australia
United States
Language English

This is an interesting documentary that looks at some of the exploitation films made in Australia in the 70s & 80s. It’s really amazing how much crap our film industry made in what was supposed to have been its golden age. It seems that if an Aussie film wasn’t filled with gratuitous nudity it would be filled with gratuitous violence. One thing that is glaringly obvious is that very few of the films mentioned are any good, but it is still a watchable doco.


Barry McKenzie Holds His Own

Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by Bruce Beresford & Barry Humphries
Starring Barry Crocker,
Barry Humphries,
Donald Pleasance,
Dick Bentley
Music by Peter Best
Release date 1974
Running time 93 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Compared to the original this is a pretty awful film. It doesn’t have the charm of the original and seems to think that it’s funny just saying the words abo, slant eyes and poofter as often as you can if an hour and a half. There is a huge cringe factor involved in this film and its celebration of ockerism. It could have worked if it satirised instead of celebrated the boof headed stereotype or made it like the first movie where we had an unsophisticated fish out of water story, but instead Humphries and Beresford tried to make it some stoopidly lame comedy. It is a shame as the are both very talented and can do much better than this shit. As a gross out comedy it doesn’t work as there is just one clever double entendre in the entire film. Thank Christ we’ve progressed ever so slightly in the 35 years since this was released, although I know that there are some rednecks who mourn the fact that it is now frowned upon to go out of your way to be as offensive as possible for no reason whatsoever.

I suppose the only redeeming feature of the film is Crocker’s sincere performance. The rest of the film is just a whole lot of stereotypes and crudity for the sake of crudity.

As you can see, very classy indeed. Also I have to ask… where we so insecure at that time? It’s almost as if we had to reassure ourselves that Australia had a place in the world and that we could in fact do worthy things. Unfortunately the only thing this film is worthy of is being thrown in the garbage.

If you really want this piece of crap it is available from EZYDVD for $15, but I have seen it for $10 from other places (Dirt Cheap in Collins Street).


The Adventures Of Barry McKenzie

Directed by Bruce Beresford
Produced by Phillip Adams
Written by Bruce Beresford & Barry Humphries
Starring Barry Crocker,
Barry Humphries,
Spike Milligan,
Peter Cook
Music by Peter Best
Cinematography Donald McAlpine
Editing by John Scott, William Anderson
Distributed by Columbia Pictures Video Ltd.
Release date 1972
Running time 114 minutes
Country Australia
Language English/Strine

This was on Fox Classics last night and I must admit that I did enjoy it quite a bit. It is a million times better than its sequel because it sticks to the unsophisticated fish out of water story, and satirises the pretentious artsy fartsy types, of whom Humphries would have been (I’ve read his book and all the boring tedious stuff on Dadaism) and the poms, who I guess considered themselves culturally and intellectually superior to us.

Unlike the sequel there isn’t an overload of offensiveness used just for the sake of offending people. I think the only really offensive thing would be the overloaded use of the word abo, which as Mal Brown has recently taught us, wasn’t really considered to be offensive in the 1970s. How things have changed for the better.

There is some nudity and bouncing breasts are featured a bit. This was before we became such a prudish nation and boobs were considered bad.

It’s not all that funny and a bit cringe-worthy, but the film is watchable, although I must say that both Spike Milligan and Peter Cook are wasted in their roles.