Not Quite Hollywood

Director: Mark Hartley
Written by: Mark Hartley
Features: Dan Burstall, Bob Ellis, Dennis Hopper, Russell Mulcahy

Year / Country: 2008, Australia / USA
Running Time: 99 mins.

The title Not Quite Hollywood is not a misnomer. The exploitation pictures that have been coming out of Australia since the early seventies are characterized by sleazy sex and cheap violence. This delicious story of OZploitation explores the realms of Australian B-cinema through interviews with key players from the industry as well as fans and critics like Quentin Tarantino.

Not Quite Hollywood is basically told in three segments; sex, horror and car movies. The first genre took off in the seventies when new freedoms were won and the strong censorship was cut down. Besides sex, sex, sex, this segment also treats some of the more commercial Australian export successes such as Stork and the Barry McKenzie movies, prime examples of bad taste. The films that came out in this time are placed in a cultural context. As one of the interviewees describes it: The movies were not about who Australians really were, but how they wanted the outside world to think they were.

The second part focuses mostly on horror films. Apart from absolute rubbish, some very competent horror films were made in Ozzy. The slasher Patrick was such a huge success that the Italians even made an unauthorized sequel called Patrick Vive Ancora. The final chapter is all about car movies such as the famous Mad Max, a genre the Australians do very well.

This film is the perfect pick for a beer night with your mates. The upbeat and often hilarious documentary not only entertains, but also provides many ideas for fun exploitation flicks to (re-)watch later on. If the whole Ozzy slang is unknown to you, subtitles are recommended.

Rating:

Biography: Mark Hartley has made Australian B-cinema his specialty. After directing several documentaries / making-offs on classic Australian cult movies, he made the ultimate documentary about OZploitation called Not Quite Hollywood. He is also Australia’s busiest music video maker, directing over 150 promos for local and international artists including Powderfinger, The Living End, Sophie Monk, The Cruel Sea and Joe Cocker.

Filmography (a selection): A Date with Destiny (1990, short) / Which Way Did They Go, Skip (2003, short doc) / Turkey Shoot: Blood and Thunder Memories (2003, short doc) / Meet the Team: The Making of ‘The Club’ (2003, short doc) / ‘Fantasm’ Penetrated (2004, short doc) / Puttin’ on the Show: The Making of ‘Starstruck’ (2004, short doc) / A Dream Within a Dream: The Making of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ (2004, doc) / Crashing the Party: The Making of ‘Don’s Party’ (2005, doc) / Thrills and Nuclear Spills: The Making of ‘The Chain Reaction’ (2005, short doc) / Jaws on Trotters: The Making of ‘Razorback’ (2005, doc) / The Adventures of Bazza in Chunderland: The Making of ‘The Adventures of Barry McKenzie’ (2007, doc) / Not Quite Hollywood (2008, doc).

Cult Radar: Part 10

The final one?

FilmDungeon.com is glad to explore the video trenches to find that oddball treasure between the piles of crap out there. Off course a treasure in this context can also be a film that’s so shockingly bad it’s worth a look, or something so bizarre that cult fans just have to see it. Join us on our quest and learn what we learn. Hopefully we’ll uncover some well-hidden cult gems.

Researched by: Jeppe Kleyngeld

Westworld (USA, 1973)

Directed by: Michael Crichton
Written by: Michael Crichton
Cast: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin

Before the big budget HBO-series, there was the cult movie Westworld. And it’s a blast also! Delos Vacation is the vacation of the future today. Go to Roman World, Medieval World or Westworld to fuck and kill. But, as usually happens in movies about AI, robots get tired of being humanity’s servants and go rogue. The decadent will pay for their behaviour! Much like the vacation advertised by Delos, Westworld is Big Fun.

Enemy Territory (USA, 1987)

Directed by: Peter Manoogian
Written by: Stuart Kaminsky, Bobby Liddell
Cast: Gary Frank, Ray Parker Jr., Jan-Michael Vincent

An insurance agent and phone repairman get trapped at night in a massive tower building. This is the territory of the Vampires, a deadly gang. What follows is the typical ‘stalk and kill’ scenario. Unfortunately, the movie did not age well and is thus not very tense by today’s standards. The acting is also poor, so unfortunately there is not much to recommend this for.

Starship Troopers: Invasion (Japan / USA, 2012)

Directed by: Shinji Aramaki
Written by: Flint Dille (screenplay), Robert A. Heinlein (novel)
Cast (voices): Leraldo Anzaldua, Shelley Calene-Black, Luci Christian

Third sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s original sci-fi classic Starship Troopers from 1997 and this time it is animated. Want to know more? The first sequel was horrible and the second was not all that great. This one is a pretty decent made-for-DVD flick, much like Clone Wars is for the Star Wars prequel trilogy. The first part is mostly marine macho bullshit, but the animated girls make it all worthwhile (all the animation is pretty well done). In the second part, the makers actually manage to add a story worth adding to this bug-infested universe. Could have done with a little more suspense and over the top gore, but it is certainly worth a look.

Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Italy, 1988)

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Claudio Fragasso (story), Claudio Fragasso (screenplay)
Cast: Deran Sarafian, Beatrice Ring, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua

This masterpiece (originally called Zombi 3 in Italy) is a cash-in on Zombie Flesh Eaters/Zombi 2 which was made to profit from the zombie-rage caused by Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which was released as Zombi in Italy. Still with me? This one is about an infection on a small island caused by the military working on bacterial weapons (again). The virus causes people to eat each other. The zombies in this film are the first fast & furious zombies(*1) I’ve seen, that would later appear in films such as 28 Days Later that resurrected the genre. And some of them even talk. Not that surprising though, this was three years after Bub(*2) after all. They are killed pretty easily though. No brain impalement required. Though not as atmospheric as the original Zombie Flesh Eaters, Fulci still delivers in terms of shocks and bad taste. To be concluded by Zombie Flesh Eaters 3/Zombi 4.

*1 At least some of them are. Others are as slow and dumb as ever.
*2 Of Day of the Dead fame

Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (Italy, 1989)

Directed by: Claudio Fragasso
Written by: Rossella Drudi, Rossella Drudi
Cast: Jeff Stryker, Candice Daly, Massimo Vanni

Whoever green-lit this dog? Exploiting the extremely capable zombie master Romero is one thing, but at least come up with a rip-off that delivers some of the goodies. The acting in this Italian piece of trash is HORRIBLE and so are the dialogues. The direction is a complete joke now that Fulci left. This distracts so much that watching it is a complete waste of time. Only for the braindead, others avoid at all costs.

Westworld

Enemy Territory

Starship Troopers: Invasion

House on the Edge of the Park (Italy, 1980)

Directed by: Ruggero Deodato
Written by: Gianfranco Clerici, Vincenzo Mannino
Cast: David Hess, Annie Belle, Christian Borromeo

From the director of Cannibal Holocaust comes an early home invasion flick, very much like Funny Games. A psycho and his simpleton buddy crash a party of young folks and as the night progresses, they use (sexual) violence on them. Often quite unpleasant to watch, but the acting is pretty decent. With a nice little twist at the end.

The Cars That Ate Paris (Australia, 1974)

Directed by: Peter Weir
Written by: Peter Weir, Keith Gow, Piers Davies
Cast: John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles

Ozploitation flick about the small town of Paris, where the inhabitants cause fatal car crashes to plunder the vehicles. Strange early creation of Australian director Peter Weir, who went on to make great films like The Truman Show, Fearless and Dead Poet Society. This one provides in mood and production design (low budget, but cool), but misses the finer touches that Weir displayed in his later work. A must see? No. But interesting and entertaining enough.

Space Shift (USA / UK, 1992)

Directed by: Anthony Hickox
Written by: Anthony Hickox
Cast: Zach Galligan, Monika Schnarre, Martin Kemp

This masterpiece, also known as Waxwork II: Lost in Time, is a sequel to the 1988 film, Waxwork. After dealing with evil waxwork, this time the heroes travel through time in what appears to be a horror reenactment game. They become part of stories like Frankenstein, Alien and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The writing of this homage is not very well done. But is does feature legend Bruce Campbell in an amusing role.

Mega Force (Hong Kong / USA, 1982)

Directed by: Hal Needham
Written by: Bob Kachler, James Whittaker, Albert S. Ruddy, Hal Needham, Andre Morgan
Cast: Barry Bostwick, Michael Beck, Persis Khambatta

From the director of Smokey and the Bandit comes another hilarious eighties classic. About a phantom force, armed with the latest technology, that is called into action whenever geopolitical problems arise. The leader of the team: Ace Hunter! And the action, stunts and gadgets can compare with James Bond… almost. Worth watching if only for the soundtrack and images of the ‘MegaForce’ on their special motorcycles.

Assault on Precinct 13 (USA, 1976)

Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: John Carpenter
Cast: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer

Suspenseful early flick from great horror maestro John Carpenter. About L.A. gangs who team up to assault a nearly abandoned police station kamikaze-style. Very tense atmosphere and excellent character building. Remade in 2005 with Ethan Hawke, Laurence Fishburne and Gabriel Byrne, but the original is better.

House on the Edge of the Park

Space Shift

Mega Force

© FilmDungeon.com, october 2019

Note: FilmDungeon.com is currently still live and will be removed from the web on 15 august, 2020. Obituary will follow. The site’s content will be re-published in the form of e-books on ISSUU. Links can be found on this blog and directly on ISSUU.

Ozploitation: Cult films uit Down Under

Weinig mensen weten het, maar Australië heeft ook een kleine filmindustrie. ‘Mad Max’ is bekend, maar er is meer waar dat vandaan komt; er worden in Ozzy de nodige cult en exploitation films gemaakt. Sinds de jaren 70’ komen er behoorlijk wat B-films uit Australië gekenmerkt door goedkope sex, geweld, auto’s en bloed. Wie hier meer over wil weten raad ik de zeer vermakelijke documentaire ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ aan. Hierin bespreken de makers de belangrijkste en meest memorabele ‘Ozploitation’ films.

Zie ook: Overzicht Ozploitation films besproken in ‘Not Quite Hollywood’.

FilmDungeon, de website van ondertekende (de maker van Fragmenten.blog), heeft wat onderzoek gedaan naar Ozploitation. Hieronder worden enkele titels van toongevende cult klassiekers uit Down Under besproken:

Roadgames
Regie:
Richard Franklin
Cast:
Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis, Marion Edward

Hitchcock achtige thriller over een vrachtwagenchauffeur die door de outback moet rijden om een lading vlees van Melbourne naar Perth te transporteren. Hij verdenkt een andere chauffeur ervan een gezochte seriemoordenaar te zijn. Ook ontmoet hij de aantrekkelijke lifter Pamela (Jamie Lee Curtis) die later spoorloos verdwijnt. Helaas ontbreekt bij deze film de nodige spanning.

Long Weekend
Regie: Colin Eggleston
Cast: John Hargreaves, Briony Behets, Mike McEwan

Een walgelijk liefdeskoppel trekt de natuur in voor een kampeertochtje. Ze behandelen de natuur slecht, en worden daarvoor hardhandig gestraft door de natuur zelf. Behalve grappig, is ‘Long Weekend’ ook behoorlijk spannend. Sterke cult film van de schrijver van ‘Patrick’ en ‘Roadgames’.

Patrick
Regie:
Richard Franklin
Cast: Susan Penhaligon, Robert Thompson, Robert Helpmann

Een moordenaar genaamd Patrick raakt in coma. Via psychokinesis infiltreert hij het leven van zijn aantrekkelijke verpleegster Kathy. Het blijkt dat Patrick zelfs in coma nog een gevaarlijke maniak is. Stijlvol geregisseerde thriller met redelijk wat spanning.

Turkey Shoot
Regie: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Cast: Steve Railsback, Olivia Hussey, Michael Craig

In een dystopie van futuristisch Australië worden bedreigers van de samenleving opgesloten in heropvoedingskampen. Sommige gevangen worden gedwongen mee te doen aan de ‘Turkey Shoot’, een mensenjacht in het bos rond het gevangenkamp. Bloederige actiefilm met voldoende bevredigende momenten om je 90 minuten geboeid te houden.

Stone
Regie: Sandy Harbutt
Cast: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes, Hugh Keays-Byrne

Iemand is leden uit de weg aan het ruimen van de Gravediggers motorclub en zij moeten uitzoeken waarom! ‘Stone’ is de ultieme biker film en een geweldige cult film van Australische bodem. In de tijd dat ‘Stone’ gemaakt werd, was het een radicale benadering van de outlaw cultuur. Het radicale is er wel vanaf, maar de film biedt nog altijd een authentiek beeld van een boeiende subcultuur.