Friday, June 27, 2008

Not Quite Ozploitation

I was watching the special features on the Death Proof DVD today and saw an interview with writer/director Quentin Tarantino about how the final carchase sequence - pretty much an entire third of the film's running time - was, as I suspected all along, an homage to Ozploitation flicks. Australia has always been a very car oriented nation - obviously sped right by me though, I don't even drive let alone own a car! - and a lot of the action and horror flicks that were produced here during the 1970s and '80s known as "ozploitation" movies, reflected that with car chases, car crashes, car everything.

The opening night film of this year's upcoming Melbourne International Film Festival (previously discussed here) is going to a MIFF-financed documentary called Not Quite Hollywood, which charts this near-extinct genre. A genre that revelled in extreme violence, nudity, bad language and absurdly over-the-top ockerisms. Cars, Tits and Explosions, essentially.


I hope to be able to catch a screening of it at MIFF, perhaps alongside Brian Trenchard-Smith's amazing Dead End Drive-In, which is also screening as part of a "Focus on Ozploitation" sidebar at the festival. However, I was taking a look at the film's IMDb profile and was quite astounded at the number of recognisable names that first time feature director Mark Hartley has assembled for his film.

Steve Bisley
Jamie Blanks
Russell Boyd
Lynette Curran
Jamie Lee Curtis
Bob Ellis
Richard Franklin
Dennis Hopper
Barry Humphries
John Jarratt
George Lazenby
Donald McAlpine
Greg McLean
George Miller
Phillippe Mora
Judy Morris
Russell Mulcahy
Fred Schepisi
John Seale
Quentin Tarantino
Jack Thompson
Sigrid Thornton
Brian Trenchard-Smith
James Wan
John Waters
Leigh Whannell
Simon Wincer
Susannah York

That's a daaaamn impressive list they got there. I'm sure many of you not familiar with Australian cinema won't recognise many of those names (and it's the Aussie actor John Waters, not the American director), but most of them are significant names in our industries history. Interesting bit of note, this was the last film Richard Franklin (he of Patrick, Roadgames and Psycho II fame) worked on before his death in July last year. Although, who knows really? It could just be old footage they located. It'll be fascinating, no doubt, either way.

You can watch the trailer below. And speaking of Quentin Tarantino, if you notice during the trailer at 0:25 there is a shot that probably helped spark QT's inspiration for Death Proof's climactic car chase.

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