Since the international success of Mel Gibson after this movie was made, Gibson frequently has received top / first billing on home-video cassette and DVD covers and promotional materials for this movie. Gibson's billing on the opening credits is actually fourth and Gibson has the smallest of the four lead guy roles.
Mel Gibson sports peroxided lighter brown colored hair in this movie. Due to this, Gibson's overall complexion is markedly different in this film compared to his other movies where his hair is usually a lot darker.
Director Christopher Fraser has said of this film: "It's been 23 years since I have commented on this film. I was the director and it was my first film. As far as I was concerned it was never finished. Despite the ludicrously low budget it could have been so much better than it turned out. All the leading actors fell into a serious argument with the producer and refused to continue working on the project. I never expected to see it on the screen. The producer and editor padded out the film with meaningless bits of irrelevant stock footage to make the required length of 87mins to qualify for a feature film. As you can imagine I was disappointed and embarrassed. Some parts of the movie actually work very well. There was a lot of spontaneous adlib especially between Mel [Gibson] and Steve [Bisley]. The first time we saw Mel [Gibson] in closeup in a viewing theater someone said "He's going to be a star". I thought so too. One day I'll tell the whole story. It's more complex and funny than the film itself."
Producer Phillip Avalon and his partners distributed this film themselves in Australia, four-walling the picture and putting it into independent cinemas. Avalon even road-showed it himself on 16mm along Australia's East Coast. The film in Australia also ran in a successful drive-ins double-bill with the David Essex rock-musical That'll Be the Day (1973).
An American DVD release of this movie has a much older photo of Mel Gibson on the cover. Other DVD covers show Gibson with his usual darker hair as Gibson's hair in this movie is an orange-brown, a lighter color typical of the blond surfer dude type.
This meaning and relevance of this movie's "Summer City" title was, as according to Australian film magazine "Movie News", "a fictitious place, [a] symbolic name for a golden beach [in Australia] in one of the golden years of the early 1960's. It is the hopeful destination for a group of young guys [in this movie] who set off in their beat-up old Chevy for a carefree weekend of surfing and good times."
Phillip Avalon was inspired to make this movie because of his experiences as a youth growing up in the Newcastle district and Catherine Bay area of New South Wales, Australia during The Beatles era of the 1960s when kids had spare time and little to do and went hooning and surfing.
Phillip Avalon once said of the 60s era that this movie is set in: "That was a time when the now famous Parthenon Milk Bar was more than just a subject for a hit song phenomenon, it was the cultural heart of the city for most aspiring greasers".
Phillip Avalon once said of the community hall production base: "There was a minimum of thirty people sleeping in the hall at any one time. And the night we were shooting scenes involving a number of period cars, we had over one hundred people sleeping in the hall".
The movie was novelized into a novel written by Ben Mitchell, based on the film's original screenplay by Phil Avalon', the novelization being first published in 1978, the following year after the picture had premiered in 1977.