A rancher comes in conflict with a gang of renegade Aborigines on the run from their tribe's posse. They try to kill him, but he gets away and hides in the woods. His posh wife and her lover, a local alcoholic cop, go to rescue him.
Tony Petersen, a married electrician and ex-footballer, goes to university to study English. Petersen is odd man out at the uni. He receives extracurricular help from his stuffy professor's... See full summary »
Stork is a 6-foot 7 hypochondriac who dreams of revolution and works at General Motors Holden. He is sacked from his job after doing a strip tease at work and goes to live in a share house ... See full summary »
A mild-mannered English conscientious objector moves to what he feels will be the relative calm of Australia after World War I, but gets caught in the middle of violent battles between the rising trade unions and fascist groups.
In the tradition of Sunday Too Far Away (1975), this independent film is based on the classic Australian play by John Power. Pic tells the story of a group of miners living in a camp in outback Australia. They swear, brawl, gamble, and drink heavily. Central to the story is the conflict between Tarzan, the authoritarian group leader and cocky loud-mouth wisecracking Pansy. This results in a bare-knuckle punch-up for the movie's denouement. Exteriors filmed in Andamooka, South Australia. Written by
Whilst it is not a classic, it holds its own as a genuinely Australian film in the same vein as "Sunday too Far Away". It was obviously made on a shoestring budget but that somehow lent the film an authentic feel. It has just the right amount of rough edges. But it is the actors who make the film worth watching. The cast is a roster of Aussie talent who were mostly seen on T.V. Consequently, there are no "stars" and therefore a real sense of ensemble and camaraderie - possibly aided by the fact that they were feeling alienated by shooting in the genuine outback mining town of Andamooka.
Every character has their own moment of revelation but Michael Duffield as Methuselah is the most authentic. The character recalls Old Garth in "Sunday Too Far Away" and perhaps Candy in "Of Mice and Men" as he is the constant reminder to the younger members of the crew of the loneliness and humiliation that is in store for them should they remain wildcat miners. Duffield's "soft ride home" speech is one of moments that lift the film into another realm. The dream of living the last part of his life at ease and with a sense of autonomy is made all the more enticing after we see the life Methuselah has lived as a miner. However, he has to choose his moment to leave and be sure that the "time is right" because once he goes out the door there is no coming back.
The soundtrack to the film is one thing that makes it truly unique. The theme music by the New Harlem Jazz Band uses a strange garbled vocal that sounds like someone with a hangover trying to sing a lyric that he can't quite remember. He gorillas the lyric out of the way with the guttural sounds as if he can't be bothered making the effort to remember.
At the conclusion, as Pansy and Tarzan fight endlessly on in the endless desert of central Australia to the theme music that has no beginning or end, there is sense that we have visited a place that will never and could never be any different. If you visit the mining towns of Andamooka or Coober Pedy even today you will find that "The Last of the Knucklemen" is not far from the truth - then or now.
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