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Fantastic! A great documentary focusing on a long unsung faction of
cult cinema known as Ozploitation. Tarantino features heavily as an
expert of the genre. As an Australian, it's scary watching how a
foreigner could have so much knowledge and enthusiasm for films that
have been almost purposely forgotten in their own homeland.
Like any good documentary, it's a real eye opening experience to get an insight into the lost world of blood, bikers and boobs. The directors, actors and those influenced (Greg McLean (Wolf Creek/Rouge), James Wan and Leigh Whannell (Saw)) share the stories of a fledgling film industry that embraced a Guerrilla style of film-making that stuck it to the stuffy cinema elite that wished they would disappear.
An absolute must watch for anybody who thinks they're an expert on cult/trash cinema.
It is about time a documentary was made about Australia's 70's and 80's
exploitation films, which range from sex comedies, car chase films,
hardcore horror and kung fu flicks. Mark Hartley has created a fitting
tribute which moves at an almost non-stop pace and is full of hilarious
interviews, great clips and interesting tales of on-set accidents and
rowdy actors. Unfortunately, I never got to experience this period of
unknown Aussie film making which now (thanks to this documentary) may
be uncovered again!
Not Quite Hollywood starts off with some background of the Aussie film industry back in the late 60's/early 70's and the strict censorship policies we had. This then moves into the first type of exploitation we had; sex-fueled, gross-out comedies. Some notable ones are: Stork (1971), Alvin Purple (1973), The True Story of Eskimo Nell (1975) and Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974). Most of these features copious amounts of nudity (both male and female) and sex (of which the doco shows quite a bit of). These made a fair bit of money, but most of the critics despised the crassness and abrupt sexuality. Interviews with the lady stars (who are not afraid to talk about their mostly naked roles) and Barry Humphries are often funny. This first half an hour or so is a great introduction to the next section...
"Comatose Killers and Outback Chillers." In this section, Hartley shows us Australia's disturbed side with absurd, sadistic horror films which have a confessed fan, Quentin Tarantino. He excitedly reels off his favourites and how they have inspired some of his films (especially "ill Bill: Vol. 1." A few stand-out movies are: Patrick (1978), Razorback (1984), Snapshot (1979), Harlequin (1980) and Long Weekend (1978). Interviews with directors (Brian Trenchard-Smith and the late Richard Franklin) and the many actors are again incredibly intriguing and quite amusing. These films were popular in America, being released in the exploitation cinemas and garnering cult followings.
The last section of the documentary is about "High Octane Disasters and Kung Fu Masters." Tarantino really contributes to this part, showing a vast knowledge and passion for our car chase scenes and the "fetishistic" way they are filmed. Cult classics such as: Mad Max (1979), The Man from Hong Kong (1975), Roadgames (1981) and Turkey Shoot (1982) are all mentioned and discussed. This part becomes interesting, as directors talk about troubles with stunts (involving tragic deaths of cameramen and stuntmen), injuries and actor problems. Tarantino lavishes praise on pretty much all these films and he is a pleasure to listen to. Also, new Aussie horror directors Greg McLean ("Wolf Creek") and James Wan and Leigh Whannell ("Saw") are interviewed and discuss the old and new Ozploitation cinema.
Hartley knows how to make a documentary to the point, funny and always captivating. The interviews are hysterical (especially Bob Ellis, a critic who constantly bashes the genre in a comical uptight manner) and the clips are appropriate and show all the right parts. This will please all ages, from the older people who lived through this time and the younger generation (my friends and I) who will discover a new genre of Australian movies to enjoy. This doco is almost one of the best things to come out of the cinemas this year, and opens up a part of Australian culture that up until now was left hidden. Is this recommended? YES! Hopefully (and it DOES look hopeful), Australia can start to release some great Ozploitation style films. With films like Rogue, Wolf Creek, Storm Warning, Black Water and Saw there is still a chance.
A solid 5/5
A very fine documentary. I went into this at the London film Festival screening yesterday, never previously even having heard the term, ozploitation but came out ready to search out the films. A good film book will have you eager to google away to track down some hitherto unheard of 'must have' and this movie does the same. I felt I should have taken a notebook with me to take down some of the titles so enthusiastically spoken of. The films celebrated here were made in the 70s and 80s and are an Australian equivalent of what would usually be called drive in or exploitation movies. Sex, violence, cars and fighting is generally the name of the game and the more extreme and wild the better. Numerous, high quality clips from the movies leave one open mouthed and the people who made them tell us amusing anecdotes and horrifying details of things that went wrong. All of this would be enough but we also get generous helpings of Barry Humphries and the ever reliable, ever enthusiastic, Quentin Tarantino, just in case we were not already convinced that some of these trashy movies are just the greatest movies ever made. Joyous.
Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, COLOMBIA and ORLANDO, FL
If you like Quentin Tarantino, you'll simply Love NOT QUITE Hollywood! There are many contributing/ participating narrators, but Tarantino has, by far, the most ON-SCREEN time. (Storyline Blurb doesn't even mention his crucial participation!)
This extremely entertaining and informative low-budget documentary traces the revival of the Australian film industry, which all but died at the mid-30's Pacific onset of WWII, from its fledgling late 60's re-birth, through its multi-faceted heyday in the 70's and early 80's.
Initially, NOT QUITE seemed determined to go the direction of a soft-core documentary, but this was only during the initial 20 to 25 minutes. In the early and mid-70's, the industry saw nudity and sex as an easy road to making big Aussie Dollars! Be forewarned, however... There's a LOT of frontal nudity and some mildly simulated sex during this opening segment!
Throughout, CLIPS from SCORES of films appear, some from movies considered rather mainstream like MAD MAX and RAZORBACK, but the vast majority are from obscure cult classics like '78's PATRICK and '79's LONG WEEKEND, or totally unknown, never released in the U.S. or on DVD, titles like The CHAIN REACTION-'80 and MANGO TREE-'77.
NOT QUITE is truly a veritable treasure trove of early Aussie Titles! I'm not the BIGGEST Tarantino fan on the planet, but most of his films are GREAT. On a personal level; he's one of my favorite famous people. Talk about not being affected by fame! He's a joy to watch! Despite being in his mid-40's, he's the same rather nerdy, little-kid-at-heart, goof-ball genius he was when he burst onto the entertainment scene nearly 25 years ago, God Bless him! A Must See for ALL "GENRE" and history of cinema Buffs! 9*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English o en Español, are most welcome!
Best documentary I've seen this year. It feels as if these films have been swept under the carpet by a film industry which is overprotective of its image. The Australian film industry is so very narrow-minded and so it is great to see a documentary which has been so brilliantly edited but also used along with the great characters of the industry through the 70's and 80's who make this possible multiple movie preview so entertaining. There is a good mix of local and international actors/producers/directors and there is also contradictory comments and varying disagreements which merely adds to the movie myths. This film is also refreshing as it harks back to a time when the business was far from a business and less stringent with the absence of governing bodies which equates to many broken bodies and lots of bodies on show in terms of nudity. These films make me proud to be Australian. Thank you Mark Hartley. Now will someone just release them on DVD!!
Thoroughly enjoyable - a few notes I made afterwards follow, including
quotes from my wife First section of the movie covered how the new
R-rating allowed an explosion in the Australian film industry.
Specifically, as much nudity ( boobs, pubes, and tubes ) as the
filmmakers could squeeze in...
"And here was me thinking Australian film in the 70s was prudish." On John Holmes rather, ah, prominent role in the doco - Australia's first exposure to him ( or possibly the other way around )
"Wouldn't his head implode when he got an erection?" and about paying to see the movies covered
"We're supporting the Australian film industry!"
"Given that quite a few of those movie were made to *lose* money...." The stories about the incredibly lax safety procedures at these flicks were pretty alarming. Take just one example from Mad Max ( where the head stuntman arrived on his first day with one limb already broken! ).
Do you recall the shot in that movie, from the motorcyclist's POV, where the bike is screaming along the highway and the odometer is hitting 180? The director got that shot by leaning over the motorcyclist's shoulder with a camera. Helmet? Hell no - protective equipment is for sane people.
Tarantino's excited fan-boy bouncing was amusing.
Regarding one of the very few movies they covered that I actually recall seeing ( I may well have seen more but have protected myself by blanking the memory ) - Razorback. I wonder if this movie is the reason my old D&D group would blithely deal with a pack of animated skeletons, but leg it for the nearest tree when an ordinary wild boar showed up? Also - The Return of Captain Invincible? Australia made a superhero musical? All I can say is that Australia made some amazingly bad movies, *that actually managed to get theatrical release*. Still, it made me miss the old days of drive-in cinema, even if the only one I recall seeing at such a cinema was Death Race 2000 ( the exploding baby scene - which I still find hugely funny).
If you have any interest in Australia's contribution to cinematic immortality, you have to see this documentary :D
I have wanted to see this film since I saw it advertised at the
Melbourne Film festival so naturally I had to see it opening night when
it came to my local cinema, I saw it last night and what can I say, it
was fantastic, I had no idea that Australia made so many films in the
70's and 80's.
The film features interviews with a lot of Australian directors, filmmakers, critics, some A list Hollywood actors and even Quentin Tarantino, who has an unbelievable knowledge of Australian exploitation cinema.
The film explores the good, the bad and the ugly of Australian genre films. There is no doubt that there were some pretty dodgy ones made at the time but there is no denying that there were also some real gems made as well, it's just a shame that they seemed to do better overseas than they did here.
Weather you are interested in Australian film, Australian culture, or just film in general I highly recommend seeing this film. Listening to the filmmakers stories about how they made there films is both amusing and inspiring.
Over all this is a fun movie that should be seen in the theater.
as a lover of 'Ozploitation" films from way back, (hell im a card
carrying member of the Turkey Shoot fanclub hahha) to say that Not
Quite Hollywood was going to be essential viewing is quite an
understatement. And so i finally made the 3 hour trek to Melbourne to
see this thing and all i can say is WOW! Mark Hartley has done good
with what was available to him, however there were a few other films
that never got a mention that are quite vital to the "ozploitation"
To my knowledge COSY COOL was the first independent Aussie exploitation film, and it never even got a mention! (admitedly its not a really great "film", but is still an interesting watch).
1979 slasher flick ALISON'S BIRTHDAY never received a mention either, and quite crucially RUNNING ON EMPTY is only shown in a collage of car crashes, but nothing is said about it at all. And don't even get me started on the absence of genuine classics like STIR, THE MONEY MOVERS, LAST OF THE KNUCKLEMEN.
However it all really comes down to time. 2 hours is only really long enough to just skim the surface, which is what NQH does, and does a commendable job of it.
In my eyes there are only 2 problems with NQH, one which is inevitable.. it has to end sometime. The second is why does everyone hate Turkey Shoot so bloody much? It is a genuine classic and is definitely one of the most entertaining films to come out of Australia! In summary a commendable effort and hopefully we will get all of these films appearing on DVD (and yes i already know that most of them are)
Documentary of Australian exploitation films from the late 1970s to the
early 1980s. They're presented in three section--the sex movies, the
horror movies and the action movies. There's generous clips from
various movies with LARGE doses of nudity (male and female), sex, blood
and gore (I'm really surprised this got by with an R rating). There's
also some very interesting interviews with the directors, producers,
film critics and actors from the various films. Quentin Tarantino
introduces each film.
I was looking forward to this a lot. I love exploitation films and thought this might be fun. It was--but I felt it was lacking somewhat. For one thing Tarantino gets annoying. It seems he loves each and every film which I question ("Road Games" is one of the most boring "thrillers" I've seen). Also with the exception of a few I haven't seen any of these films. They do explain them and why they're here--but I didn't know what EXACTLY they were talking about. The best parts were the interviews with the actors and actresses who talk about why they did the films and how they feel about them. It was especially surprising to see Jamie Lee Curtis discussing "Road Games"! This is (obviously) for a very limited audience but it is fun and interesting. Just quite lacking something to put it over. I wanted to like it so much more but, as it stands, I can only give it a 7.
This is an excellent documentary on the "Oz-ploitation" films of the
1970's and 80's. It covers a number of genres from sexploitation
comedies ("Alvin Purple") to horror ("Patrick", "Long Weekend") to
Down-Under Westerns ("Mad Dog Morgan") to auto-obsessed action flicks
("Mad Max"). They interview many of the directors/producers of these
films including Brian Trenchant-Smith, Richard Franklin, Tony Ginane,
and John Le Monde. They also interview a number of the English and
American "name" actors (Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, Dennis Hopper,
Steve Railsback, George Lazenby) that came to work in Australian
exploitation during this time. They all have some funny stories to tell
(a drug-addled Dennis Hopper managed to wreak havoc even in the
hard-drinking Australian outback). They even interview many of the
local Aussie stuntmen and T-and-A queens, who certainly made their own
daring contributions to these films. Moreover though, there are A LOT
of clips from these films, and they serve to make this documentary more
fast-moving and entertaining than most of the movies it covers.
It's unfortunate that many of the important figures from that era have died, like actor/director David Hemmings, but even they show up in archival footage. It also might have been nice to hear from people like Jenny Agutter and Olivia Hussey, who both made some memorable films Down Under. The omnipresent Quentin Tarantino, on the hand, had nothing to do with Australian films, but he certainly is VERY knowledgeable about them.
The only disappointing thing about this is the short shrift it gives to the more arty Australian films of this era--"Walkabout" is represented only by a single full-frontal still of Jenny Agutter, and some of the interviewees refer disparagingly to films like "Picnic at Hanging Rock". It's understandable that some of these "exploitation hacks" would resent the more arty, "culturally important" Australian films that received most of the international recognition (and government support), but the line between exploitation and art is a lot less clear than it's made out to be sometimes. Peter Weir who directed art films like "Picnic" and "The Last Wave" also directed much more straight-forward 70's genre films like "The Cars that Ate Paris" and "The Plumber". And if you look at the career of someone like Canadian David Cronenberg, it's certainly possible in many countries to start out as a genre/exploitation director and become an arty, more mainstream one. These resentments were more the result perhaps of the Australian film financing policies of the era than of any real differences between the two kinds of film. Whatever the case, this definitely an entertaining documentary. Don't miss it.
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