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Homesdale (1971)

Guests arrive at an expensive private guest house on a remote island near Sydney. The guest house and weird activities, like theatre sports and orienteering, are run by a leery eccentric. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Geoff Malone ... Mr.Malfry
... Mr. Kevin
... Miss Greenoak
Barry Donnelly ... Mr. Vaughan
Doreen Warburton ... Mrs. Sharpe
James Lear ... Mr.Levy
James Dellit ... Manager
Kosta Akon ... Chief Robert
Richard Brennan ... Robert 1
... Robert 2
Shirley Donald ... Matron
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Storyline

Guests arrive at an expensive private guest house on a remote island near Sydney. The guest house and weird activities, like theatre sports and orienteering, are run by a leery eccentric. One of the guests is a loner and the only way to fit in with the crowd is to participate in the questionable events. Some of the games border between comedy and horror - like the murder mystery. Written by Archie Moore <ar.moore@student.qut.edu.au>

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Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

10 October 2006 (Japan)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Connections

Spoofs Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

more black than comic
11 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

This creepy black and white short is one of Weir's earliest films. It's much scarier than Picnic or Last Wave and convinced me that if Weir had continued along this line he'd have given Greenaway , Lynch and von Trier a run for their money. Thankfully he seems to have had a better sense of spiritual self-preservation.

The style and incidental touches are very much Weir. Some shots of the bushland surrounds of the sinister guesthouse look forward to the landscapes of Picnic. Watch out, too, for the use of the hymn "O God our help in ages past" which is like, and yet very unlike, the use of hymns in Picnic and Mosquito Coast.

So far as I understand the plot, which is allusive and ambiguous, a motley bunch of guests turn up at "Homesdale Hunting Lodge", seemingly for a rest cure of some kind. At first we wonder whether the place isn't a psych. hospital. The manager and his assistants (one of whom was played by Weir himself) encourage - or compel? - the guests to play some increasingly dangerous games. There are darkly comic allusions to things such as the Psycho shower scene. We soon realize that each guest has a Past - some are downright traumatised - and that what happens to them at Homesdale is no help. Rather the opposite. Indeed the Manager is an early version of a figure who recurs in Weir films - the would-be Puppetmaster (think Billy Kwan, Allie Fox, Christof in the Truman Show).

The conclusion is truly shocking. In fact one is left wondering whether the events have taken place on this earth at all; we feel like we have been looking through a window into Hell.

Clever and frightening but I will not watch it again.


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