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A small town in rural Australia (Paris) makes its living by causing car accidents and salvaging any valuables from the wrecks. Into this town come brothers Arthur and George. George is killed when the Parisians cause their car to crash, but Arthur survives and is brought into the community as an orderly at the hospital. But Paris is not problem free. Not only do the Parisians have to be careful of outsiders (such as insurance investigators), but they also have to cope with the young people of the town who are dissatisfied with the status quo.Written by
Mark Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reportedly, this film was turned-down for screening in competition at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival because it was "too violent" and "too gruesome". The September-October 1974 edition of the Australian 'Movie News' magazine ran an article on this film with the headline: "The Aust. [Australian] film considered too gruesome for Cannes!". The film however did screen there out of competition in the market and was sold to a US major distributor. See more »
A watchman enters a warehouse with a watchdog and he finds Charlie hiding behind a hooded car. The watchdog barks as they enter, but there's nothing to be heard. See more »
The residents of a small outback town cause car crashes on it's country, hilly roads and strip all valuable parts from the vehicles to make new cars. When Arthur Waldo survives a crash that kills his brother he stays in town as he is too scared to drive. He begins to notice strange things happening around the town, with the doctor and the mayor drawing suspicion.
This is a "cult" movie. When someone tells you something is a cult movie it usually means one of two things: 1- it's a small, indie movie that people have come to discover and it's has grown gradually in success such as Reservoir Dogs (that outgrew it's cult status). Or 2- it's a movie of any size that the vast majority of people hate and a small group of fans adore. Unfortunately this is the latter. Some people will sing this things praises till the end of time but I'm afraid I don't get it. The plot seems to be going somewhere - you start off knowing very little about who's involved in the crashes and why they do it etc, along the way we get clues about experiments on humans and outsiders who live like Mad Max style scavengers, but it leaves us with no answers. The relationship between the mayor and Arthur is strange and isn't followed and I still don't see why the crashes were staged - other than to let some of the residents build a scrap yard.
The performances are sufficiently creepy to help build an air of expectation. Terry Camilleri is epically good and the wishy-washy Arthur. However they are all betrayed by a story that has nowhere to build to and nothing to say. The director also builds the tension well but with nowhere to go what could he do, it's good he's had much better material since.
Overall the film was a severe disappointment - and I wasn't expecting much from it! It's full of promise but the story dies three-quarters of the way in. The spiky beetle is very menacing and looks great but it's not enough to build a film around one cool image. OK - but don't expect any answers.
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