A con artist escapes a deal gone wrong in New York and winds up in the Aussie outback in a strange town whose inhabitants are an oddball collection of misfits.A con artist escapes a deal gone wrong in New York and winds up in the Aussie outback in a strange town whose inhabitants are an oddball collection of misfits.A con artist escapes a deal gone wrong in New York and winds up in the Aussie outback in a strange town whose inhabitants are an oddball collection of misfits.
Australian cinema has produced some off-the-wall comedies over the years, but this one is in a league of its own.
Teddy (Johnathon Schaech), an American rare bird smuggler on the run ends up in the Australian outback. He meets Angie (Susie Porter), a sexually veracious girl who drugs him and takes him to her community in the ex-asbestos mining town of Woop Woop run by her father Daddy-O (Rod Taylor).
Teddy wakes up to find he is married to Angie. He gets caught up in the weird lifestyle of the isolated community whose only source of entertainment and connection to culture is old videos of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals - a little like "Galaxy Quest" where the alien Thermians only understand human behaviour through the signals they have received of old television shows.
Along with the most strident of Australian accents, the changes of mood in the film are bewildering - singing, dancing and fornicating one minute and shooting dogs the next. This slice of Australiana makes the characters in "Wake in Fright" seem like Oxford dons.
I only saw "Woop Woop" recently (2015) when it appeared on "World Movies" about the same time as a documentary called "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!" Apparently Quentin Tarantino championed the documentary and I must admit it was more entertaining than most of the films it featured, including "Welcome to Woop Woop"
The cast gave it everything they had, and seemed to be in on the joke. Rod Taylor has one great scene where he does an electric tap dance to "Shall We Dance" on the bar with leads on his shoes connected to a battery. But as far as I'm concerned these were the only sparks generated in the film.
Stephen Elliott had made "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" the year before. "Priscilla" was outrageous with souvenirs of ABBA, ping-pong balls etc. - but it was funny. "Welcome to Woop Woop" is outrageous and tedious.
Would I recommend the film? Well that all depends on what you like. Some people relish a good bad movie. By bad, I don't mean poor editing or shoddy sound, far from it, "Woop Woop" is polished as far as production values are concerned - I mean bad in concept. It has a certain cult following, but that's one cult I managed to escape.
- Jul 5, 2016