Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#470. Suburban Mayhem (2006) - Spotlight on Australia

Directed By: Paul Goldman

Starring: Emily Barclay, Steve Bastoni, Laurence Breuls

Tag line: "There are some things in life you can't control. Fame. Lust. Murder . . . And Katrina"

Trivia:  Was nominated for 12 Awards by the Australian Film Institute, winning 3, including Best Actress

Katrina (Emily Barclay) is a real piece of work. During a televised interview, when asked how it felt to have been a suspect in her own father's murder, she shrugs and says it was “weird”, but adds that at least it got her on TV. 

Later, at her father's funeral, sitting in the front row of the chapel, Katrina gets a text message from one of her many boyfriends, asking if she's available to have sex with him. She laughs, momentarily disrupting the eulogy and drawing an angry stare from her neighbor, Dianne (Geneviève Lemon). 

But clearly, she doesn't care: As we see throughout this 2006 Australian film, Katrina will do whatever Katrina wants! 

A 19-year-old single mother, Katrina - called “Kat” by her family and friends - has transformed the manipulation of men into an art form. For years, her father (Robert Morgan) thought she could do no wrong, and didn't learn the truth about his daughter until it was much too late. Kat's boyfriend, Rusty (Michael Dorman) spends his days caring for her daughter, Bailee, despite the fact Kat insists he's not Bailee's father. 

That's because Kat has had sex with dozens of guys, learning early in life it's the only way to get what she wants, and figures any one of them could be Bailee's real dad. 

The only man she truly cares about is her brother, Danny (Laurence Breuls), who is serving a life sentence for murder. Convinced money was all that was needed to get Danny out of jail, Kat threw a fit when her father refused to cough up any cash. But it was when dear old dad decided she wasn't a fit mother, and tried to take Bailee away from her, that he crossed a line which would ultimately cost him his life. 

Emily Barclay is terrific as Kat, time and again bringing out her character's natural mean streak, and doing so with real gusto. When Detective Andretti (Steve Bastoni) taunts Kat, saying Danny is going to spend the rest of his life in jail, she takes her revenge by visiting Andretti's wife (Susan Prior) and lying to the poor woman, telling her Andretti is Bailee's real father,. She even dyes the little girl's hair so it matches his! As anyone who spends a little time with Kat can tell you, she's not someone you want to piss off. 

Suburban Mayhem is a stylish film, and at times might come across as a bit too lighthearted, with snappy visuals and quick asides that feel out of place in a comedy this dark.  But then, Suburban Mayhem isn't nearly lighthearted enough to make you walk away from it smiling, and Emily Barclay is the reason why. 

Her Katrina is one nasty bitch!

1 comment:

hurdygurdygurlCANADA said...

Looks good. Adding Suburban Mayhem to my @IMDb watchlisht. I wonder, if there is a happy ending, at the end?