Directed By: Mark Hartley
Starring: John T. Lamond, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Quentin Tarantino
Tag line: "Finally an Aussie film packed full of boobs, pubes, tubes ... and a bit of kung fu"
Trivia: The movie premiered at the 2008 Melbourne International Film Festival
Having just seen the chaotically entertaining Australia After Dark, I was in the perfect frame of mind to revisit the documentary that brought that film to my attention, director Mick Hartley's Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation.
Not Quite Hollywood is an in-depth exposé of Australian genre films of the 1970s and '80s. Following a brief history of the social and political climate that allowed for such movies in the first place, Not Quite Hollywood splits itself off into 3 sections: Ockers, Knockers, Pubes and Tubes, which explores the era's sexy, lowbrow comedies, Comatose Killers and Outback Chillers, covering a horror genre heavily influenced by the American films of the same period, and High Octane Disasters and Kung Fu Masters, where we learn a little more about the roving gangs of bikers and motor heads, a la Mad Max, that were so prevalent in the movies of the time. Through a barrage of film clips and interviews with actors, directors, critics, and fans alike, Not Quite Hollywood offers as complete a picture of ozploitation as is humanly possible.
A funny thing happened while I was watching Not Quite Hollywood this time around. Normally, when I know I'm going to be writing about a film, I jot down a whole bunch of notes during the viewing, to help me remember key moments, or specific lines of dialogue. In short, anything that will help me when I sit down to write. This is how it started with Not Quite Hollywood as well, but by the time the movie reached the half-hour mark, my notes had “evolved” into a running list of titles I was now dying to check out. Movies like 1972's The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, a bawdy sex comedy chock full of gratuitous nudity and vomit, and Night of Fear, a horror film featuring a scene in which a naked man covers his genitals with a severed head. And let's not forget The Man From Hong Kong, a kung-fu cop story starring the egotistical Jimmy Wang-Yu, or Stunt Rock, a movie about...well, stuntmen and rock music! With a steady stream of awesome, jaw-dropping clips parading before my eyes, I couldn't possibly concentrate on anything outside of the films themselves.
Not Quite Hollywood is more than a documentary; it's a treasure chest of motion pictures from a specific time and place. Not all of the films were new to me, but the excitement I felt revisiting the ones I have seen (Australia After Dark, Razorback, Patrick) has me anxious to check out a few that I haven't.
A few? Who am I kidding!?! I want to see every damn one of 'em!