One from the re watch pile…
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation (2008)
Film: 2008 and the viewing of this film was a big thing for me. As an Australian and being a fan of cinema, somehow the fact that this whole ‘Ozploitation’ sub-genre even existed had passed me by. I knew that there were Australian films obviously, and loved a few of them (Mad Max and Turkey Shoot come immediately to mind) but I didn’t realise how much stuff I had naturally assumed were American… even films like Dead Kids aka Strange Behaviour, an Australian film, I naturally thought was America , though in that case I think it was the point.
Now when I say Australian film, I don’t necessarily mean heartfelt, moral stories or period pieces, what I am talking about is the rough and tumble, violent, bloody, nude-filled lowest common denominator films made for people like… well, like me!
This documentary is written and directed by Mark Hartley, who had previous made several documentaries about specific Australian films like Blood and Thunder Memories: The Making of Turkey Shoot and Jaws On Trotters: The Making of Razorback, and it is divided into three sections:
Ocker’s, Knockers, Pubes and Tubes looks at the Australian version of sexploitation, and the celebration of the freedom that the post 60s world allowed us.
Comatose Killers and Outback Thrillers jumps into the horror part of this period and we celebrate all the blood and gore that was on offer at the time.
High-Octane Disasters and Kung-Fu Masters is the final part of the film and it looks at the Australian action films of the time.
The biggest problem any film fan and movie collector will have with this film is that by the time you finish it, you have a shopping list of 50 films you immediately have to buy. It’s been almost 9 years since I first saw this and I’m still trying to get Lady Stay Dead and Snapshot!
Director Mark Hartley obviously has a massive love of Australian cinema and this documentary tells the story of this period of Australian cinema with the exact brand of humour that the films it celebrates displays. It has a great look to it as well: It art design is very of the time it discusses but it’s cut in a modern manner and with some hilarious animations.
A special cooee has to go out to the music as well. The selection of pop songs is spot on and the other music by Stephen Cumming of The Sports and Billy Miller of The Ferrets is fabulous too.
Quite possibly the BEST documentary about a niche sub genre of cinema ever. With so many interviews it could have been easily turned into a boring talking heads styled thing, but there is SO much archival footage and SO much clever and interesting editing that is really a feast for the eye.
Format: The reviewed copy of this film was the Australian Umbrella Entertainment multi-region Bluray release which runs for roughly 98 minutes. The film is presented in 1.77:1 and mostly looks fantastic. As one would expect, some of the archival stuff isn’t perfect. The audio, featuring some amazing Australian music, can be heard in either 2.0 or 5.1 and both sound great.
Extras: Extras? EXTRAS? Oh boy, is this disc just straining the threads of its undergarments with extras! It’s voluptuous with extras! It’s well-hung with extras!
Seriously though, if you for some crazy reason thought there wasn’t enough about Ozploitation info in the main part of the doco, or you just haven’t seen enough boobs, the extras will more than satisfy your desire for more.
First we have a commentary featuring a bunch that the cover declare to be the Ozploitation auteurs: Mark Hartley himself hosts this commentary and through the course of the film has a turnstile of talent who star in the doco, and has a lot more anecdotes and information about this film.
Deleted and Extended Scenes can be watched with the commentary on or off and even though I would have preferred this to be recut into the film, I do like watching them with either the commentary on or off as it’s pretty informative, and features some films that are quite conspicuous with their absence.
The Lost NQH Interview: Chris Lofven which features an interview with the director of 1976’s OZ, which unfortunately was left out of the film.
Quentin Tarantino and Brian Trenchard-Smith Interview Featurette has a conversation between the two directors and their respective careers.
Melbourne International Film Festival Ozploitation Panel sees a whole bunch of NQH interviewees talking about the state of censorship and other aspects of film and art of the time this film discusses. (There is a misspelling of the film ‘Stork’ as ‘Stalk’ but I guess either could be used to describe the character!)
Melbourne International Film Festival Red Carpet is an astounding piece of footage of stuntman Grant Page walking the red carpet, quite calmly, on fire.
Behind the Scenes Footage from the Crew sees a bunch of BTS stuff filmed on a Duty free purchased video camera whilst they were in the UK doing the interviews for the film.
UK Interview with Director Mark Hartley is just that, and it’s a nice introduction to the director.
The Bazura Project Segment sees another interview with Hartley with the guys from The Bazura Project.
The Monthly Conversation is a low-res version of an interview Hartley did with Tom Ryan from The Monthly.
The Business Interview is an audio only interview with Hartley.
Extended Ozploitation Trailer Reel is 3… yes, 3 hours of Ozploitation movie trailers!
Confessions of an R-Rated Filmaker: John D. Lamond Interview sees Mr. Lamond talk about his career.
The next 5 extras are archival ones, made at the time of the films they represent.
On-set Interview with Richard Franklin is an interview with Franklin on the set of the horror film Patrick.
Terry Bourke’s Noon Sunday Reel talks about the making of a film called Noon Sunday.
Barry McKenzie: Ogre or Ocker is a short doco about the making of the Barry McKenzie films.
Inside Alvin Purple is an hour long documentary about Alvin Purple.
To Shoot a Mad Dog Documentary looks at the making of Mad Dog Morgan.
Ozploitation Stills and Poster Gallery is an awesome look at a lot of promotional stuff for many of the films mentioned throughout the documentary. It’s an animated gallery too, with some funky music over the slideshow.
NQH Production Gallery like the previous Gallery is an animated one, but now has some great portraits of the interviewees for the documentary.
NQH Pitch Promos sees the inception of the NQH project and features a lot of Tarantino, and his endorsement with some of Hartley’s other documentaries that have features]d as extras on other DVDs and BDs.
NQH Original Theatrical Trailer is (phew!) exactly what the name would suggest!
If that’s not enough extras, I don’t know what else could appease you.
WISIA: if it’s not the best documentary made about movies, it’s certainly the best made about Ozploitation movies. I rewatch it regularly!