Fear in the Night (1972)

One from the to watch pile…

Fear in the Night (1972)

Film: It seems to me that every time I reach a point where I think I have seen every Hammer film, ten more that I haven’t seen pop up. The best thing about these films is in general the reason I didn’t know about them is because I was a ravenous lover of Hammer’s monster movies, like the Frankensteins and the Draculas, but a lot of these thrillers and real fun and a great watch.

This film, Fear in the Night, is directed by one of the real creative forces of Hammer, Jimmy Sangster, who also directed Lust for the Vampire and The Horror Of Frankenstein. Being a prolific writer of Hammer films, he do-wrote this screenplay with Michael Syson, who also wrote the 1979 western, Eagle’s Wing.

Fear in the Night is a thriller starring Judy Geeson as Peggy Heller, a newly wed who is packing her things from the sharehouse she lives in so she can go with her new husband, Robert (Ralph Bates) at the boys boarding school where he is employed as a maths teacher.

On this night, though, she is attacked by a man with only one arm, and as she is someone with a history of mental issues, she is not immediately believed though the police are called and a report made.

She travels to the school where she finds it abandoned, as it is apparently end of term, and meets the headmaster, Michael Carmichael (Peter Cushing) and his wife, Molly (Joan Collins). Molly is immediately hostile towards Peggy, but Robert explains that she is apparently a bitch to everyone. Michael is a calm, studious type… WITH ONLY ONE ARM!!!!

DUM, dum, DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!!!

Is Michael the man who attacked her, or is there a highly detailed plot involving misdirection leading to MURDER?

Well obviously there is, this is a Hammer film for goodness sake!!

This is a beautifully shot film, with some cool cinematic subtleties throughout, for example, Geeson’s costuming changes as her state of mind becomes fractured.

Considering Geeson basically holds the film single-handedly, she is perfect for the role. Girl next door pretty and with a tragic demeanour she nails this mentally-unstable waif brilliantly. That’s not to disparage the others: Collins plays perfect bitch, Bates plays perfect cad and Cushing? Well, Cushing is Cushing, and what else would you want?

All in all, it’s a quality Hammer Horror thriller, but it telegraphs most of its surprises quite early, and whilst the pay-off works, the epilogue is somewhat lacklustre.

Score: ***1/2

Format: This film was reviewed on the Australian, region B Bluray which runs for 94 minutes and is presented in a clear 1.66:1 image with a matching Dolby DTS-HD audio track.

Score: ****

Extras: There is not a great deal of extras on this, but what there is is quality.

End of Term: Inside Fear in the Night has various film experts from the UK like Jonathon Rigby, who wrote the amazing Euro Gothic, Alan Barnes, co-author of The Hammer Story, Kevin Lyons, the editor of eofftv.com and cultural historian John J. Johnston talking about the history and providence of the film. The only problem with this extra is it only goes for just over 15 minutes!

There is also a trailer for the film.

Score: ***

WISIA: Once the well-telegraphed twist is revealed, it doesn’t really lend itself to repeat watching.

Baron Blood aka Gli Orrori Del Castello Di Norimburga (1972)

One from the re watch pile…

Baron Blood aka Gli Orrori Del Castello Di Norimburga (1972)

Film: I have to preface this review with a short story that I have told to many people, but it particularly refers to this film and my affection for it. You see, Baron Blood was probably the last film to really scare me… not because the film is particularly scary, but instead because of the situation that I found myself in after it.

As a early teenager, I was lucky enough to see this at a little independent cinema known as the Miranda Forum, in Miranda, NSW. The forum did stacks of double features and I was lucky enough to see this film, under the guise of The Torture Chamber Of Baron Blood with another horror film you MAY have heard of called An American Werewolf in London.

The experience of seeing the films was amazing, and after it finished it, my friends were all picked up by their parents and it left me to walk the 5km trip home alone, at about midnight, during a blackout that was effecting the street lights.

Sufficed to say, I ran like a rat up a drainpipe.

Due to this, Baron Blood sits in my brain as a particularly scary film… and let’s just say that the blonde-haired and green-eyed appearance of Elle Sommer set a stamp in my mind that would be permanent, and I have always been mainly attracted to that type.

Much later, after becoming a fan of the work of Mario Bava, whom I discovered through my love of Dario Argento’s body of work, I realised this was in actual fact a Bava film, from a script written by him, Willibard Eser and Vincent Fotre. Even at such a young age I must have instinctively been able to spot great talent!

Anyhow, Baron Blood tells of Peter Kleist (Antonio Cantafora), a young man who has travelled to Austria to see his family’s castle and there he meets the sexy… I’m not sure what she does actually… Eva Arnold (Elke Sommer) and the two of them have an instant attraction.

Peter convinces Eva, as a joke, to perform a ritual that he found written on a parchment discovered at a relatives house to see what happens, and unfortunately for them, and the many victims, it brings the evil legendary Baron Otto Von Kleist (Joseph Cotton) back from the dead, ready to reclaim his castle and murder everyone who gets in his way!

During the ritual, the ceremonial winds… you know the ones, every GOOD evil ritual has them… blows the parchment into the fire, the parchment containing the words to reverse the spell! Without that information, how will our lovestruck heroes survive?

Mario Bava is well known as one of the greatest Italian filmmakers ever, and he has an incredible fluid style with occasionally an almost cartoonish palette which creates a greater sense of depth within his images. His usual extreme colors aren’t present in this film, but it’s a beautiful film nevertheless, and a great example of modern gothic.

The film has a great cast too. Joseph Cotten from The Third Man, Massimo Girotti from Last Tango in Paris, Antonio Cantafora from Demons 2, Elke Sommer from A Shot in the Dark and even Nicoletta Elmi, an child actress seen in many Italian horror films, from Bay of Blood, to The Night Child and Demons.

This film is a particular interesting piece of Bava’s history too as it isn’t filmed in his native Italy, and instead in Vienna. This is interesting as Bava notoriously hated to travel and rarely filmed away from home.

It may be for strange reasons but I love this film, it’s easily one of my favourite Bava films and is well worth a watch, even if you don’t have to walk home in the dark after seeing it.

Score: ****1/2

Format: The reviewed copy of this film was on Arrow Video’s Region B Bluray/ DVD combo pack. The film, on the Bluray, is presented with a 1.78:1 image with a 2.0 Mono and both are fine considering the age of the film and the restoration has brought it back beautifully.

Score: ****

Extras: Oh, boy do we have some extras.

First, there are actually three different versions of the film available to watch on the disc: the ‘export version’, the AIP version and the original Italian version, aka The Horror Of Nuremberg Castle. Being able to watch the film in these three different formats is quite interesting, even though the story doesn’t change. Bare in mind though, the American International Pictures (AIP) version has had a solid 7 minutes cut from it and has a far less interesting musical track accompanying (it’s not bad, just a little horror-movie generic). The entire contents of the Bluray are also presented on two accompanying DVDs as well!

There is an audio commentary by Tim Lucas, the author of Mario Bava: All The Colors of The Dark (a seriously detailed look at Mario Bava’s history) and Video Watchdog editor, which really dissects the film both in its actual story, its place in Bava’s filmography and in Italian cinema in general. This is on the export version of the film.

Introduction by Alan Jones sees respected UK movie expert Alan Jones (not the Australian one) briefly introduce the film and its history.

There are both English and Italian trailers for the film, and some radio spots too.

Bava at Work is a series of photos of Bava making a bunch of different films. There is some interesting shots, but stills belong either in books, or in moonshiner’s backyards.

Ruggero Deodato Interview is a look at the golden age of Italian horror through the eyes of Cannibal Holocaust director Deodato. He has some amusing anecdotes and recollections of Bava and the period.

Also in this package is a booklet with an essay by film critic James Oliver, and details of the restoration process as well. The booklet is illustrated throughout.

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s a permanent nostalgic favourite so it gets a lot of respins at the To Watch Pile Estate.

Monsterfest Rolls into Brisbane

Have a couple of announcements from our friends over at Monster Pictures:

MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW rolls into Event Cinemas Myer Centre from Friday May 25th to Sunday May 27th and now with a little less than a month to go, it gives us great pleasure to reveal our second wave programming!

Making its Queensland Premiere is Ari Aster’s HEREDITARY, quite easily the most-anticipated horror film of 2018, described by The Hollywood Reporter as “a seemingly endless series of unexpected directions over two breathless hours of escalating terror that never slackens for a minute”. Currently sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, HEREDITARY will play to our MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW audience in Brisbane weeks ahead of its international theatrical release.

MONSTER FEST TRAVELLING SIDESHOW is proud to host the Australian Premiere of Argentinian horror, WHAT THE WATERS LEFT BEHIND, helmed by Luciano & Nicolás Onetti, the duo responsible for the 2015 love letter to giallo, FRANCESCA. Their latest feature plays more as an ode to the gritty road trip horrors of the seventies, deriving influence from such classics as THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and THE HILLS HAVE EYES.

More details can be found at: MONSTERFEST 2018 and also at EVENT CINEMAS

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

One from the to watch pile…

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Film: Unfortunately we like in an entertainment world where mainstream blockbuster Hollywood has no original ideas and if they aren’t remaking older or non-English films, adapting novels or comics, they are making sequels to films that either didn’t need them, or are just from so long ago they make be irrelevant.

The real sad thing is that we just lap them up like idiots desperate for a fix of nostalgia.

This film was directed by Jake Kasdan, who has directed other comedies like Sex Tape and Dewey Cox, from a script by this McKenna and Eric Sommers, who gave us Spiderman Homecoming, Scott Rosenberg, who gave us Con Air and the remake of Gone in Sixty Seconds, and Jeff Pinkner, who gave us The 5th Wave. Interesting, if you think of the tone of the films I mentioned, this is right alongside all of them, with the teen relationships and the action/ adventure spectacular.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle starts basically when the original finished, with a jogger, in 1996, discovering the Jumanji board game on the beach, and taking it home to his son, who discards it because it’s not a video game… but Jumanji is smarter than that and transforms itself into a video game, and quickly, the kid, Alex, is sucked into the game.

Flash forward to now, and four kids who would never relate to each other at school, nerdy Spencer (Alex Wolff), mean girl Bethany (Madison Iseman), jock ‘Fridge’ (Ser’darius Blain) and school weirdo, Martha (Morgan Turner) have been put on detention for various offences and whilst they have a particular task to do, they find an old video game, and decide to plug it in and play it.

Of course they are sucked into the game, and Spencer is transformed into hero Smoulder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Fridge becomes the short zoologist Mouse Finbar (Kevin Hart), Martha becomes man-killer martial artist Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and Bethany becomes middle-aged, overweight MALE cartographer Shelly Oberon (Jack Black) and have a series of missions given to them by Nigel (Rhys Darby) and are in opposition to game bad guy, Russel Van Pelt (Bobby Carnivale) who has stolen a gem which is the only thing that will get them home once it is placed in the head of the jaguar mountain where it belongs, but can these different personalities work together to win, and will they discover what happened to Alex?

There is nothing new here. The concept of the Jumanji game, obviously, is stolen from the original and the personality dynamics of the kids sucked into the game are straight out of The Breakfast Club, but together, and this is thanks to the script and performances, they work. The special effects are clearly CGI and hyper-real but considering they are in a video game, that kind of works.

There are a couple of nice throwbacks to the first film too, so the legacy of Robin Williams’ film is intact.

The cast are a blast and special mention has to go to Jack Black portrayal of a 16 year old girl stuck in the body of a 4t years old fat bloke. Interestingly though, for me, the weirdest thing about this film is seeing Karen Gillan smile. She was a grumpy bitch in Doctor Who, an alien assassin in the Marvel films and a moody crank in Oculus so to see her smile was refreshing, I mean her resting bitch face is lovely, but her smile is amazing.

Basically, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a fine distraction, with a fair few funny moments and an inventive way of reimagining itself, but it certainly won’t ever appear on the top of anyone’s favourite film lists, nor will it probably be remembered as a modern day piece of classic cinema.

Score: ***

Format: The film was reviewed on the Australian multi-region Bluray which runs for approximately 1 hour and 59 minutes, and is presented in an absolutely spectacular 2.39:1 image with a DTS-HD 5.1 audio track.

Score: *****

Extras: There is a great bunch of extras on this disc:

Gag Reel is just what you would think it is, but it’s just not that funny. Odd, considering the presence of Hart, Black and Johnson.

Journey Through The Jungle: The Making Of Jumanji is hosted by Rhys Darby (who playedNigel in the film) and goes through an abbreviated making of the film.

Meet the Players looks at the cast of the film.

Surviving the Jungle is a behind the scenes of the stunts of the film.

Attack of the Rhinos dissects a particular scene from the film.

Book to Board Game to Big Screen and Beyond: Celebrating the Legacy Of Jumanji celebrates the entire history of the film.

Jumanji, Jumanji Music Video is a music clip performed by the cast and is truly the funniest thing on the whole disc.

Score: ****

WISIA: Even though I enjoyed it, I’m probably not going to watch it again.

Drive-In Delirium: The New Batch (2018)

One from the to watch pile…

Drive-In Delirium: The New Batch (2018)

The cover to Drive-In Delirium:The New Batch

Film: Whenever anyone, and I mean ANYONE I know, goes and sees a movie, the first question I ask is never ‘was it good?’, it’s always ‘what we’re the trailers before the movie?’ I guess I’m a fan of the anticipation of what is coming rather than what is available.

It’s that secret nerd thing of knowing what is coming out, I guess.

I think it began when I first started becoming a film fan and was hooked on the monthly visit to the video shop. In actual fact, the first VCR my family owned ( top of the line, with a corded remote control) came with a free movie which we could swap for free from good ol’ Joyce Mayne at Auburn. Now occasionally the movie would suck, but I’d rewatch the trailers at the beginning over and over agin so I’d know what to ask my parents to get next time they went over, and my parents were pretty cool so I’d usually get what I wanted.

(As an aside, we once had my father’s choice of Convoy for about two months, a week of which I was sick off school and I spent my days watching and rewatching that movie over and over, to the point I can still, 30 years later, recite the entire film… I was considering performing it as a one-man show with me both as Kris Kristofferson and Ali McGraw)

The Video Dead Masthead

Anyway, what we have here is the third volume on Bluray from Umbrella Entertainment of their Drive-In Delirium series, the previous of which were ‘60s and 70s Savagery’ and ‘Maximum 80s Overdrive’ which both obvious had their focuses on the decades suggested by their titles.

Thankfully this isn’t focusing on the great horror movies of the 90s because, honestly, it would be about ten minutes long… sorry kids, the 90s sucked for horror, even Fangoria had to put Batman Returns and Jurassic Park on the cover of the mag… but instead has a super mix of stuff from all decades and genres.

The disc is divided into three parts. The first is called ‘The Quickening’, and features a mixed bag of trailers of all genres of B movies, from sci-fi stuff like X-tro to comedy like The Nude Bomb. The second section is called ‘The Spawning’ and is a bunch of horror movies and if I’m totally honest, was the focus for me on this disc. I was particularly excited to see the trailer for ‘Demented’ again, a film I never saw, but always wanted too… maybe it’s time to start looking for it again.

The Terror in the Aisles Masthead

These first two parts have some pretty cool adverts and public announcements before, at ‘intermission’ and after, of special note is the totally off-the-wall anti-smoking and starring none other than R2-D2 and C-3PO.

Finally, we have a series of trailers taken from VHS and I kid you not, if you were old enough to have ever hired a Roadshow Home Video tape, you’ll be well aware of a big bunch of these images, and the Australian voiceover preceding each one.

The difference between the first two chapters and the last is that the first two have had a bit of a clean up on the trailers, but the VHS ones are of varying quality, none of which are detrimental to the viewing of the trailers, but they are a bit scratchy nevertheless.

Nostalgia bit me big time with this disc and I enjoyed every second of it!

Score: *****

The menu screen to Derive-In Delirium: The New Batch

Format: This selection of trailers was watched on the Umbrella Entertainment Bluray which is multi-region. All the sound is of a decent quality and is presented in 2.0, but the images are of a varying degree of quality and aspect ratio depending on when they were released or on what format they were released.

Score: ***

Extras: It’s all extras!

Score: N/A

WISIA: This is a definite rewatcher, to the point I’d say if I had a few mates over, you could put this on and watch it over a few beers.

The Howling 2 Masthead

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

One from the re watch pile…

The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Film: The early 2000s were a wonderful time when every second movie that was released was a remake, not like now when every movie is a Disney film, and every forum on the Internet was rife with old school horror lovers screaming blue murder that a remake would wreck ‘their’ film.

Here’s a few pointers:

-a remake doesn’t wreck an original film…in actual fact it does nothing to it other than bring attention to it.

it’s not ‘your’ film, and the owners of the rights can do whatever they feel like to it. You are just playing in their backyard.

Anyway, this remake was directed by French director Alexandre Aja, whose previous film was the unusual, and violent psychological film Haute Tension aka High Tension which many people were stunned by both for its extreme gore, and is use of trickery, and blatant lies to tell its tale. The script, whilst based on Wes Craven’s original film, is written by Gregory Levasseur, who also worked on Haute Tension and Aja’s next film, Mirrors.

The Hills Have Eyes remake tells of a family who are travelling across the New Mexico desert on holiday. When the father, Big Bob (Ted Levine) is told of a short cut not on the map by a gas station attendant of dubious moral, he proves he must have never seen a horror movie a decides to take it.

Part of the way across this ‘short cut’ the family are in a accident staged by a bunch of mutants who live in the mines in the hills, and in the governmental built town made to see how nuclear weapons would effect suburbs. These mutants are the results of the fallout subjected their ancestors.

Quickly, the family are subjected to murder, rape and cannibalism before one of them steps up his game and decides to set things straight, and carves a path of blood and guts across the desert.

Aja proves that his Haute Tension film was not a fluke, and this, his first American film, sits high on my list of amazing remakes, along with John Carpenter’s The Thing and Chuck Russell’s The Blob. Aja has taken Craven’s film and really increased the levels of every threat the family encounter.

A special shout-out has to go to the effects, which to me are a seamless combination of CGI and practical effects, and the soundtrack, not just the incidental music but also the bizarre choices of songs for the opening and closing credits, particularly the opening which is combined with 1950s styled happy-housemaker adverts and deformities of the children of people who were exposed to Agent Orange in Viet Nam.

There is a lot to love about this film and dare I say it, I like it far more than the original.

Score: ****

Format: This film was reviewed with the Australian, region B Bluray release of the film, which is presentin a crystal clear 2.35:1 image and a matching Dolby DTS-HD 5.1 audio track.

Score: *****

Extras: There is a few extras on here which are a pain to access as the disc has no menu screen, so whilst the film is playing you have to use your ‘Pop-up Menu’ button to access them.

There are two commentaries, one by Aja, writer Levassuer and Producer Marianne Maddalena and another by Producers Peter Locke and horror legend Wes Craven. Either individually or watched one after the other they offer a whole pile of interesting anecdotes of the making of the film.

There are 7 Production diaries which can be watched individually or as a job lot. They are crappy handicap filmed behind the scenes stuff with no offer of an explanation throughout and each one only goes for about two minutes. Ultimately worthless.

We also have trailers for this film, From Hell and X-men: The Last Stand.

Score: ***

WISIA: I really dig it so, yeah: 100%

Emmanuelle (1974)

One from the to watch pile…

Emmanuelle (1974)

Film: There was once a time when soft core porn was cool. When a man and a woman could go out and enjoy a film with saxophone and oboe filled soundtracks, lithe sensual women, iron-jawed rugged men and more camera filters than you could shake a nubile titty at. Porn evolved fairly quickly as it became less something artistic that could be enjoyed by the general public and became a dirty societal secret, shunned by the mainstream because, you know, masturbation is dirty and only the scum of the earth do it.

Over the course of history the production value on porn films has been of varying degree, just like any other form of entertainment but this is a review about one film, not a reflection on an industry that even defines technological advances by what it uses to get its message across, like VHS and Bluray.

Emmanuelle was directed by soft-core legend Just Jaekin, who also directed The Story Of O and Gwendoline, a film I thoroughly enjoyed as it is a bizarre mix of a female Indiana Jones movie and a titty-flick. The film’s script was written by Jean-Louis Richard which was of course based upon the original novel by Emmanuelle Arsen, which was a series of erotic fantasies. This film launched an entire sub-genre of films which has Emmanuelle in the title, from the Black Emmanuelle flicks to the bizarre is-it-a-comedy-or-a-soft-core-porn-film Carry On Emmanuelle.

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Krystal) is the wife of a French ambassador, Jean (Daniel Sarky) assigned to Thailand. Emmanuelle and Mario have a very open relationship, as jealousy is out of fashion and apparently Emmanuelle is a spectacular lay and he doesn’t believe he should keep her gift all to himself.

So of course the story here shows Emmanuelle riding the beast with two backs across a foreign country, whilst her husband has his way with the various housemaids that litter their property, but is he honest with his lack of jealousy, or will the amount of people, male and female, who end up face down in her private parts start to piss him off? This is all without even taking into account her tryst with one of his work colleagues who just hands her around like a towel to all and sundry!

Be careful what you wish for, Jean!

There is no doubt Just Jaekin knows his way around a camera. The whole production is filmed softly, but not so softly that it takes away from the content. It does, however, spend most of the time looking like a Stevie Nicks music video but with boobs and gentle lovemaking.

I am well aware of the importance of this film but I was as bored as bored can be through the film… except for a sequence with a naked girl and a cigarette: here I was intrigued!! This is one of those films that I am glad I can tick off my list of films that should be seen. But it will definitely only ever get one tick.

Score: *

Format: The review of this film was done with the Umbrella region 4 DVD release which runs for approximately 94 minutes. It’s is presented in a decent 1.66:1 image with a 2.0 audio soundtrack.

Score: ***

Extras: None.

Score: 0

WISIA: No.

Rupture (2016)

One from the to watch pile…

Rupture (2016)

Film: When is a superhero movie not a superhero movie? When it is an exploration of ‘super powers’ and what it may take to get them to manifest in regular human beings! With the glut of fairly generic superhero films littering the cinemas, it’s nice to see someone doing such an exploration.

As one would expect, such a film would be made by people who are perhaps somewhat subversive with their previous productions, and in this case we are treated by the writer and director of the film Secretary, Steven Shainberg and Brian Nelson.

Reneé (Naomi Rapace), divorced, lives in the suburbs with her son, Evan (Percy Hynes White) but unbeknownst to her, her house is littered with camera, feeding the details of her everyday life to…someone?

After dropping her son off at his father’s house for a few days, Reneé is kidnapped and tasered by a group of people (including Fantastic Four’s Michael Chiklis) and taken to a facility, run by Dr. Nyman (Lesley Manville) and her team (including Peter Stormare) where she is subjected to a series of experiments by that are seemingly meant to test her endurance… it to what end? What will happen if and when she finally breaks?

Imagine making Hostel with a Twin Peaks color palette via a Croenenberg body-horror nightmare mixed with a Marilyn Manson filmclip hoping for a X-men styled result and you’ll get where Rupture is coming from. Mind you, if I’m totally honest, it’s a Diet Coke version of Martyrs.

Shainberg has an extraordinary mix of cast members who possibly shouldn’t work well together, but do so well, and to an increasingly odd effect as the film goes on.

It’s extraordinarily claustrophobic and the villains are persistently moustache-twirling weirdos with a mysterious agenda and that is what will keep you entertained for the entire film. Sure there are some inconsistencies, like the bad guys wiring up Reneé’s entire house with cameras, but there are none in the entire facility except portable video cameras carried around for the experiments, but I’ve seen far worse plot devices in my 15 odd years of reviewing films.

By the way, there is a couple of tributes to other genre films… keep a look out for them.

Score: ****

Format: The reviewed copy of this film was the Australian Region B Bluray, which runs for approximately 101 minutes. The image and sound, presented in 2.35:1 and DTS-HD 5.1, are both perfect.

Score: *****

Extras: Not a single one.

Score: 0

WISIA: It’s a great story with an awesome cast, though once it’s secret are revealed a second watching probably isn’t going to have the same effect.

Fair Game (1986)

One from the re watch pile…

Fair Game (1986)

Film: After I saw Mark Hartley’s amazing documentary Not Quite Hollywood, I became obsessed with the period of Australian cinema it covered. Not only because it showed me some films I’d never seen before, but it also reminded me of a whole lot of stuff I’d seen on VHS and forgotten.

… and so the copious amount of shopping, both local and tragically international… I mean what a shame one can’t get all the Australian movies here in Australia!!!

To date, of the ones I want to own, the only one that continues to elude me is Lady Stay Dead!

Of all these film that I hadn’t seen before the one I absolutely fell in love with was this film, Fair Game, so back then I searched out the DVD release and thankfully, Australian company Umbrella Entertainment have now released a pretty amazing Bluray of the film.

Fair Game tells the story of Jessica (Cassandra Delaney), the caretaker of a remote wildlife reserve who comes into contact with some pretty dodgy out back versions of good old boys: Sunny (Peter Ford), Ringo (David Sanford) and Sparks (Garry Who). Whilst the boys think they are merely playing with Jessica, Jessica doesn’t see the funny side of their taunts (which include breaking into her house a photographing her whilst she is asleep… definitely crossing a line) and very soon things escalate out of control.

Unfortunately for Jessica, she is very much alone: her phone has stopped working and her car has broken down… could these three miscreants eventually resort to murder… or even worse?

It really doesn’t get more Australian than this film. The red glow of the Australian outback is just as much of a star of this film as the actors involved. Those very actors are pretty amazing at the jobs too. In no way is this a serious film, it is a caricature of a serious rape/ revenge film like I Spit On Your Grave and the actors all play their parts like the cartoonish archetypes that they represent: helpless woman, smarmy badguy, rat-faced henchman and tunny, dumbo second henchman.

The real star of the film though is the car. It’s a cross between a Ford F100, a vehicle from Mad Max and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It’s a beast and plus a big part in the threatening nature of the film.

It’s a cracker of an Australian film, and everyone should really give it a fair suck of the sav !

Score: ***

Format: This film was reviewed with the Umbrella Entertainment multi-region Bluray which is presented in a clear 1.85:1 image with a matching 2.0 DTS-HD audio track.

Score: ****

Extras: Heaps of awesome extras on this disc:

Audio Commentary with Director Mario Andreacchio and Writer Rob George

Extended Interview with Cassandra Delaney from Not Quite Hollywood is, what the title would suggest, a 15 minute interview taken from Mark Hartley’s amazing doco about the Australian Ozploitation films called Not Quite Hollywood.

On Location with Fair Game is about three minutes of behind the scenes footage of the scenes surrounding the destruction of the house with The Beast.

Behind the Scenes – 1985 TV Report from NWS9, Action News and Behind the Scenes – 1985 TV Report from ADS-7, State Affair are two news reports of the making of the film. By the looks of the channels it was for regional stations for some colour inbetween ‘real’ news.

Behind the Scenes with Dean Bennett is about an hour of behind the scenes material.

There is a bunch of promotional stuff like a theatrical trailer and an image gallery.

Storyboards shows a pretty cool series of storyboards for the film, shown as a slideshow with the score over the top.

Mario Andreacchio Short Films is obviously a series of short films by Andreacchio which honestly, I could make it all the way through. They do definitely explore the Australian youth experience though.

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s not the greatest film ever made, but it’s so over the top you’ll definitely watch it more than once.