This week is dedicated to our filmmakers down under. Not Quite Hollywood – a documentary about Ozploitation is currently available on instant Netflix.
WATCH: Not Quite Hollywood (2008) – Rated R for for graphic nudity, sexuality, violence and gore, some language and drug use
“Explore the unofficial history of Australian cult film with this provocative documentary on the “Ozploitation” flicks of the 1970s and ’80s. Filmmaker Mark Hartley explores the violence, sex and nudity rampant during this period of lax restrictions. Jam-packed with film clips, poster art and international advertisements, the film also features anecdotes from numerous celebrities about this dynamic period in Australian cinema.”
Watching this film is actually what inspired me to do Ozploitation week. This is a very fun, fast-paced chronicling of Australian genre films. There are a ton of movie clips and plenty of interviews with the applicable stars, directors and film critics as well as special guest Quentin Tarantino. There is also a lot of nudity, sex, violence, and language as befits an examination of exploitation films. By a lot of nudity I mean a LOT of nudity. I lost track of the number of nude women 10 minutes into the film and quite a lot of the nudity is full frontal, both male and female.
The first portion of the documentary is called “Ockers, Knockers, Pubes & Tubes” and covers the gross out and sex comedies. These sprang up as the censorship rules were lifted when Australia’s R-rating was established. Under the R-rating, no one from 2-18 was to be admitted. For those interested, this is where the majority of the nudity is presented.
“Comatose Killers and Outback Chillers” covers the quickly burgeoning horror genre. Horror typically costs very little to make and generally ranges from profitable to extremely profitable. It is why so many independent directors start in this genre. They even mention later in Not Quite Hollywood “…but splatter is cheap”. The new Australian R rating allowed for some over-the-top horror movies, many of which are featured here.
The third part, “High Octane Disasters and Kung Fu Masters”, covers a variety of action genres from kung fu to the post-apocalyptic. There is a mini-focus on stuntman extraordinaire Grant Page. During the 70s there weren’t many (any?) safety restrictions on what you could do on a stunt. Some of the stunts in this third part are absolutely amazing – back before special effects took over. There are numerous car and motorcycle crashes as well as many scenes of people really being set on fire.
They also cover Australia’s biggest crossover hit, Mad Max in this section. Besides putting Mel Gibson on the map, Mad Max was the first (only?) of the Ozploitation movies to cross over to mainstream cinema. They don’t mention the sequels which is just as well as they definitely aren’t as edgy as the original.
Overall the documentary has an excellent fast-paced flow and a good balance between interviews and clips. I highly recommend it for genre fans. I especially liked how they played even more interviews as they rolled the credits. The only drawback was that there was a little too much of uber-fanboy Quentin Tarantino
Netflix has enough of these Ozploitation films available for instant play that I’ve devoted this whole week to them (although I’ll try to spare my wife from having to watch them).
People watch: While the whole film is nothing but people watching look for scream queen Jaime Lee Curtis in a brief interview and a scene from Road Games and a very young Nicole Kidman (not interviewed) in BMX Bandits.