Color, 2014, 165m.
Intervision (DVD) (US R0 NTSC), / WS (1.78:1) (16:9)
Longtime readers might recall an early Sick Picks rundown here covering some of the many notable international DVDs for the golden age of Australian exploitation film, namely the 1970s into the late '80s, which exploded with numerous horror, action, and sexy offerings complete with a unique Down Under twist. A lot has happened since then, most notably the release of the great 2009 documentary Not Quite Hollywood and a handful of solid Blu-ray releases.
Offering a particularly frisky guide to this bizarre chapter in film history is this 2014 DVD release from Intervision, which packs 65 trailers onto one disc and covers a number of titles both familiar and obscure. Everything can be played in one mind-melting sitting, or you can sift through them in three separate categories: Sexploitation and "Ocker" Comedies, Horror and Thriller, and Cars and Action, all arranged more or less chronologically.
First up is the naughty section, which features the early sex comedy The Naked Bunyip, Stork, the major local hit The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, Libido, Alvin Purple, Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Alvin Rides Again, Petersen, the insane STD study The Love Epidemic, Wompers (actually Richard Franklin's The True Story of Eskimo Nell), Plugg, The Box, The Great Macarthy, Eliza Fraser, Don's Party, Oz, Fantasm, Fantasm Comes Again, The ABC of Love & Sex Australia Style, Felicity, Dumboola, Centrespread, and the late night cable classic Pacific Banana. As you'd expect, these are chock full of nudity, bad jokes, and ridiculous stupidity, with a few curve balls (like the bizarre Oz rock musical) keeping things interesting. The biggest discovery here is probably the trailer for Centrespread, a lurid mixture of naked models, face painting, synth music, and nude beach antics that's screaming out for a DVD release somewhere.
Next up is the scary section, kicking up with a quick TV spot for Wake in Fright under the title Outback. From there it's a nice selection of highlights including Night of Fear, Inn of the Damned, End Play, personal favorite Summerfield (which still hasn't come close to getting its due), The Last Wave, Patrick, Long Weekend, Jim Sharman's peculiar arty mystery The Night, the Prowler (which is listed as The Night Prowler on the menu for some reason), Snapshot, Thirst, Harlequin, Nightmares, The Survivor, Dead Kids, Road Games, The Killing of Angel Street, Heatwave, A Dangerous Summer, the terrific horror gem Next of Kin, and Cassandra.
Finally it's pedal to the metal time with The Cars that Ate Paris, Stone, The Man from Hong Kong, Mad Dog Morgan, Raw Deal, Journey among Women, The FJ Holden, the toe-snipping Bryan Brown heist favorite Money Movers, Stunt Rock, Chain Reaction, Race for the Yankee Zephyr, Attack Force Z, Turkey Shoot, a fascinating trailer for Scott Hicks' Freedom (a rare leading role for tragic The Lighthorsemen star Jon Blake), Midnight Spares, the Nicole Kidman curio BMX Bandits, Philippe Mora's unforgettable Christopher Lee musical The Return of Captain Invincible, Sky Pirates, the outrageous Fair Game (which was more or less duplicated in Death Proof), Dead End Drive-In, and The Time Guardian. There are still enough key titles missing here (Mad Max, Razorback, Bad Boy Bubby, Celia, Puberty Blues, etc.) to justify a second volume someday, too, should they feel so inclined.
As with most trailer comps, image quality varies from one title to the next with the aspect ratio sticking to 1.78:1 despite many trailers pillarboxed at 1.33:1. Most of the trailers are in pretty fine shape, as good as or better than the ones seen on the DVD releases for their respective films, and the mono audio is perfectly good considering the age of the source material.
Reviewed on February 21, 2014.