Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Blood, Sex & Violence

Melbourne, it seems, can't get enough of it. ACMI continues the Ozploitation theme we all loved (well I did) at ACMI, starting with Not Quite Hollywood (which, incidentally, opens in cinemas on Thursday) and continued with titles like Dead End Drive-In, Long Weekend, Road Games. Ohmigod, I can't believe how much fun I had with these films. For those that couldn't get enough, the joy continues with three more films: Kung Fu Killers, Howling III: The Marsupials and The Naked Bunyip. After what I've seen from Not Quite Hollywood, I'm really looking forward to Kung Fu Killers and The Naked Bunyip (I was too young to see it when it came out), but am not sure about Howling III. The one title I'd really like to see is Patrick, which those who have seen NQH would know is the film that Tarantino lifted a scene from for Kill Bill vol. 1 (when The Bride awakes from her coma).

I should point out that the screening of The Naked Bunyip is co-presented by the Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) who are hosting a post-screening panel discussion. In the past these panels have included the directors, writers, producers, etc and I've found them a great enhancement to the cinema experience. I highly recommend them.

Here are the films' screening info, courtesy of ACMI:

Sat 6 Sep 4pm

Kung Fu Killers G

Brian Trenchard-Smith, 72 mins, Australia, 1974, Digi Beta. print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

The documentary takes leading Australian stuntman Grant Page to Hong Kong to find Bruce Lee’s successor. Made just after the death of Lee and featuring an exciting hilltop kung-fu fight, the film examines with humour the cultural phenomenon that Asian martial arts had become in the West.

Self-financed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, this feature was completed for a total of $13,000 in 1973. Trenchard-Smith (Turkey Shoot, Dead End Drive-In) is lauded by Quentin Tarantino as one of his favourite genre directors of all time, a testimonial which is captured on film in Not Quite Hollywood.

Sat 13 Sep 4pm

Howling III: The Marsupials M

Philippe Mora, 94 mins, Australia, 1987, 35mm. print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

”If you see only one werewolf movie this year, you might as well make it Howling III” - The New York Times

Philippe Mora’s horror-comedy is a true genre-bending marvel of 1980s Australian cinema and the final installment of the Howling trilogy.

Set in outback Australia, a community of people with transformative powers is discovered by a group of scientists. Up until now, the colony have applied a policy of live and let live towards a rare variety of werewolves – marsupial werewolves. Barry Otto stars as a scientist and professor who embarks on a search for the rare breed of marsupial werewolves.

Mora sends-up the horror genre with his comic bent on this story. The film features werewolves disguised in nuns habits on a rescue mission, a mid-performance transformation on the stage at the Sydney Opera House and an unforgettable marsupial birth scene.

Sat 20 Sep 4pm

The Naked Bunyip unclassified 18+

John B. Murray, 136 mins, Australia, 1970, 35mm. print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

In his first feature film, Graeme Blundell stars as an innocent young market researcher assigned to report on sex.

In this raucous documentary Blundell gets up close and personal - but too personal for the censors of the time who demanded cuts to the film. Rather than remove the offending footage, director John Murray instead inserted bunyip caricatures and bleeps over the objectionable segments, infuriating the censors but making a bold statement about censorship.

With a guest appearance by Barry Humphries (among many other prominent Australians) The Naked Bunyip helped to revive the Australian film industry – and its mojo!

This screening will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by the Australian Film Critics Association.


Kamikaze Camel said...

Howling III: The Marsupials most definitely belongs in the bad file of "ozploitation" titles. Perhaps it was just the dodgy DVD I was watching or maybe I just didn't get what it was going for when I saw it (a good possibility, actually, considering I laughed during its clips in Not Quite Hollywood) but I didn't like it at all.

You're right about Patrick. I'm not sure why it hasn't been picked up to screen in any of these programs. It's right at the very top of the heap alongside Dead End Drive-In and Roadgames.

I really want to see The Man From Hong Kong though. That looks like a trip and a half!

Paul Martin said...

I'm told, Glenn, that Howling III is NOT an example of "so bad it's good", but just "bad and don't see". But if you're Tarantino, it's probably must-see.

Patrick may yet screen at ACMI, perhaps as part of its regular Australian Perspectives screenings on Saturday afternoons.

I agree with your sentiments about TMFHK, and the difficulties with the actor mentioned in NQH have piqued my interest further. Maybe I'll see you at some of the screenings?

Kamikaze Camel said...

You'll see me at some of the AFI ones, sure, but not the ACMI ones. I don't have the time or the money to see movies that I can see on DVD (however much I wish I could see them on the big screen instead).

Paul Martin said...

Glenn, except for the opening film (Not Quite Hollywood, at the Rivoli), all the films are screening at ACMI as far as I know. I thought you were an AFI member, for whom the screenings are free. It's worth becoming a member for that alone.