Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

Movie Information

The Story: Documentary film on the Australian exploitation film. The Lowdown: Cheeky, loud, irreverent, very R rated and colorful -- just like its topic.
Score:

Genre: Documentary
Director: Mark Hartley
Starring: Quentin Tarantino, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Richard Franklin, Dennis Hopper, Barry Humphries
Rated: R

Being that Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! is a documentary, it has no official star, but quite unofficially, the obvious star of this explosive celebration of trash and bad taste is Quentin Tarantino. At this point in time, Tarantino is not only probably the most famous name among the interview subjects; he’s also the biggest enthusiast of the particular brand of cinema being examined. To watch the film is to watch an increasingly excited Tarantino getting his geek on with an unapologetic vengeance. This, after all, is a man who is waxing ecstatic over the films of Brian Trenchard-Smith, a director perhaps most famous in this country for making a couple of direct-to-video Leprechaun movies. High art, this ain’t.

What exactly is Ozploitation? Well, you’ve probably seen some of it. At the very least, you’re likely to have seen George Miller’s Mad Max (1979). And if you’re a little more diligent, you may have seen Richard Franklin’s Patrick (1978) and Roadgames (1981). Or how about Russell Mulcahy’s Razorback (1984)? Phillipe Mora’s Howling III (1987)? No? David Hemmings’ (yes, David Hemmings) The Survivor (1981) with Robert Powell and Joseph Cotten no less? These are but a few of the films that qualify as Australian exploitation movies—drive-in fare that erupted in Aussie cinema with the fall of censorship in the early 1970s. These are the movies they generally don’t talk about when discussing the rise of the film industry in Australia.

We are talking about movies with giant killer pigs and marsupial werewolves. It’s sexploitation and splatter—or as the film’s tagline has it, “Finally, an Aussie film packed full of boobs, pubes, tubes … and a bit of kung fu.” (No wonder Tarantino is so there.) And the tagline does not lie—you’ll see more of what it promises in this one film than you’ll see in every other movie in town combined. It may just prove that documentaries aren’t all dull. And it’s probably the best way to see these movies. As someone who’s seen a number of these films, I’d say these trashy highlights are indeed the highlights. With some notable exceptions, the movies in their entirety can be rather uneventful—something this presentation never is. I loved it, but I’m nearly as big a geek for crap movies as Tarantino. I’ll guarantee this: You’ll get more bang, boobs and blood for your buck here than with any other show in town. Rated R for graphic nudity, sexuality, violence and gore, some language and drug use.

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

11 thoughts on “Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

  1. I am so excited this is coming to Asheville (it had better really be here, it’s not listed as “coming soon” on the Fine Arts Theatre website. This is the stuff I grew up on – trying to not wake my parents so I could see some of Abigail naked in “Alvin Purple” on late-night TV, giggling at all the masturbation on hand in “The Devil’s Playground”, trying to figure out why “Dogs In Space” was ever made. Can’t wait!

  2. Ken Hanke

    I am so excited this is coming to Asheville (it had better really be here, it’s not listed as “coming soon” on the Fine Arts Theatre website.

    It opens Friday at the Carolina Asheville (the old Hollywood 14). One of the drawbacks of the online edition of the paper is that it doesn’t tell you where the film is showing and the times aren’t updated for Friday till Friday (which actually makes sense).

  3. Ken Hanke

    I too am in shock that this is playing here… I thought it would be too specialized!

    Bravo to the Carolina!

    It kind of surprised me, too. The problem with this sort of programming is that it’s only going to keep up if Asheville actually gets out there and supports it.

  4. It kind of surprised me, too. The problem with this sort of programming is that it’s only going to keep up if Asheville actually gets out there and supports it.

    The problem is that the Carolina is too far away for a lot of people that would watch these films. And by too far away I mean five miles.

    I’m definitely going, and this gives me hope that they might show THIRST or ANTICHRIST.

  5. Ken Hanke

    The problem is that the Carolina is too far away for a lot of people that would watch these films. And by too far away I mean five miles

    It doesn’t appear to keep them from flocking to a certain even less conveniently located theater (the attraction to which baffles me). The truth is that there’s really nothing in Asheville that’s all that far away from anything else — assuming you have a car. Starting from home, it actually takes me no longer to get to the Carolina than it does the Beaucatcher or the Carmike.

    I’m definitely going, and this gives me hope that they might show THIRST or ANTICHRIST

    No word on that, but Humpday opens there next week.

  6. Ken Hanke

    More good news

    Let’s hope so. There’s a screener headed my way, I’m told. I have to confess I was a lot more jazzed about the prospect before I heard the single dreariest word in the history of film — mumblecore — associated with the film. That said, I’m keeping an open mind on it since things sometimes get tagged with terms they don’t really deserve.

  7. nancy

    If you’re referring to the Grande Stadium at Biltmore Park, I love that there’s no one sitting in front of me and lots of leg room. The Carolina theatre saved itself by adding the rooms with the couches and hassocks. I try to go there whenever possible but wish they would post which movies are playing in those rooms. I love being able to put my feet up!!!

  8. Ken Hanke

    If you’re referring to the Grande Stadium at Biltmore Park, I love that there’s no one sitting in front of me and lots of leg room.

    I was. I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t like stadium seating very much — and have never had any significant problem seeing the screen at a regular sloped theater (and I’m far from tall). I can’t say I’m exactly enamoured of the parking situation there either.

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