Friday, October 23, 2009

Jay's Review: Not Quite Hollywood

This was fantastic - bears rewatching with the commentary track, and then again just for funsies... I want to see about 85% of the titles featured here. Check out my review from!



Free-wheeling sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! High-octane extravaganzas! Welcome to Not Quite Hollywood, the wild, wonderful story of "Ozploitation" films. Join Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper, and many others as they take you on an irreverent journey through the 70's and 80's, an era when Australian cinema got its gear off and showed the world a full-frontal explosion of sex, violence, horror and foot-to-the-floor action.

Not Quite Hollywood
is a gem of a documentary taking a look at twenty years of genre film production in Australia. Starting with sex comedies in the late sixties and moving through a horror film boom in the seventies to the action filled eighties, what looks to be a who's who of Australian cinema veterans reminisce in an anecdote-filled love letter to B-picture goodies. Classic titles like Picnic At Hanging Rock, Walkabout, Breaker Morant, and Dead Calm aren't here, but, oh, the films that are...

The film clips are beautifully remastered and there's fantastic animation sprinkled throughout to keep us moving between interviews with the filmmakers and actors. Those of us unfamiliar with these films aren't going to recognize some of the charming directors and still-stunning actresses highlighted in the talking head segments, however, a lot of very famous people show up here. Quentin Tarantino may be the most-featured interviewee, but Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, Dennis Hopper, Steve Railsback, and Barry Humphries (out of his Dame Edna regalia) compliment directors like George Miller, Fred Schepisi, and Richard Franklin.

Americans may be familiar with films like Razorback, Mad Max, and perhaps the lesser-known Road Games, Patrick, and Fantasm (they sure do like showing that John Holmes shot - Australian cinema leaves nothing to the imagination). You'll want to track down titles like Turkey Shoot (they like that exploding head shot, too), Alvin Purple, Long Weekend (recently remade as Nature's Grave), Snapshot, Dead End Drive-In, Thirst, Mad Dog Morgan, Stunt Rock, and The Man From Hong Kong. Just about every title shown looks like a drive-in gem and perfect for viewing parties with friends. There looks to be a very unique language to these titles, from the ease of the sex comedies to the violence of the road chase pictures.

As a primer to Australian genre films, this is a documentary worth your time and attention. Not Quite Hollywood is worth checking out.

The Special Features on this disc are a garden of delights:
-Audio Commentary with the director and a round table of 9 "Ozploitation Auteurs"
-A wealth of Deleted & Extended scenes
-Quentin Tarantino interviews writer director Brian Trenchard-Smith (13 minutes)
-a 22 minute audio interview with Director Richard Franklin
-"Funding Pitches" with Quentin Tarantino and John D. Lamond
-An Image Gallery
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Trailers for Ong Bak 2: The Beginning, The Canyon, World's Greatest Dad, and the HD NET Television network
-an Easter Egg with the cantankerous Bob Ellis trashing Peter Weir.
Spanish Subtitles are available along with English audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1.

While perhaps not for the kiddies as it's awash in nudity, gore and stunts you shouldn't try at home, Not Quite Hollywood is an affectionate look at genre movies from Australia by the people who made them and love them. With the proverbial "Treasure Trove" of clips, it'll have you filling your Netflix queue like a gateway drug to trash movie goodness. When the 102 minute feature is over, you're just going to want more.

Highly Recommended!


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