Directed by: Mark Hartley
Starring: Quentin Tarantino, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Richard Franklin, Dennis Hopper, Barry Humphries
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.