“You ever seen a bloke with a foot up his nose?”
When his brother (Rick Scully) is killed in a freak car accident in Paris, Australia, a meek man (Terry Camilleri) ends up living with the town’s paternalistic mayor (John Meillon) and his wife (Melissa Jaffer), gradually learning more about how Parisian citizens survive on scavenged items from intentional accidents, the local doctor (Kevin Miles) performs lobotomizing operations on the survivors, and rebellious youths race their “odd-looking automobiles”.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Australian Films
- Horror Films
- Mad Doctors and Scientists
- Peter Weir Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that “Peter Weir’s debut was this creepy, comical, unsettling, one-of-a-kind ‘horror’ film” about a “shantytown off the beaten track” filled with “weirdos”. He notes that “Weir completely keeps viewers off guard” so that while “we laugh”, the “sinister environment makes us feel uneasy.”
He describes this most unusual flick as a “send-up of youth/drive-in films, westerns (a stand-off is filmed like a Sergio Leone shootout):
… and horror films” — but “it can also be seen as an attack on Australia’s car culture, the acquisitive materialism of the bourgeoisie, and the oppressive autocracies present in small towns.”
It’s hard to know what else to say about this movie except… it’s weird. Really weird. Be forewarned.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
No, though it’s worth a one-time look for its cult status and historical importance in Australian cinema.