Not Quite Hollywood Mark Hartley

Sex, gore, car chases, the sadistic killing of kangaroos, these are some of the elements that comprise "Ozploitation,” the Australian genre films of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Not Quite Hollywood catalogues and examines the evolution of these films, beginning with the swinging sex comedies of the late ’60s and culminating in the post-apocalyptic car chase movies of the ’80s.

While it may not be groundbreaking, Mark Hartley’s documentary offers humour and true insight into the evolution of the Aussie B-picture through interviews and some pretty ridiculous excerpts from the films in question.

The first section of the movie chronicles the birth of the Australian film industry, focusing on the off-colour comedies and eventually full-blown, quite explicit sex romps. Many interviewees make the point that more distinguished Aussie directors, such as Peter Weir, would have never gotten the chance to make films if not for the financial success of those early comedies.

As the ’60s faded, popular trends shifted from sexuality to horror and a litany of low-budget, ultra-violent horror movies were put into production. Some titles stand out as true classics, such as the psychic/coma film Patrick. The Aussie exploitation films retained the violence but began expending their efforts towards action-oriented films, the most famous product being George Miller’s Mad Max.

The documentary also interviews some of the more recognizable American stars who were imported to help Australia’s international film sales, to the dismay of the regional actors’ union. Jamie Lee Curtis talks about starring in Roadgames; Dennis Hopper explains why he’s legally forbidden from even riding in a car in Australia; and Steve Railsback makes a brief, disgruntled appearance, reminiscing about the atrocious Turkey Shoot.

For anyone interested in exploitation cinema, Not Quite Hollywood is a lot of fun. For everyone else, if you can make it past the bombastic opening title sequence, you’ll have a good time as well. (Magnolia)