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

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! Mark Hartley
While prestige pics like My Brilliant Career and Picnic at Hanging Rock were defining the Australian new wave to American art-house moviegoers in the '70s, the long-moribund Australian film industry was hitting new heights of popularity at home and in grindhouses worldwide thanks to films of a decidedly less sophisticated nature. Conspicuously absent from cinema history textbooks: The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), a Barry Humphries vehicle famed for its scenes of epic projectile vomiting; Alvin Purple (1973), a sexist spin on Alfie, in which a meek man is targeted by scads of nubile, sex-crazed women; Fantasm (1976), a wild sex comedy starring all 12-and-a-half inches of John Holmes; as well as Turkey Shoot (1982) and Fair Game (1985), movies so depraved that even interviewee Quentin Tarantino is shocked by them. These and seemingly hundreds of other sleazy, splatter-y Australian exploitation films are highlighted in this zippy, irresistible documentary, whose many clips paint Ozploitation as a fun-house view of exploitation cinema, with grindhouse subgenres like giallo slashers, mondo documentaries, Carry On sex comedies, biker flicks and monster movies filtered through a defiantly tasteless, recklessly over-caffeinated perspective. How over-caffeinated? I watched this documentary late at night and had to rewind to make sure I didn't dream certain segments. Not Quite Hollywood is more of a beginner's guide than an in-depth analysis ―interviewees are mostly reduced to sound bites ― and the film does run out of steam by the end ― the pacing is just a bit too breathless and it's hard to keep up the momentum with so much front-loaded blood and boobage. Still, Not Quite Hollywood does such a good job selling its subject that by the time it was over I had already compiled a list of 15-or-so Ozploitation oddities to seek out. Oh, and any movie with juicy gossip about kung-fu footnote Jimmy Wang Yu gets my stamp of approval. DVD extras include filmmaker commentary, interviews and a fun interview between Tarantino and Ozploitation auteur Brian Trenchard-Smith, the director of The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, Dead-End Drive In, and, appropriately enough, the upcoming Porky's: The College Years. Looks like old habits die hard. (Mongrel Media)