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15 Reviews
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kangaroo Lovers Avoid, 25 Nov 2013
A great accidental find for me - I'd never heard of it. Gary Bond is a very English sounding Aussie who wants out of the Outback. Beyond that it'd be giving out too much information to say much more than it is a compelling and very well shot 'wilderness' film which is undeniably brutal, as supposedly civilized (though perhaps rather arrogant) natural city-dweller finds himself trying to get home for Christmas and away from the threat of 'going native'. In fact the threat from the Aussie country lads (and gal) is very well done. However, it doesn't necessarily go all 'Straw Dogs' as you might expect after the first twenty minutes or so. Donald Pleasance heads the grotesques in a subtle, knowing performance of a subtle, knowing man with 'issues'. Gripping stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MoC / Eureka TK - Wake in Fright - BluRay, 1 April 2014
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Cookie (Salford, UK) - See all my reviews
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Perfect transfer - gorgeous booklet - Terrifying and amazing film!

If you like Loach, Lynch and Leigh - you'll like the 'Yabba!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Australian classic gets the MoC treatment, 6 April 2014
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Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
It's no wonder that its such a controversial figure in Australia. It doesn't exactly depict the outback with any lightness of touch, instead opting to place to English teacher lead in a situation of increasingly aggressive hospitality. A situation that leads him down a rabbit hole of beer and hunting, and even though that may not sound too bad its framed in a way that is more in key with a horror film. Especially with the horrifying, unflinching Kangaroo Hunt. Editing and score are the great icons of this. Early on the score is simple and jaunty, but as Grant gets deeper into the Yabba, music gets more and more disjointed and discordant. Echoing his situation. With a career high from Donald Pleasence, this is an uncomfortable, hard to watch and unpleasant film but also one where its impossible to peel your eyes away from the screen.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AUSTRALIAN MASTERPIECE, 31 Oct 2012
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Peter M "cinerama" (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
Truly one of the greatest of all Australian films. Released ( and restored) for the first time and uncut on Bluray and it looks fantastic. A film to see over and again.The bluray has many extras as well.One of the great cinematic films of the century.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surreal film, 12 Jun 2014
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If you like 'if' its in the same mold of film - really interesting film and the print and the extras are brilliant.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it - A keeper, 7 Mar 2014
Wake in Fright was initially released in 1971 and is back with us after a 40 year absence and promises to be one of the more worthy and delightful releases of the year, arriving straight after the Oscars hoopla has been and gone. In its first incarnation, was nominated for a Palme D'Or, had a sub titled long run in a cinema in Paris, then sat undiscovered in an archive for years, and was at one time going to be destroyed. Scorsese is but one of its famous fans and it would appeal to Scorsese's sense of the beautiful and brutal in male chauvinism. It is a film that both compounds the cultural clichés of its native land, rebukes them and not surprisingly was and is controversial in being an honest and true account of the nastier elements of Australian culture - right down to the depiction of an actual kangaroo killing spree, just when 'Skippy' was one of the nation's much treasured exports.
The film is adapted from the book of the same name, a critically acclaimed bestselling novel by Kenneth Cook, with a foreword (and forewarning…), "you may dream of the devil and wake in fright."
Its central protagonist, John Grant (played by Gary Bond who looks like a brown eyed, young Peter O Toole) suffers immeasurably, descending into madness as the menfolk who surround him show him the delights of 'The Yabba.' A wide panning shot of Tiboonda - the one school, arid and heat caked location shows the life for John to escape from, bound for Sydney with a one night stop off at Bundanyabba, where his money is lost on a gambling turn for the worst.
Throughout the film there are flashbacks to a better life, a beautiful girl, a creature given the iconographic stature of a bond femme fatale coming out of the waves of a glorious beach to kiss her man. An image so far, far away from the spiralling madness which is his present and the ever recurring message that the life that is on offer is for a 'good bloke.' The prospect of sex offered to John makes him sick. Little wonder upon the discovery that the woman, Janette, played brilliantly by Sylvia Kay has been with most of the men in the town, the more distasteful aspects of her sexuality welcomed by her soul mate 'Doc' Tydon, a role given over with relish by Donald Pleasence.
This educated man, alone and lost in the world in which he has found himself is gradually taught the ways of the life (the beers in Yabba are called 'West End' offering the promise of a glamorous existence felt elsewhere) and 'Doc' painstakingly offers one empty philosophy after another behind the justification of a nilhistic and nasty life, none of which hold any credence with John's consistent distaste, the fight these two have as drunk buddies though smacks of the wafer thin distance between male bonding and homosexuality. The killings of the Kangaroos is very disturbing and not for the squeamish, but is essential in showing the sheer degradation and impoverishment of spirit abound in Yabba. The director, determined to offer the required realism shot it as real stock footage with a note in the end credits as to the authenticity.
Coming to us in the first quadrant of the year, this delightful gem of a film - a lost classic, deservedly beloved by the great and good in moviedom is most welcome and deserves to be a fair way ahead of Mad Max as iconographic modern Australian Cinema. See first in the cinema, then buy as collectors piece, it's a keeper.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Can't go wrong with MoC., 7 July 2014
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Good package and fine film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly underrated film. An absolute must see!, 1 July 2014
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Cult viewing. An absolute must see!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece !, 12 Jun 2014
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This is one of the greatest film I have ever seen. I always enjoy australian movies because most of the time the atmosphere is quite unique and weird. But this time, not only this atmosphere is present, you have great actors, but it is very very subtil, and the subject that would get this movie close to other classic (that I won't quote not to reveal too much of the story:) is definitely treated differently and in a original way.
Plus there is a interview of Ted Kotcheff, whom is an interesting and very nice director. It is so surprising to see that this man, whom we all know from "Rambo" (which I reckon I really like) as made a masterpiece such as Wake in fright.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling watching., 30 April 2014
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A somewhat familiar story compellingly told by a master storyteller. Beautifully and masterfully shot and uses the Australian setting and culture in a non-gratuitous manner. Still fresh after many years.
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Wake in Fright [DVD] [1971] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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