2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Mad Dogs Go out In the Australian sun...,
This review is from: Mad Dog Morgan (Special Fully Restored Edition) [DVD] (DVD)
Firstly, my DVD version is the final disc (of 12) in the Australian Cinema Collection and is in good, clear 'tall' widescreen. Therefore I do not need to cover ground about the quality issues surrounding the transfer that other Amazon reviewers have, apart from that it's fine.
Irish Daniel Morgan (a suitably way-out casting choice and performance from American acting legend Dennis Hopper) goes a bit awry and is subsequently incarcerated into a penal regime that demands 12 years hard labour from him. Here, he is raped, tortured and generally abused by officers and inmates who find pleasure in such things.
Calling himself 'Smith', he is freed on parole after serving half his sentence, but Morgan is emotionally damaged and wild with anger and revenge. The film, directed by Philippe Mora, is certificate "M", for 'Mature', as it's an Australian release, is probably between a 15 and 18, over here in the U.K. Thus, it shows the natural side to bush life, as Morgan starts out a free man as a horse thief. Therefore, if such things as aboriginal methods of pulling off a snake's head to extract a 'medicine' are going to spoil your viewing pleasure, then do, look elsewhere, such as the first disc in the boxed -set, the cert U 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'.
When Morgan is left for dead after a skirmish with those he was trying to steal from, the aboriginal youth mentioned above nurses him back to health and teaches him methods of survival. This is at times illuminating but also clumsy - such as Hopper's bushy, shiny false beards that can be spotted a mile off and gun wounds to a head that's obviously made of something very synthetic.
These anomalies aside, this is a pretty good yarn, with Hopper well able to carry the central character. The locational scenery is often splendid and the supporting cast well able, too. Excesses in violence do occasionally mar, as they do look gratuitous, but not, say in the almost stately manner that Sam Peckinpah managed and seem almost jokey.
All in all, this is a pretty good film and actually one of the best in my boxed set, which is slightly surprising.