Monday, November 16, 2009

If you want to be in my gang ...

This is the first line of the song "We Can't Be Beaten" by Australian 80's metalheads, Rose Tattoo.  This also happens to be the rockin' song that leads the rockin' documentary that I saw called NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD.

The song and the first lyric sum up the feel of this film from the get go. Filmmaker Mark Hartley brings us into the world of Ozsploitation and doesn't let us up for one second, not even to breathe. I'm telling you, it was like some wild amusement park ride you DO NOT want to get off. Little did many people outside of the film geek society know there were such riches coming out of Australia that filled up drive-in and video store shelves for years. And, in my case, fed my eyes and imagination from the late night cable menu (Thank you, Showtime & Cinemax!).Now, when you watch this, you're going to get a lot of talking heads thrown at you. And you probably won't know what the hell they did. But this film EDUCATES you in the ways of these trash auteurs like not many docs on filmmaking have in the past. 

My personal favorite has to be John Lamond. This little gnome of a man was responsible for making one of the Skinamax faves of my teen years, Felicity! He has fellow movie people say, "I think John went overboard with the female nudity. He didn't much care for story. He wanted to show tits!" And Lamond admits that, for one scene, "I just wanted to show some woman getting slashed in the  arse after screwing in the makeup room." He also dubbed his film Sky Pirates as 'Raiders of the Lost Crap'. And, the way his producers explain it, he was OBSESSED with Steven Spielberg, writing him always, sending him reels and press kits, and actually trying to compete with Mr. ET Phone Capshaw. And the whole time he's doing his comments on the film, a topless dancer is grinding on a pole behind him in some seedy strip club. Awesome. 

And  there's super stuntman, Grant Page. This guy retelling all of his injuries would be a great film! And then they talk about a little known (to me anyway) Hong Kong movie star that starred with Page in an action film. He hated white women and liked white actresses even less. It was said that he'd catch a fly with his bare hands and eat it before kissing his leading lady. And she was GORGEOUS!

And my favorite movie they cover was Turkey Shoot. But it wasn't called that in the US. I saw it as Escape 2000. And I FUCKING LOVE THIS FILM! So much over-the-top violence and gratuitous nudity. And, if I'm not mistaken, Olivia Hussey is nude in this.
YES! And Steve Railsback sits and complains about the film. And, I swear he's drunk. 

And I could go on and on and on ... But I won't. The only bad thing about the film, other than it had to end, was the constant commentary blabbing of Quentin Tarrantino. At times, he did lend somewhat amusing anecdotes to films with his personal view. But he's overused here. And a little of this dick goes a long way. 

Finally, I'll say that I was delighted when I started researching the title song by Rose Tattoo. This song went together with maybe the best opening credits I've ever seen. And I needed to find out more about the group. I looked them up on YouTube and was STUNNED. The lead singer is ... oh hell, I'll let you all find out when you see it. Thanks to my movie memory, I instantly recognized him from the shitty video you see him in. Rose Tattoo makes the band, Accept w/ Udo Dirkschneider, look like the most cutting edge band in the world. Anyway, a funny little surprise for me. And that's what Not Quite Hollywood was - a funny, little surprise of wondefulness! I HIGHLY recommend and if I would've seen it last year, it would've been on my top 10 best easily!


  1. Hi! Enjoying your blog guys, keep up the good work. That Hong Kong movie star was of course Jimmy Wang Yu. He and co-star George Lazenby reteamed for another movie, Queen's Ransom, where Jimmy plays an undercover cop out to foil terrorists attempting to kidnap Queen Elizabeth II! Wang Yu was a colossal jerk off-screen, but a dangerous guy to tangle with - he had triad connections. But he did direct and star in a number of classic Chinese movies.

  2. Absolutely love this film.

    The Mad Dog Morgan segment is hilarious as well. Dennis Hopper not only getting banned from driving in Australia, but gets banned from even RIDING IN A CAR.

    The extras really complete the experience, too. A lot of elaboration on some the flicks mentioned, especially SKY PIRATES. And more on the actor Jack Thompson, whose success was predicated on the Aussie sex romps but wound up parlaying that into a new successful career as a respected actor in high brow flicks like BREAKER MORANT.