Proof that Australia is basically a lunatic asylum where the inmates roam free -- and get government funding to capture their most outlandish dreams on celluloid -- is readily on display in Not Quite Hollywood. The film is chock full of marauding hordes and crazed bikers -- and those are just the folks BEHIND the camera. It's a raucous clip show of some of the best (and most definitely the worst) genre films of the seventies and eighties. In this context, Mad Max comes off looking like Citizen Kane!
Genre cinema is based on the guilty pleasures of the flesh, its baring and tearing. The most effective (and beloved) genre films leave us with our mouths agape as we witness scenarios that stretch, snap and then desert all reason, tearing off into the night. We identify with the anti-heroes who commit outrageous acts that wouldn't pop up in even our wildest dreams -- the vigilante whose search for "justice" takes him over the edge or the free spirit who sheds her clothes at the slightest provocation.
Not Quite Hollywood tracks the development of "Ozsploitation," beginning in the swinging seventies (now I know to what the term "swinging" applies -- all form of bulbous appendage) and pretty much explodes into the eighties, when the Australian outback came to symbolize the post-apocalyptic wasteland for most of the world. The ferocious mob tearing off into the night applies equally to the genre's outlandish characters and the people who risked life and limb to capture the mayhem on film. It's a wonder that many of the folks interviewed in Not Quite Hollywood lived to tell the tale.
If that doesn't sound appealing, then think of Not Quite Hollywood as a bizarre car commercial from another planet, where this year's model is covered in horns and powered by turbo jets.
If you love Ozsploitation, you'll get the chance to revisit some of the most mind-bending stunts featured in the hundreds of films covered. If you aren't a fan, the filmmakers have kindly cut the meat from the bones of their favorite films. Not a minute goes by without a bare breast or bottom, a warped bit of gore or a colossal explosion. We can only shake our heads and ponder the twisted minds at work.