Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!
Director: Mark Hartley
Stars: Phillip Adams, Glory Annen, Christine Amor
Reviewed by Brian M. Sammons
I love documentaries about movies, behind the scenes on filmmaking, and all forms of entertainment in general. I just find that stuff fascinating, sometimes as much as the films themselves, sometimes more. So three cheers for Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!, all about the genre and cult movies from the Land Down Under. And boy, are there a lot of them. Three cheers must also go out to Umbrella Entertainment, also from Australia, who released this doc on Blu-ray with a ton of extras. So grab your boomerang, put another shrimp on the barbie, and any other Aussie stereotype you like and let’s dive into some sweet, sweet Ozploitation.
This documentary spotlights all kinds of awesome exploitation movies and the writers, actors, producers, and directors who made them. High-charged action flicks, gritty revenge movies, whip-fast kung-fu movies, dirty sex comedies, you know, all the good stuff. Yes the Mad Max films are highlighted, as they are easily the best known movies from Oz, but that’s just the tip of the cinematic iceberg here. But I know, I know, you’re horror fans, so let’s get to the horror flicks covered in here. I hope you brought a lunch, there are quite a few.
You got the truly odd Night of Fear, the nuns-on-fire fun of Brothers, the stalkerlicious Snapshot (which was renamed in the US as The Day After Halloween as an admitted quick cash grab), the vampiric Thirst, the “Carrie-like” Patrick, the nature-strikes-back Long Weekend, the haunting The Picnic at Hanging Rock, the occult mystery of Harlequin, the first film in Australian history to cost over a million dollars, the mainstream Survivor, the death-on-the-highway movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Road Games, the slasherrific Nightmares, the so, so bad it’s good (kind of) Howling 3: The Marsupials, the killer pig flick Razorback, the killer croc movies of Dark Age and Rouge, the ghostly Next of Kin, and more. Some of these films are schlocky fun, but some are legit good horror. Whether they are silly or serious, I love the vast majority of them. If there are some you haven’t seen, seek them out and then watch this doc for a lot of inside information and hilarious behind-the-scenes stories.
And let me remind you that this is just the horror movies covered in here. So yeah, Not Quite Hollywood is a pretty extensive documentary.
Let’s get to those extras that Umbrella Entertainment gave us on this Blu-ray. First it must be said that the best “special feature” is that, like all their releases, this Blu-ray is region-free. That means it can be watched and enjoyed anywhere. As someone that despises region locking, that makes me very happy. Now unlike most reviews, I’m not going to give you a list of extras on the disc, because unlike any Blu-ray I have ever review, this is over 9 HOURS of special features on here. That is crazy! I will point out some highlights, like a commentary track by various Aussie auteurs, a bunch of deleted and extended scenes, a bunch of interviews, including one with Quentin Tarantino, who’s not Australian but loves these movies dearly, behind-the-scenes footage by the crew, various video from some of the film festivals this doc played at, at least three more sizable documentaries about individual Aussie movie makers, a couple of still galleries, trailers, and a whole lot more. Again, over nine hours of the stuff. This is by far the most extras and goodies I have ever seen included with any release. It has to be seen to be believed.
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! is a great documentary about a large part of the entertainment industry that many outside of Australia just overlook and never think about. They have given the world a lot of great movies in many genres and I’m very happy to see them getting some of the recognition they so richly deserve. If you are a fan of entertainment documentaries I highly recommend give Not Quite Hollywood a try.