Down Under Flix is now on Twitter at twitter.com/downunderflix, or @ downunderflix for those in the know. I’ll be using that platform in future to share news, reviews, retrospectives, and screening alerts from other sources, and will focus on my own reviews and features here on the site. However, I had a stockpile of links built up, so here’s one last roundup of classic films and catalogue titles currently in the news.
This first item is a big deal. David Stratton is one of Australia’s premier film critics, commentators and scholars, and he’s putting together a multi-part documentary on Australian cinema. In a television interview promoting the project during his visit to the Adelaide Film Festival, Stratton talks about Australian film history and highlights some of his favourite local features, including Newsfront, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Gallipoli. Watch the interview here.
Secondly, Justin Harrison has written a piece over at Birth Movies Death pairing two of Australia’s best-known car-centric dystopian action thrillers: George Miller’s 1979 classic Mad Max and Brian Trenchard-Smith’s 1986 flick Dead End Drive-In. Read Harrison’s piece here.
Speaking of Trenchard-Smith… As noted in an earlier news roundup, Drew McWeeny and Scott Weinberg’s podcast 80s All Over is working its way through all the films released in American cinemas in the 1980s, one month at a time. Their May episode features a brief discussion of Trenchard-Smith’s 1978 film Stunt Rock, which combines the stunt savvy of Grant Page with the rock stylings of Sorcery. Take a listen here. Also on the podcast front, Patrick Ripoll’s podcast Tracks of the Damned tackles Joel Anderson’s 2008 found footage/mockumentary chiller Lake Mungo. Take a listen here.
Because it’s Halloween season (well, not really here in Australia, though it has its fans), Ryan Covey ran a horror-themed series of articles on CHUD throughout October. Titled 31 Days of Horror, Covey highlights a different horror sequel each day. My horror days are behind me, but for those with a taste for the genre, three films from Australian directors were featured: Richard Franklin’s Psycho II (review here), Phillipe Mora’s Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf (review here), and the ubiquitous Trenchard-Smith’s Night of the Demons 2 (review here). The Australian Centre for the Moving Image also got in on the seasonal action, publishing an article celebrating five signature Ozploitation titles: Next of Kin, Road Games, Razorback, Long Weekend, and Turkey Shoot. Take a read here.
Finally, a correction pointed out by a loyal reader. In my piece on The Last Days of Chez Nous I said it was a pity more work by author Helen Garner hadn’t made its way to the screen. I spoke too soon: Joe Cinque’s Consolation, adapted from a non-fiction book by Garner, is currently showing in Australian cinemas. Read up on the film here.