Ozploitation at the AFI Research Collection

An exploration and reference list by Alex Gionfriddo

The AFI Research Collection has extensive resources pertaining to the films within the Ozploitation genre. Read on to see what twisted delights we hold at our library.

What is OZploitation?

OZploitation is the term given to Australian films from the 1970s and 80s whose subject matter (sex films, bawdy comedies, action films, horror, and thrillers) was recognised as an antipodean offshoot of exploitation cinema.
The term OZploitation was brought into popular culture after the release of the 2008 documentary Not Quite Hollywood: the wild, untold story of OZploitation*. The documentary’s director and writer Mark Hartley argued that in Australia the only films from the 1970s and 80s remembered fondly by the establishment were the ‘quality’ period films and conversely OZploitation films were regarded as rubbish. Hartley took it upon himself to shed a light on the OZploitation films and in Not Quite Hollywood he displayed them in all their trashy glory.

Not Quite Hollywood was an energetic documentary that used footage from over 80 OZploitation films (Press Kit), interspersed with interviews with cast and crew from these productions. It is important to note that the documentary tried to place these films within the Australian social, political and cultural contexts.
It would not be an overstatement to say that Not Quite Hollywood singlehandedly rekindled interest in the OZploitation films for film buffs, and introduced these films to a new legion of cult film cinefiles from around the world.
Mark Hartley’s research for the films included sifting through the holdings of the AFI Research Collection (AFIRC), where many historical press kits, stills, posters, newspaper clippings on the films are held. Since the documentary was released a number of new articles and publications refer to OZploitation, and these have been collected by the AFIRC. All items listed below are held at the AFIRC and can be accessed.

Click on the links to see the full reference listing for the items.

OZPloitation – Key reference and overview material

Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper. Australian Film 1900-1977
This is widely acknowledged as one of the finest reference books on Australian Cinema. Book’s film coverage is only for the beginning of the OZploitation movement, but still vital.

Scott Murray (editor). Australian Film 1978-1994
Reviews from the Australian journal Cinema Papers. Many OZploitation films are listed here.

Brian Reis. Australian Film: a bibliography
Reis’s book is an incredibly thorough and weighty tome of listings of resources (articles, books) about Australian cinema. There are plenty of references for Ozploitation films and people involved in them.

David Stratton. The Last New Wave
David Stratton. The Avocado Plantation
David Stratton is one of Australia’s best known film critics. In these books he covers almost every film from 1970 – 1989 (The Last New Wave covers 1970-1979, The Avocado Plantation 1980-1989) and provides background information on the filmmakers, films and commentary on the industry in general as well as his opinion on whether the film(s) in question are any good.

Peter Shelley. Australian Horror Films 1973 – 2010
Thoroughly researched listings of Australian Horror films made during the OZploitation years, including synopsis and detailed observations. A must read for Horror fans.

 

Journals and Magazines


We hold a number of Australian journals and magazines that were contemporary with the OZploitation period of filmmaking. These include critical magazine Cinema Papers, industry magazines Australasian Cinema and Encore, and the promotional magazine Movie (which was edited by the key OZploitation director Brian Trenchard-Smith…whilst he was making films!)

Items about Not Quite Hollywood and OZploitation

link to some resources listed below

Items found include:
Not Quite Hollywood clippings file – reviews, articles about the film including several interviews with writer/director Mark Hartley, reminisces from others working in those films, movie press kit, promotional cards.

Not Quite Hollywood poster – very colourful poster with drawings of stills from films Alvin Purple, Mad Max, Turkey Shoot, Chain Reaction, The Man From Hong Kong, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie

Directory of World Cinema: Australia and New Zealand (edited by Ben Goldsmith and Geoff Lealand). – overview of Australian and New Zealand cinemas with a chapter on the OZploitation, which includes write ups of films The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, The Man From Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, Dead End Drive-in, Not Quite Hollywood.

Adrian Martin. ‘Ozploitation compared to what’ in Studies in Australasian Cinema v4 n 1 2010. – cineaste Adrian Martin casts a critical eye over the Ozploitation ‘movement’

Ozploitation (v1 &2) DVDs – Two volumes of Ozploitation films grouped together by Umbrella Entertainment (they had already put these films out individually but packaged them after the Not Quite Hollywood documentary was released). Mark Hartley worked on organising the DVD extras (interviews etc) that accompany these films.

Mark David Ryan. ‘Towards an understanding of Australian genre cinema and entertainment: Beyond the limitations of ‘Ozploitation’ discourse’. Contiuum. Vol.24(6), p.843-854

Alexandra Heller-Nicholls. ‘Ozploitation Revisited: Not Quite Hollywood.’ Metro. n. 158. 14-17.

Ozploitation and Paracinema special. Metro n. 161 & 162.

Deborah J. Thomas. ‘Tarantino’s two thumbs up : Ozploitation and the reframing of the Aussie genre film’. Metro n 161. (2009). 90-95.
Martyn Pedler. ‘Good taste is the enemy of art’. Metro n 161. (2009). 96-99.
Jack Sargeant. ‘Bloodshed down under: Mad Dog Morgan and The Proposition’. Metro n 161. (2009). 100-103.
Lucas Testro. ‘Master of Darkness: Everett DeRoche’. Metro n 162. (2009). 88-93.
David Michael Brown. ‘The cheap thrill of the hunt’. Metro n 162. (2009). 94-97.
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. ‘Dark forces: excess and absence in Harlequin and beyond’. Metro n 162. (2009). 98-103.

Selected OZploitation Films

Turkey Shoot
Synopsis: Violent action set in a dystopian future where prisoners against society are sent to re-education camps run by the bloodthirsty Thatcher.
Resources: Turkey Shoot clippings file – for both the 1981 and 2014 versions of the film.
Turkey Shoot script by Jon George and Neill Hicks – a different version of the script compared to the one used in the original film
Studies in Australasian Cinema Vol. 4 Iss. 1 – interview with Turkey Shoot star Steve Railsback by Mark Hartley, and short essay by Deb Verhoeven about the controversies and reception of Turkey Shoot

Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again
Synopsis: Soft-core sex movies filmed in Los Angeles by Richard Bruce [pseudonym of Richard Franklin] (Fantasm) and Eric Ram [pseudonym of Colin Eggleston] (Fantasm Comes Again). Both films produced by Tony Ginnane.
Resources: clippings files on both films, DVD of films, stills file.

Razorback
Synopsis: A giant wild boar terrorises small town inhabitants.
Resources: Film industry journal articles about the release strategy of Razorback and other issues.
Studies in Australasian Cinema. v. 4 n. 1 ‘AUSTRALIAN ECO-HORROR AND GAIA’S REVENGE : animals, eco-nationalism and the ‘new nature’’ by Catherine Simpson – Looks at a number of key films made in the OZploitation era including: Razorback, Dark Age, The Howling 3

Dead End Drive-In
Synopsis: In a dystopian future, troublemaking teenagers are enticed to go Drive-In cinemas, which they don’t get to leave.
Resources: Clippings File, numerous articles on the film’s production including looking at the work by stunt co-ordinator Guy Norris and location shooting reports.

Studies in Australasian cinema (2009) vol.3 iss.3. ‘Not quite Mad Max : Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Dead end drive-in’, by Rebecca Johinke – journal article that examines Dead End Drive-In and how it depicts masculinity in Australia.

Alvin Purple (plus Alvin Purple Rides Again, and other spinoffs)
Synopsis: An unassuming young man provokes insatiable lust amongst women.

Resources:
Catherine Lumby. Alvin Purple. Currency Press,2008. – looking at Alvin Purple and its impact on culture and commentary of Australian culture in the 1970s

Graeme Blundell. The Naked Truth: a life in parts. – Autobiography by the Alvin Purple star, which includes a fascinating chapter about making Alvin Purple and the impact it had on his life. Blundell still acts and writes today.

Scripts for the Alvin Purple movies (published and unpublished) written by Alan Hopgood.

Alan Hopgood folder which contains publicity clippings and reaction to his work on the Alvin Purple films and tv show.(restricted access)

Selected people involved in OZploitation and references to the films involved

Brian Trenchard-Smith
A director associated with the OZploitation movement. List of resources includes numerous clippings files on his films and documentaries.
Title Clippings Files include: Dangerfreaks, Deathcheaters, Stunt Rock, Turkey Shoot, Dead End Drive In, BMX Bandits as well as his later directorial efforts.

 

John Lamond
Clippings files on the films he directed, as well as a clippings file about him
Films listed: The ABC of Love and Sex: Australian Style, Felicity, Australia After Dark, Pacific Banana

Richard Franklin
List of Clippings files and articles pertaining to the films directed by Richard Franklin, including a number of OZploitation titles and his work in the US.
Films listed: Roadgames, Fantasm, Patrick

Philippe Mora
Director of Mad Dog Morgan, The Return of Captain Invincible, The Howling 3 and numerous other features and shorts

Antony I. Ginnane
He produced many OZploitation films, and is still producing films.
List of resources include several articles he’s authored as well as a clippings file about him that includes material on his production company IFM Films.

Conclusion

If you are interested in accessing any items from the AFIRC please contact us via email or by phone 61 3 99252829. Visits to the collection can be made during our regular opening hours or by appointment. The lists above are a sample of our holdings and we have extensive journal/magazine/clippings files in relation to the films and cast/crew in the OZploitation area (and in many many other areas as well).

Special note on the origins of the term ‘Ozploitation’

*The film’s writer and director Mark Hartley stated that the term was adopted from noted director and exploitation film fan Quentin Tarantino who used the term “Aussieploitation” when talking to Hartley about the production of the documentary. Hartley claimed to that he shortened the term to Ozploitation. (Bazura Project interview – Ep. 3.04 – first aired Oct 30, 2008 – http://www.bazuraproject.com/category/season-three/304/).

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