Ozploitation: Australian Genre Classics
July 12–September 9

Taking a cue from Mark Hartley's hilarious and loving appreciation of the wild young years of Australian cinema from the 1960s to the 1980s, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION!, this series presents a selection of some of the most inventive genre films from the Land Down Under. International breakout hits like George Miller's MAD MAX and THE ROAD WARRIOR sit beside too-little-seen gems like LONG WEEKEND and ROAD GAMES, provocative thrillers like WAKE IN FRIGHT and PATRICK, and the hilariously over-the-top exploitation films of Brian Trenchard-Smith, a favorite of Quentin Tarantino, whose best films combine world-class stuntwork with wise-ass satire.

With support from:

AFI Member passes accepted.


Free-wheeling sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! High-octane action extravaganzas! This energetic and irreverent documentary celebrates the Australian genre cinema of the '70s and '80s known as “Ozploitation.” As explicit and violent as their northern cousins, Aussie genre movies presented a unique take on established conventions with brutish cars, spunky heroines and stunts unparalleled in their quality and extreme danger. Featuring outrageous interviews with Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper and Ozploitation filmmakers George Miller and Brian Trenchard-Smith, filmmaker Mark Hartley (a music-video veteran) creates a loving portrait of an unjustly forgotten cinematic era.

DIR/SCR Mark Hartley; PROD Craig Griffin, Michael Lynch. Australia/US, 2008, color, 103 min, 35mm. RATED R


Fri, Jul 12, 9:00; Wed, Jul 17, 7:00; Thu, Jul, 18, 9:00


In a desolate post-apocalyptic future, the Australian Outback has become a bloodstained battleground where a savage group of Glory Riders rules the road. Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson, in the role that rocketed him to international fame) is a motorcycle cop looking to get out of the game and spend more time with his wife and kid. But after the Glory Riders brutally murder his family, he mounts his souped-up V8 racer and sets off to extract bloody revenge. Director George Miller brilliantly orchestrates the motorized mayhem in this stark, spellbinding thrill ride.

DIR/SCR George Miller; SCR James McCausland; PROD Byron Kennedy. Australia, 1979, color, 93 min, 35mm. RATED R


Fri, Jul 12, 11:15; Sat, Jul 13, 10:45; Mon, Jul 15, 9:15*

*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.


Mel Gibson returns as legendary lone wolf Max Rockatansky, roaming the post-apocalyptic Outback in a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is desperate to lay claim to the most precious resource: gasoline. Stumbling upon a ragtag group of squatters who've staked a claim to an outback oil refinery, the unsentimental Max at first plans to rob them, gas up and ride off, but his heart is ultimately moved to join their ranks in the fight against the rapacious and sadistic warlord, The Humungus. A wildly inventive action film, the sequel to the landmark MAD MAX ratchets up the speed and danger of the stunt work to new heights of bravado.

DIR/SCR George Miller; SCR Terry Hayes, Brian Hannant; PROD Byron Kennedy. Australia, 1981, color, 95 min. RATED R


Fri, Jul 19, 9:45; Sun, Jul 21, 7:40

New 35mm Print!

"The best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence." –Nick Cave. Alongside MAD MAX and WALKABOUT, this film is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (NORTH DALLAS FORTY, FIRST BLOOD), it tells the story of a British schoolteacher's descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. One of the few films to screen twice at the Cannes Film Festival: in competition in 1971, and the restored version in the Cannes Classics section in 2009. With Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay and Jack Thompson.

DIR Ted Kotcheff; SCR Evan Jones, from the novel by Kenneth Cook; PROD George Willoughby. Australia/US, 1971, color, 114 min, 35mm. RATED R

Warning: Contains graphic scenes of animal slaughter.


Fri, Jul 26, 9:30; Mon, Jul 29, 9:15*

*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.


Genre maestro Brian Trenchard-Smith delivers the goods in this 1975 Australia/Hong Kong coproduction—Hong Kong action crossed with Down Under humor—including some of his most impressive stunt work. Hong Kong special branch inspector Fang (star and co-director Jimmy Wang Yu) travels to Sydney to investigate the Australian connection to a dangerous international drug ring. His mission: extradite mob boss Jack Wilton (George Lazenby—the one-time James Bond). Packed with wild stunts, dazzling martial arts hand-to-hand combat and its memorable opening theme, "Sky High" by Jigsaw, which soared to the top of the charts around the world.

DIR/SCR Brian Trenchard-Smith; DIR Jimmy Wang Yu; PROD Raymond Chow, John Fraser. Australia/Hong Kong, 1975, color, 111 min, 35mm. RATED R


Fri, Aug 2, 10:30; Sun, Aug 4, 8:30


Troubled teen Patrick (Robert Thompson) possesses frightening psychokinetic powers, and, after murdering his mother and her lover in a rage, falls into a coma and is hospitalized. But from deep inside his locked-down body, Patrick is still conscious and using his powers to communicate with pretty nurse Kathy (Susan Penhaligon). When the hospital administration plans to pull the plug on their costly, inconvenient patient, Patrick once again uses his powers to seek revenge and wreak havoc.

DIR/PROD Richard Franklin; SCR Everett De Roche; PROD Antony I. Ginnane. Australia, 1978, color, 112 min, 35mm. RATED PG


Fri, Aug 9, 10:00; Sun, Aug 11, 9:25


Before there was THE HUNGER GAMES, there was TURKEY SHOOT. In the dystopian future of 1995, "social deviants" are sent to nightmarish re-education camps for behavior modification. Newly arrived at Camp 47, run by the brutal Charles Thatcher (hint hint), are Chris Walters (Olivia Hussey), accused of helping a rebel; Rita Daniels (Lynda Stoner), accused of prostitution; and Paul Anders (Steve Railsback), a dissident and previous escapee. After an initial round of torture, they accept a dangerous deal: they will be hunted down as human prey in a "turkey shoot" Thatcher is hosting for some members of the government elite; if they can elude their hunters until sundown, they will be set free. Exploitation auteur Brian Trenchard-Smith’s ultraviolent allegory of fascism and freedom packs a wallop. Music by Queen's Brian May.

DIR Brian Trenchard-Smith; SCR Jon George, Neill D. Hicks; PROD William Fayman, Antony I. Ginnane. Australia, 1982, color, 93 min, 35mm. RATED R


Fri, Aug 16, 10:45; Sat, Aug 17, 11:30


Their crime was against nature...nature found them guilty. Colin Eggleston's ecological horror story stands out as one of the vanguard titles in this 1970s sub-genre, one whose allegorical relevance has only grown more poignant over time. With their marriage on the rocks, Peter coaxes his reluctant wife Marcia to quit their suburban home for a camping trip in the outback. But the long car trip and uninterrupted time spent in each other's company only intensifies their discord. Things go from bad to worse to horrific after Peter, asleep at the wheel, runs over a kangaroo and leaves the wounded animal to die. Like a nightmare nature documentary, the entire menagerie of Australia's animal kingdom begins to coordinate attacks on the unthinking couple, a now-savage Eden casting out the transgressors.

DIR/PROD Colin Eggleston; SCR Everett De Roche. Australia, 1978, color, 92 min, 35mm. NOT RATED

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Mon, Aug 19, 9:20; Wed, Aug 21, 9:20*

*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.


A crusading American journalist, in Australia to document wildlife poaching, falls victim to a mutant, giant razorback boar terrorizing the outback. But did an even deadlier animal—man—have something to do with her death, namely two deranged hicks? Russell Mulcahy, then a top music video director, made his feature film debut with this winky creature feature; he'd soon go on to make the '80s fantasy favorite/guilty pleasure HIGHLANDER.

DIR Russell Mulcahy; SCR Everett De Roche, from the novel by Peter Brennan; PROD Hal McElroy. Australia, 1984, color, 95 min, 35mm. RATED R


Fri, Aug 23, 10:00; Sun, Aug 25, 8:30


For a trucker, Pat Quid (Stacy Keach) is pretty clever. On long hauls through the outback, he talks to himself and to his pet dingo, and invents "road games" to pass the time. But there's a highway serial killer on the loose who's pretty clever, too; after being caught in the act by Quid, he sets up the nosy driver to frame him for murder. Free-spirited hitch-hiker ("call me 'Hitch'") Jamie Lee Curtis finds Quid to be a charming kook at first, but suspects him after the frame job, falling into a cat-and-mouse game between the real killer and the trucker detective. Screenwriter Everett De Roche's (LONG WEEKEND, PATRICK, RAZORBACK) fine script weaves elements from REAR WINDOW and quirky humor into this cleverly inventive thriller.

DIR/PROD Richard Franklin; SCR Everett De Roche. Australia, 1981, color, 101 min, 35mm. RATED PG

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Sun, Sep 1, 8:15; Mon, Sep 2, 9:45*

*Monday Night Special! Tickets half-price.


Following the collapse of the world economy, crime waves sweep Australia’s cities and highways, reducing the country to a police state. To be young and unemployed is to be a potential criminal. Those without realistic prospects to contribute to society are lured to drive-ins by the promise of a world free of adult supervision, with plenty of junk food, drugs, New Wave music and bad movies. These drive-in theaters are gated off into teenage concentration camps, with prisoners only too happy to slack off and waste their time there—all of their time. And poor Jimmy and Carmen just wanted to go on a date! Brian Trenchard-Smith's pithy allegory is a mind-blowing and hilarious indictment of '80s junk culture.

DIR Brian Trenchard-Smith; SCR Peter Smalley; PROD Andrew Williams. Australia, 1986, color, 92 min, 35mm. RATED R

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Fri, Sep 6, 9:45; Sat, Sep 7, 7:15

30th Anniversary!

"If we'd grown up in Australia, BMX BANDITS would have been our version of THE GOONIES." –Quentin Tarantino. A teenage Nicole Kidman makes a spunky screen debut in stunt-centric director Brian Trenchard-Smith's bitchin' bike adventure. Fun-loving teens stumble upon a cache of police walkie-talkies, and make a quick buck selling them to the kids in their neighborhood. But the walkie-talkies were stolen property, and the gang of bank robbers who stashed them fail to appreciate the irony of some snot-nosed kids stealing from them. An epic chase by car and bike across Sydney ensues, featuring one jaw-dropping bike stunt after another, which, combined with the Australian sunshine and riotously bright '80s color scheme, makes for the screen equivalent of a sugar high.

DIR Brian Trenchard-Smith; SCR Patrick Edgeworth, Russell Hagg; PROD Tom Broadbridge, Paul F. Davies. Australia, 1983, color, 88 min, 35mm. NOT RATED


Sat, Sep 7, 11:05 a.m., 9:15; Sun, Sep 8, 11:05 a.m.