Not Quite Hollywood Review (Umbrella Entertainment Blu-Ray)
A look at the classic films of the Australian underground, including ozploitation hits, the raunchy sex comedies of the early ’70s, the horror and splatter flicks of the mid-’70s and ’80s, and the frenetic action and car stunt flicks of the later ’80s. A huge cast of directors, actors, producers, and other filmmakers come together to provide candid interviews about their experiences in the Australian film industry, coupled with all kinds of film clips.
Director: Mark Hartley
Actors: Various filmmakers and actors
Year of Release: 2008 (original)/2017 (Blu-Ray)
Film documentaries tend to have two defining characteristics: either they’re shot through rose-colored glasses and edited to depict the best moments and leave out all of the worst, or they’re so completely focused on the details that they forget to have fun with the subject matter. Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (henceforth just Not Quite Hollywood) falls into neither of those pitfalls; Mark Hartley’s film is often raucously entertaining thanks to a smattering of video clips, and it’s not afraid to offer some deep criticisms of a crazy and sometimes dangerous time in Australian filmmaking. This is a documentary that jumps through time periods and genres, but Hartley divides the ideas up quite evenly: the film first takes a look at the burgeoning Australian film scene, aided by films with ample nudity and sex-crazed antics; then it moves into the splatter/slasher/horror films that were inspired by the dangerous Australian outback that helped make the movies an exotic success overseas; and finally it touches upon the action/car stunt/punk gang films that ultimately led to George Miller’s Mad Max.
Hartley’s direction rarely allows for long stretches of interviews; instead, he’s spliced and edited bits and pieces together for a collaborative tale for each of the aforementioned topics. Not Quite Hollywood moves through films at a quick clip, but it does make frequent stops for certain movies that were of more historical importance than others. The documentary, then, becomes a roller coaster crash course of Australian exploitative cinema, interviewing the important names in the business (Brian Trenchard-Smith, Anthony I. Ginnane, Everett De Roche) while playing stylized clips from the mentioned movies.
The editing is what makes Not Quite Hollywood so fun, because it captures the best moments of these cult films – the nudity, the violence, the action. Not only does Hartley effectively capture the positive and negative elements of Australian cinema, he also does it in a fashion that makes inexperienced viewers want to go out and find all of the films discussed.
But Hartley also ensures that foreign audiences have a viewpoint in Quentin Taratino, here referred to simply as “fan.” His presence is an interesting lens, because he experienced these movies after the fact and certainly had no bearing on their development. Instead, he gives glowing recommendations of inspirational films and shows how a typical foreign audience might experience Australian exploitation.
Overall, Not Quite Hollywood is insanely fun and, for a 99 minute documentary, extremely fast-paced. This is one both Australian and foreign fans will want to see.
Tons of it in the horror category, and some scattered throughout the action scenes.
Filled to the brim. I can’t count the number of nude scenes shown in here, but it’s a high number both for men and women. Not Quite Hollywood seems to intentionally showcase any nude scene from the films discussed.
- Basically the entire documentary is full of interesting elements and fun trivia. The most interesting to me were the discussions about how dangerous filming action movies was during a time of lawlessness and lax legal requirements.
- Audio commentary from Ozploitation auteurs.
- Deleted and extended scenes.
- The lost interview: Chris Lofven.
- A word with Bob Ellis.
- Quentin Tarantino and Brian Trenchard-Smith interview.
- MIFF Ozploitation panel.
- MIFF red carpet footage.
- Behind the scenes footage from the crew.
- UK interview with director Mark Hartley.
- THE BAZURA PROJECT segment.
- THE MONTHLY conversation.
- THE BUSINESS interview.
- Extended Ozploitation trailer reel.
- John D. Lamond: CONFESSIONS OF AN R-RATED FILMMAKER.
- Richard Franklin on-set interview.
- Terry Bourke’s NOON SUNDAY reel.
- BARRY McKENZIE: OGRE OR OCKER documentary.
- INSIDE ALVIN PURPLE documentary.
- TO SHOOT A MAD DOG documentary.
- Ozploitation stills and poster gallery.
- NQH production gallery.
- NQH pitch promos.
- Original theatrical trailer.
The Blu-Ray release of Not Quite Hollywood looks very good with no apparent issues, although I would argue the transfer isn’t really a focal point of this documentary.
The film comes with both 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, and they both sound good. The 5.1 does have a tendency to do odd things with some of the video clips, like putting voiceovers to the satellite speakers. However, I didn’t notice any other issues.
Take a look at the list above. There are a lot. Overall there is about 9 hours of special features, extra interviews, audio commentaries, stand-alone documentaries, etc. on this disc, and that alone makes this Blu-Ray from Umbrella Entertainment worth it.