Friday, February 12, 2010


Written & Directed by Tom Cowan
Cast: June Pritchard, Martin Phelan, Nell Campbell

1977 - Austrailia
93 minutes 

Here's a piece of chocolate thunder from down under! This is the tale of nine unattractive female convicts who are constantly raped by even less desirable drunk soldiers and horny aristocrats in an unnamed Australian colony during the late 1700's. When noblewoman June (Elizabeth Harrington) pulls coitus interruptus with a musket on a young inmates attacker, the prisoners break loose and flee into the outback. After many hardships on their walkabout from hell, they are befriended by an aboriginal girl who teaches them how to forage and create their own Wicca utopia free from ugly men folk.
Not knowing the full story behind the soldier’s death, Capt. McEwan (Martin Phelan) believes June to have been kidnapped by the women. He sets out to find ol' koala face and low and behold is quite shocked to find his beloved playing naked native with a group of crazy whores and lesbians. With his mind seriously frazzle rocked, he grabs some soldiers and a cannon to blow this heathen settlement to kingdom come.
What opens as an artsy fartsy period piece quickly sharks into full blown exploitation with tons of screaming bush beaver (Mappa Tassie or Map of Tasmania in Australian) running around killing' folks and acting like werewolf women. Apparently, this 16mm mess was mostly improvisational and the actresses rebelled on set over the films ending. It's an ugly and rarely interesting feminist "epic fail" that was successful at the box office due to the controversial lesbian themes, full frontal nudity and 13 year old nude actress Rozanna Lilley. Yeah, all the wrong reasons.
The film is only available in Australia from Beyond Home Entertainment on a special two disc DVD edition which includes a 20 page booklet, commentary, interviews, two featurettes, stills, four short films by director Tom Cowan and a trailer. The Australian Film Board seems to believe this weekend workshop is an important piece of cinema. This makes me believe, if someone filmed 90 minutes of dingo poo, they wouldgive them a screening at the Sydney Opera House. The director would go on to be a cameraman for one episode of the reality TV show SURVIVOR: AUSTRALIA. I repeat, one episode. Poorly lit, badly edited, no script, ambiguous ending, child porn and enough nasty wombats to give ya the liquid laugh. Skip it. If you want some good Aussie entertainment, seek out the Brian Trechard-Smith films STUNT ROCK, DEATH CHEATERS and THE MAN FROM HONG KONG.

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