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directed by John Lamond
Australia 1975

 

Inspired by MONDO CANE, AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK was the debut of John Lamond - who had a small role in ALVIN PURPLE, Hexagon's first sexploitation pic - and finds him testing the waters here for onscreen sex and nudity (his next two pictures THE ABCs OF LOVE AND SEX and FELICITY are considerably more explicit). Although it initially purports to look for AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK "behind the strip clubs for something darker" its reach is a bit more unfocused. Behind the strip clubs includes a visit to the salon of De Sade/Sacher-Masoch disciple Madame Lash (performance artist Gretel Pinniger) - "look at that rack" - art studios where customers can create "living works of art" by painting on live nude models, the Daily Planet gentleman's club, nude beaches, and the studio of stag filmmaker George Schwartz. Most of the vignettes qualify as either "weird" - fried grubs and sauteed snake tails, UFO sightings, mud fetishists, milk fetishists, bum fetishists, fitting the perfect bikini, a visit to the gallows (decorated with the death masks of famous criminals), white witches (real), and a black mass (fake) - or "controversial" like pornography, an erotic gallery, gay marriage, pre-op transsexual strippers, and displaced aboriginal tribes finding succor in alcohol (contrasted with alcoholism of white residents in the North territory). An extended performance by cosmic entertainer Count Copernicus would have made a strong, if bizarre, closing act; however, Lamond also throws in a nude diver communing with tropical fish. Slow in places (the UFO sightings sequence goes on for far too long, as does the derriere montage), the film - like most of the earlier Mondo spinoffs - is more interesting as a historical document than an exploitation film.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 1975 (New Zealand)

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DVD Review: Intervision Picture Corp. - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Intervision Picture Corp.

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:40
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Intervision Picture Corp.

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director John Lamond, moderated by NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD's Mark Hartley

DVD Release Date: 10 January 2012
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

While there is to be some softness expected from a 16-35mm blow-up - director Lamond had the blow-up work done in Sweden after seeing the feature version of Bergman's SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE projected - Intervision's disc of AUSTRALIA AFTER DARK seems to have been sourced from an aged tape master and is a bit painful on the eyes (presumably the Australian disc from Umberella is of similar quality). The running time suggests a PAL source (the Umbrella runs DVD 82:25), and sideways movement of the camera or actors results in blurring and other conversion artefacts. 1.66:1 seems as though it would have been the better aspect ratio since the title card is slightly cropped at the top, and several of the end credits are very high up on the frame (the framing does not appear to impede any of the nudity).

Mark Hartley - director of the Ozploitation documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD - moderates the audio commentary with director John Lamond (Hartley and Lamond also appear on commentary tracks on THE ABCs OF LOVE AND SEX and NIGHTMARES). Lamond mentions that there is at least one sequence missing from this "uncut" version - presumably cut before release - and that he has the master for this longer version (which prompts Hartley to ask why they are transferring this cut master). He is forthcoming about which sequences were staged, it's poor performance everywhere else but Australia, and dealing with the prudish press at the time of the film's release. The back cover promises a "John Lamond Trailer Reel" but it is not present on the disc (nor is it present on the accompanying Intervision release THE ABCs OF LOVE AND SEX where it is also promised). Presumably, this is the same trailer reel that appeared on the Umbrella and Severin releases of Lamond's NIGHTMARES that included previews for THE ABC OF LOVE AND SEX, FELICITY, PACIFIC BANANA, BREAKFAST IN PARIS, and SKY PIRATES.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Intervision Picture Corp.

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 




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