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directed by Dean Francis
Australia 2015


A visually stylish yet thoughtful meditation on bullying and internalized homophobia in a homosocial culture where any come-on better be a game of gay chicken or else... Len Smithy (Matt Levett, DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND) sorts through trash in the junkyard during the week, but he's the third-generation "King of the Lifesavers" at the New South Wales Parer Vale surf club on the weekends, with the bolstering of trusty second "Meat" (Harry Cook, ACCIDENTS HAPPEN). When new guy Phil (Jack Matthews, 1500 STEPS) threatens to usurp his rule, Len undertakes a campaign of intimidation and hazing that escalates to bullying when he discovers that Phil is gay. Phil, just coming to terms with his sexuality himself, is torn between his relationship with well-to-do Tom (Sam Anderson, TWO BROTHERS AND A GIRL) - symbolizing something beyond the physical - and the hyper-masculine world represented by Len. Len loves the fight until Phil dethrones him and his underlying feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, and long-suppressed desires spin out of control during a wild night of alcohol and Ecstasy-fueled clubbing (which includes a visit to a gay bar suggested by Len himself ostensibly as a place to meet chicks). More interesting than the central conflict between Len and Phil is the one seething between Len and Meat, whose growing disappointment and anger at Len as his champion image erodes seems to parallel that which Len has towards his dying father (dethroned by Len just as Phil has replaced him).

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 4 March 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:32:48

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.53 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.


Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
� Behind the Scenes (16:9; 40:43)
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:06)
� Previews

DVD Release Date: December 15th, 2015

Chapters 8





Strand Releasing's high-bitrate, dual-layer, progressive anamorphic presentation looks great in SD, but the emphasis on expressive close-ups of faces and the love letter to the New South Wales horizon would probably look even more ravishing in HD. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is dominated by music as much of the film consists of slow-motion flashbacks and paranoid projections while the sound design recedes into the background during the dialogue-driven scenes. Optional English subtitles include song lyrics and SDH notations.

The main extra is a lengthy behind-the-scenes segment in which writer Stephen Davis reveals that DROWN was initially a stage play with three characters on a beach and that director Dean Francis wanted to explore how they got there by expanding the story of the surf club culture and King's Cross night life. They discuss the social justice aspect of story and how they promoted the film across social media, crowd-funding, and even pan-handling on the street. Along with the cast, the filmmakers discuss how the skeleton scenario was more fully developed during rehearsals and workshops, how adverse weather conditions changed the landscape of the beach on a nightly basis, and the characters' backgrounds. The disc also includes the film's trailer and previews for four other titles.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC


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