Release Date(s)2008 (May 14, 2021)
Studio(s)Umbrella Entertainment (Ozploitation Classics #3)
- Film/Program Grade: A
- Video Grade: A
- Audio Grade: A
- Extras Grade: A+
[Editor’s Note: This is a Region-Free release.]
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2008, receiving rave reviews and helping to bring attention to films that might have continued to go unappreciated by modern audiences. This documentary focuses on the explosion of Australian cinema that occurred from the 1960s through to the 1980s, bringing about some of the best underground filmmaking that the country had to offer. Whether it was action-oriented, comedic, horror-themed, pornographic, or downright gonzo, there’s no denying the creativity and the freedom that was had during that period of moviemaking.
The film acts as a well-oiled machine. It takes nothing taken for granted and keeps you constantly engaged at all times, almost never settling on a shot for more than 5 seconds. It checks in with the people involved from the various eras and many of the crazy stories that came out of their experiences. One particularly memorable segment takes place during the making of Mad Dog Morgan, in which Dennis Hopper and others recount many of the outrageous things that went on during that film’s production, mostly due to Hopper being intoxicated for much of the shoot. There are a great number of interviewees, including Brian Trenchard-Smith, Quentin Tarantino, George Miller, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, George Lazenby, and Russell Mulcahy, among many others.
The documentary also doesn't attempt to rationalize the existence of these films, providing plenty of context and arguments from both sides of the camera. The critics that are interviewed give their brutally honest opinions about films like Turkey Shoot, Razorback, or The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style, others might praise them in a more favorable fashion. Chock full of film clips that feature nudity, violence, and gore, Not Quite Hollywood is a rollercoaster ride that sheds a new light on its particular subject, something that Mark Hartley has done since with Machete Maidens Unleashed! and Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films!.
Umbrella Entertainment released Not Quite Hollywood on Blu-ray for the first time in 2017, which we also reviewed. It was a great disc, even though the presentation was encoded in 1080i. This reissue, as part of the company’s new Ozploitation Classics line, corrects that and presents a new “remaster” of the film in 1080p. Because of the new frame rate, the film is now a few minutes longer, but the content remains the same. After some side-by-side comparisons, it’s clear that the most obvious difference is in the encoding, as one might expect. Detail is much tighter, most noticeably in interviews with darker backgrounds. Otherwise, saturation and contrast are identical, as are the variable qualities of the film and TV clips. So the real upgrade here is a now de-interlaced presentation, allowing for a smidge of visual boost.
The audio, which comes in English 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital, also remains untouched. Both offer high-class fidelity with surprising dynamic range. The music selections never fully dominate the comments being made and the track is mixed well with booming and expansive sound effects, both modern and vintage. Unfortunately, no subtitle options are available again.
The following massive extras package is also included:
- Audio Commentary from Ozploitation Auters
- Deleted & Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary (HD & Upscaled SD – 75:38)
- More from Tarantino on Ozploitation (HD – 56:22)
- The Lost NQH Interview: Christ Lofven (HD – 15:24)
- A Word with Bob Ellis (HD – 24:45)
- Quentin Tarantino & Brian Trenchard-Smith Interview (HD – 13:10)
- Melbourne International Film Festival Ozploitation Panel (HD – 19:14)
- Melbourne International Film Festival Red Carpet (HD – 0:58)
- Behind the Scenes Footage from the Crew (HD – 34:13)
- UK Interview with Mark Hartley (HD – 22:23)
- The Bazura Project Segment (HD – 7:55)
- The Monthly Conversation (HD – 58:08)
- The Business Interview (HD – 9:21)
- Extended Ozploitation Trailer Reel (HD and Upscaled SD – 185:07)
- Confessions of an R-Rated Filmmaker: John D. Lamond Interview (HD – 8:08)
- On-Set Interview with Richard Franklin (HD – 7:28)
- Terry Bourke’s Noon Sunday Reel (HD – 10:46)
- Inside Alvin Purple Documentary (Upscaled SD – 50:05)
- To Shoot a Mad Dog Documentary (HD – 24:37)
- Stills & Poster Gallery (HD – 415 in all – 15:45)
- Production Gallery (HD – 173 in all – 10:42)
- Pitch Promos (HD – 22:37)
- Theatrical Trailer (HD – 2:17)
The supplemental section on this release, like its predecessor, dwarfs its US DVD counterpart in every conceivable way. Starting things off is an audio commentary from director Mark Hartley and “Ozploitation Auteurs” Brian Trenchard-Smith, Antony I. Ginnane, John D. Lamond, David Hannay, Richard Brennan, Alan Finney, Vincent Monton, Grant Page, and Roger Ward; a set of 26 deleted and extended scenes with optional audio commentary from Hartley and editors Sara Edwards and Jamie Blanks; new bonus interview footage with Quentin Tarantino; The Lost NQH Interview: Chris Lofven, the director of the film Oz; A Word with Bob Ellis (formerly an Easter Egg on the DVD); a Quentin Tarantino and Brian Trenchard-Smith interview outtake; a Melbourne International Film Festival Ozploitation Panel discussion; Melbourne International Film Festival Red Carpet footage; 34 minutes of behind-the-scenes moments; a UK interview with Hartley; The Bazura Project interview with Hartley; The Monthly Conversation interview with Hartley; and The Business audio interview with Hartley.
One of the best extras is an extended Ozploitation trailer reel, which contains an opening title card informing us that Brian Trenchard-Smith cut together most of these trailers. They include Outback, Walkabout, The Naked Bunyip, Stork, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie, three for Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Libido, Alvin Purple, Alvin Rides Again, Petersen, The Box, The True Story of Eskimo Nell, Plugg, The Love Epidemic, The Great MacArthy, Don’s Party, Oz, Eliza Fraser, Fantasm, Fantasm Comes Again, The FJ Holden, High Rolling, The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style, Felicity, Dimboola, The Last of the Knucklemen, Pacific Banana, Centrespread, Breakfast in Paris, Melvin, Son of Alvin, Night of Fear, The Cars That Ate Paris, Inn of the Damned, End Play, The Last Wave, Summerfield, Long Weekend, Patrick, The Night, the Prowler, Snapshot, Thirst, Harlequin, Nightmares (AKA Stage Fright), The Survivor, Road Games, Dead Kids (AKA Strange Behavior), Strange Behavior, A Dangerous Summer, Next of Kin, Heatwave, Razorback, Frog Dreaming, Dark Age, Howling III: The Marsupials, Bloodmoon, Stone, The Man from Hong Kong, Mad Dog Morgan, Raw Deal, Journey Among Women, Money Movers, Stunt Rock, Mad Max, The Chain Reaction, Race for the Yankee Zephyr, Attack Force Z, Freedom, Turkey Shoot, Midnite Spares, The Return of Captain Invincible, Fair Game, Sky Pirates, Dead End Drive-In, The Time Guardian, and Danger Freaks.
Also included is Confessions of an R-Rated Movie Maker, an interview with director John D. Lamond; an interview with director Richard Franklin on the set of Patrick; Terry Bourke’s Noon Sunday Reel; the vintage documentaries Inside Alvin Purple and To Shoot a Mad Dog; a stills and poster gallery and production gallery, adding up to 588 images; a set of funding pitches; and the documentary’s original theatrical trailer. Not carried over from the previous Blu-ray is the Barry McKenzie: Ogre or Ocker vintage documentary.
The disc for this release is housed inside a clear amaray case with a 14-page collector’s booklet that semi-recreates the film’s press booklet. It contains a 2008 statement from director Mark Hartley, a word from Grant Page, and key crew and interviewee mini-biographies. All of this sits inside a cardboard slipcover. Needless to say, all of this extra material is quite extensive and well worth diving into.
Five years after I reviewed the original Umbrella Entertainment release, Not Quite Hollywood has yet to receive a local US Blu-ray release. Thankfully, this Region-Free import will not only do the job, but likely never be exceeded. The documentary itself is an illuminating, educational, and entertaining film that’s worthy of any film fan’s attention (as are Hartley’s other film documentaries, also readily available). And be sure to watch it with a pad and pencil handy because you’re definitely going to be writing down titles to check out.
- Tim Salmons