All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Wake in Fright
Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have some dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here.
Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney, but as one night stretches into several he plunges headlong into his own destruction.
Recommended to me on my Make me watch your favourite list.
Sweltering and oppressive, Wake in Fright is a man's disconcerting descent into his own personal hell.
Kotcheff's film first slowly peels only to end up clawing at its protagonist's humanity, exposing an animalistic nerve that is both confronting and harrowing. Acted superbly across the board and shot with a colour palette that only adds to the scorching desert heat, Wake in Fright captures life in the Australian outback in, what I can only assume, a painfully realistic way.
This film is astonishing. It takes the simplest of premises, a man stuck in a place trying to get away, and turns it into an inevitable, slow, spiralling plunge into the…
All my life I’ve held the misbelief that Canadians were champion drinkers. Not even close. Earlier this year seeing the Russian drama Leviathan shattered my belief, but I comforted myself saying ‘that was vodka’. When it comes to beer, we’re still tops. Apparently not. Those outback Aussies would clean our clocks. ‘Here, drink that up so I can buy you another!’
Wake in Fright is a lucid waking nightmare. It claws at you and pulls you down, deeper and deeper. Resist as you might, its simple nature and utterly base morality and behavior may appear beneath you, causing you to underestimate its charm and power, and this is exactly where the nightmare…
May you dream of the Devil and wake in fright. - AN OLD CURSE
Part 1 of the 30 Countries project.
For the purposes of this project this movie is classed as at least partially being of Australian origin as per its listing on imdb.
“In the remote towns of the west there are few of the amenities of civilization; there is no sewerage, there are no hospitals, rarely a doctor; the food is dreary and flavourless from long carrying, the water is bad; electricity is for the few who can afford their own plant, roads are mostly non-existent; there are no theatres, no picture shows and few dance halls; and the people are saved from stark insanity by the…
An Outback exploration of just how far we are and how much it takes to get us over the line between regular dignified folk and the alternative. Ted Kotcheff's gem baths you in the weird, covers you in grime, bastes you in Donald Pleasance man-stink then rains testosterone and kangaroos on you. It also involves a ton of beer. When it's over, you will either be contemplating what circumstances would cause YOU to crossover, or you will just feel dirty and violated. I love that Kotcheff gave this, First Blood AND Weekend at Bernie's to me. He is like my favorite uncle.
007's brother as a school teacher on holiday in the town of Yo Gabba Gabba. Being a slave to the system. A jolly-ole bloke cop. An Outback Steakhouse. An intense game of Heads or Tails. Losing everything but your ass. Sneaking out to make out. Dr. Loomis doing random crazy shit. A fast fox. A cool dog. Fun with Dick and Joe. Kangaroo cruelty. Little orphaned joeys. A Brokeback night with the good doctor. An expert marksman missing the right shot. Free drinks will get you in trouble. Getting the hell out of Dodge. A fucked-up trippy journey of self-rediscovery.
Hopefully being rescued from near extinction doesn't overshadow the fact that Wake in Fright is a truly fine, frightening, and fascinating film. Though it does add a sense of relief while watching that something of this caliber was almost lost forever, it's only an occasional and momentary sensation as the film itself stands on its own merits. Like Walkabout, Wake in Fright is a study on the isolation of the quintessential loneliness of the Outback, and hints at a malignancy in the land itself. Whether this danger is symbiotic to the men who live here or constructed and fueled by them makes no difference, as its touch is omnipresent. Perhaps director Ted Kotchoff suggests some infernal perpetual motion machine -…
Hell is butt sex with Donald Pleasance
In “Wake in Fright,” John Grant(Gary Bond), a schoolteacher, is looking forward to the Christmas holidays more than anything else. This will give him an opportunity to temporarily leave the Outback in favor of Sydney and his girlfriend Robyn(Nancy Knudsen). But first he has to take a train to the next town where he is scheduled to get a flight out the following morning. And then finds a possible solution to his problems...
Even though it is not the horror movie I was expecting, “Wake in Fright” is still an effective study in how the Australian Outback is not for all people and perfect for others. To that effect, the movie makes very good use of nightmarish imagery and forehshadowing.…
The Australian version of the Wicker man, except the demonic possession that holds the populace is not the charismatic Lord Summerisle, but is found in a can of West End Bitter.
A truly groundbreaking Australian film that captures the zeitgeist of living in the outback in the 70's, even if no-one wants to admit it. It's dark, it's uncomfortable and it's certainly ahead of its time. I found myself squirming in my seat many a time, whether because of the shocking nature of many scenes, or that a few of the scenes hit home a little too much.
Definitely worth watching. You can physically leave, but you can never mentally leave the 'Yabba...
Sometimes you just need to make every single judgment error possible until you unsuccessfully attempt suicide with a long gun. Needed more didgeridoo.
Worst hangover ever.
Thumbs Up: Like the best Aussie films, this is uniquely Australian without pandering or being inaccessible, and that sort of aggressive boozy pub hospitality creates such a resonating sense of menace that the film wisely doesn't resort to any artificial high-concept to keep the protagonist trapped in town, love the commentary on Australia's duality of big coastal city and the vast desolate interior, Donald Pleasance is total class in a totally unclassy roll.
Thumbs Down: I point out the film doesn't rely on anything high concept to keep the main character trapped in "The Yabba", but Grant's motivations were a little puzzling sometimes, laughing and joking with the locals one minute and then disgusted by them the next.
"I'm a doctor of medicine. And a tramp by temperament. I'm also an alcoholic. My disease prevented me from practicing in Sydney. But out here it's scarcely noticeable."
Wake in Fright is one of the most chaotic films I've ever seen. There's so much going on at once - people getting drunk, people going hunting, people running mad; and all of this happening at the same time. Saying this though, Wake in Fright doesn't try to overstep its reach. The film very much stays entertaining and coherent enough for the average person to understand.
Male aggression and the idea of "masculinity" run…
This movie is crazy. I still have no idea what to think of the kangaroo hunting sequence. A fantastic performance by Donald Pleasance.
This was rather underwhelming. I've heard so many good things about it beforehand, but Ted Kotcheff's Wake in Fright just felt so much longer than it even needed to be within its second act to a point that I was simply checking my clock every now and then. I don't know how exactly I can describe the many serious pacing issues that the movie had within its second act. To the film's credit, it does a good job at examining the human psyche and Donald Pleasance's performance makes the film almost worth watching, but that's not enough to make a single 109 minutes feel like a whole lot longer than it really is.
Originally a list made prior to Cannes 2014, now updated every mid-April.
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