Wake in Fright (1971)

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Ted Kotcheff directs Gary Bond, Donald Pleasence and Chips Rafferty in this lost Australian shocker about a teacher waylaid for a weekend in a sinister outback mining town. 

Firstly, get ready to see more schooners of beer consumed in one feature length flick than you ever thought possible. A heroic, thirst creating effort. One of those rare, big screen experiences where an hour in you still have no idea what direction the queasy, disturbing narrative is headed in, even if the destination eventually proves to be a little standard. The journey though is a squallid, paranoid treat. An intelligent expoloitation flick which skirts with rationalising fate, ambiguous sexualities and a disgusting sequence of offensive animal harm, your buttons are going to be pushed however you approach it. Effective casting, a cracking credit’s theme and some of the most evocative location cinematography complement a genuinely captivating mystery. And one early line of dialogue by Pleasance’s sage-like bum rings true in life as it does the entire philosophy of the movie: “Discontent is the luxury of the well-to-do. If you’ve got to live here, then you might as well like it.” Words to live by. Have a beer, mate!

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