Australia After Dark (1975)
By: J.R. McNamara on November 19, 2012 | Comments
Intervision (USA) | All Regions, NTSC | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 82 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: John D. Lamond
Starring: Brigitta Almsron, Rettima Borer, Sandy Gore, Michael Cole
Screenplay: John D. Lamond
Country: Australia
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Mick Molloy once claimed 'Australia, You're so fine, you're so fine, you blow my mind: Australia! Australia!' and I concur with him completely. I love this sunburnt country, its sights and sounds, its people and such, and I believe director John D. Lamond did as well.

Lamond is an Australian director who had a series of sleazy films produced in the seventies and early eighties, which included the saucy Felicity, slasher flick Nightmares and Alvin Purple wanna-be Pacific Banana.

Clearly taking its inspiration from 70s Mondo Shockumentaries such as Mondo Cane, Australia After Dark is a precursor to Lamond's The ABC of Love and Sex: Australia Style and looks not just at the 'real' Australian stuff that we all know, like Harry's Café De Wheels and the Henley-on-Todd dry regatta, but also at the unknown dark underground of Madam Lash's sex parties, nude beaches, Satanic rites and the consumption of snakes and witchetty grubs.

The sum total though is that it is pretty fucking stupid. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of seventies titties and bush, but there are better places to get that from than this. Seriously, it dragged so much the first 30 minutes felt like 12 days.

Australians will probably get more from it than those from overseas though, especially those of us that have a bit more water under our bridges, as you get to see some of the great old Australian icons, like the ring pull can, our old paper money and just general locations in our various states looking a little more rustic than the metropolises that they are now. The opening shot of Sydney's King's Cross is a particular revelation to those that may frequent its pubs and clubs.
Presented in a 16:9 enhanced 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Australia After Dark has what can only be described as a substandard image. It is riddled with film artefacts, particularly one line that remains present for a long time and is extraordinarily foggy, and not at all sharp.
It's only in mono, but the soundtrack essentially consists of bad stock music and a voiceover, so nothing more was needed.
Extra Features
This disc makes an unforgivable mistake: the slick promises an extra that doesn't exist, in this case, a John D. Lamond Trailer gallery, though thankfully the 2 discer of Not Quite Hollywood has a lot of his trailers there.

The directors commentary is where this film really comes alive. Hosted by the aforementioned Not Quite Hollywood director Mark Hartley, this informative discussion with Lamond covers not just this film and his career, but also of what was happening in Australiain throughout 70s and is peppered with humour and sarcasm aimed at everything Australian. All in good natured fun, of course.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
After watching this you'll be able to claim you've seen more bush than Mike and Mal Leyland combined, but you won't be able to claim you've been entertained. I am sure that in its time it was quite the saucy piece, but now it's a little naff, and doesn't really have the kitschiness of the Russ Meyer's films it tries to emulate at times to give it any long lasting appeal.

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