Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! and Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films are now available to watch, for free, and a perfect distraction during your isolation and social distancing!
Australian filmmaker, Mark Hartley has made two of his most widely popular documentaries available for free on his Vimeo page.
In 2008’s Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!, Hartley explores the Australian New Wave of the ’70s and ’80s influx of low-budget films. He interviewed over eighty personalities including such stalwarts as Quentin Tarantino, George Miller, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Stacy Keach, George Lazenby, and one of the most prolific filmmakers during that time, Brian Trenchard-Smith.
Ozploitation films were mainly filled with sex, horror, and violence. Refiled by critics and film historians as vulgar and offensive trash, these films were often secluded from the ‘Official Film History’ of Australia for years. With critique from Tarantino (himself a longtime Ozploitation fan), Hartley spent five years collecting interviews and editing a combination of 250 hours of stock footage (countless B-movies including Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, Dead-End Drive-In, Long Weekend, Mad Max, The Man from Hong Kong, Patrick, Razorback, Road Games, and Turkey Shoot) and talking heads into an immensely entertaining, endlessly fascinating 100-minute film.
The film premiered at the 2008 Melbourne International Film Festival, and garnered universally positive reviews from critics and a nomination for “Best Documentary” at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards. However, the film did not perform well at the box office, it’s since grown as an invaluable resource for fans looking for something a little off-center.
Check it out Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! on Vimeo below:
In Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, Hartley recycles both his Ozploitation! subtitle’s adjectives as well as the subtitle of Cannon films’ own Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. In this 2014 Doc, he offers up an amusing saga of the infamous B-movie studio, from its sale to Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus in 1979 through to its eventual bankruptcy following a transition from low to mid-/big-budget productions in the late ’80s.
Bouncing around between archival clips, animations, and talking-head interviews of many who were around at the time, Hartley paints an unsurprisingly critical portrait of the empire that was built on the backs of producers Golan & Globus. We get a lot of great, trashy titles that rested on the shoulders of “ninja epics,” breakdance flicks, and action superstars like Dolph Lundgren, Sylvester Stallone, and especially Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson. The film made it’s Midnight Madness premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 2014.
If you’re interested in more of Mark Hartley’s work, he’s made a career out of these sorts of docs. Including one on the exploitation films made in the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s called Machete Maidens Unleashed! from 2010. That doc included interviews from the likes of Allan Arkush, Judy Brown, Colleen Camp, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Pam Grier, Jack Hill, John Landis, Danny Peary, Eddie Romero, Cirio H. Santiago, and Brian Trenchard-Smith.
Hartley also directed a fiction feature film. 2013’s Patrick is a supernatural horror film and a remake of the 1978 film of the same name (featured heavily in Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!). The movie starred Jackson Gallagher as the titular Patrick, a comatose young man that uses his psychic powers to stalk a nurse caring for him and featured Charles Dance (Game of Thrones). It had its world premiere on 27 July 2013 at the Melbourne International Film Festival and received a limited theatrical release on 14 March 2014, followed by a DVD release the following month. Its Canadian theatrical premiere was at the Lost Episode Festival Toronto on 5 July 2014.
Source: Mark Hartley, Magnet Releasing,
Warner Bros., Umbrella Entertainment