'Not Quite Hollywood'
(Jamie Lee Curtis, Cassandra Delaney, et al / DVD / R / (2008) 2009 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview: Free-wheeling sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! High-octane extravaganzas! Welcome to NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, the wild, wonderful story of 'OZPLOITATION' films. Join QUENTIN TARANTINO, JAMIE LEE CURTIS, DENNIS HOPPER and many others as they take you on an irreverent journey through the 70's and 80's, an era when Australian cinema got its gear off and showed the world a full-frontal explosion of sex, violence, horror and foot-to-the floor action.
DVD Verdict: 'Not Quite Holywood' plays out as a loving embrace to these films, these actors, and the directors who made these down-and-dirty films possible. It's documentary format is loose and fun - much like the stories it celebrates - but it's all handled with the tremendous grace, admiration, and professionalism that this oft-overlooked influence so richly deserves.
The documentary is packed with plenty of familiar faces - indeed, Quentin Taratino contributed much of the behind-the-scenes influence to get the film made - and nowhere else will you find such a plethora of tales told with such gusto. Indeed, once it's all over, the viewer feels sad that most of the films are relegated to the backshelves of the ol' video store; I did a quick search of several titles detailed at length here, and I couldn't find a single one of the available on DVD.
Hopefully, some of these gritty classics will see the light of day again as more and more viewers turn to the past as today's megaplexes continue to churn out one CGI-laden effects-fest after another. These films relied as much on the ingenuity of the filmmakers as it did the audiences. One can only hope for such respect from next weekend's major blockbuster.
That's not to say that all of the films celebrated within NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD deserve the moniker of 'art.' It's only to say that the documentary makes and takes its stripes as well as the creative folks who produced these gems in the past. There's something for everyone here - horror, vice, greed, action - and, if nothing else, NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD will make you think twice about (in a positive way) about picking up some unadvertised direct-to-DVD production in hopes that you're about to discover the next Lucas, Spielberg, Scorsese, or De Palma. [EL] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary with Director Mark Hartley and The Ozpoloitation Auteurs
Deleted and Extended Scenes
Quentin Tarantino Interviews Brian Trenchard-Smith
Audio Interview with Director Richard Franklin
Funding Pitches from Quentin Tarantino and John D. Lamond