I could recount all the zany, near-surreal films featured in this doc about the Aussie exploitation film industry, circa 1970 to mid-80s – the oddball horror flicks, sexploitation romps, car-chase extravaganzas. But it’s all too much to process here, and best witnessed on the screen.
The clips burn throughout this film with a tone as giddy as its subject. I confess that about, oh, 90 percent of the films profiled here were unknown to me – me, who knew that he’d seen one of his favorite films ever once the tribe abandoned the “Road Warrior” on their way to salvation. I sought out “Mad Max” soon after, but knew little of the mad tradition behind it.
For those in the know, this film must be like a fiery scrapbook, fond as it is maniacal. For those new to the material, “Not Quite Hollywood” plays like a fever dream that won’t quit until you lose consciousness or your lunch, whichever goes first. Yes, the flicks were that madcap.
Industry insiders are interviewed, as are members of the mainstream Aussie cinema – and even they can’t hide their pride about the “lower ranks.” Quentin Tarantino also shows up quite a bit as a talking head. His near-eerie encyclopedic knowledge of Ozploitation would put the average buff to shame – QT was a video store brat, after all. The real treats are those clips, ah, those outrageous trademark moments – “Fair Game’s” chick strapped to a truck grille, the widened eyes of the comatose “Patrick,” high-octane autos shredding the sand-scape, and countless babes happy to bare all for drive-in screens.
This documentary doesn’t aspire to stylistic or formal inventiveness: each chapter documents a given subgenre, and each section dishes out the treats in mostly chronological order. The format is reliable, yet not much more is needed, since the content here drives the film well enough.
In a way, we should call director Mark Hartley the ultimate exploitation maestro, as “Not Quite” is shamelessly served right to film buffs’ hungry mouths. Or perhaps he just possessed mad love for these films for years. He’s sure found a way to spread it.