Double Feature: Not Quite Hollywood / Drag Me to Hell [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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Gerald Cooperberg
01-26-2010, 07:18 PM
Okay, I'm certainly not above the baser pleasures of the medium. Last night I streamed couple of immensely enjoyable cinematic love letters to genre filmmaking.

Not Quite Hollywood (subtitled The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!) is a frenetic documentary about the explosion of low-budget moviemaking in Australia in the 1970s and early 1980s. It's almost entirely copious clips from the films interspersed with talking heads of the folks involved (and as a ringer, a whole lot of Quentin Tarantino) enthusing about how much fun they were to make and watch. It covers everything from Mad Max and The Man from Hong Kong to lesser-known but still gloriously trashy films like Turkey Shoot, Australia After Dark, or The Cars That Ate Paris!. If there was an Oscar given to documentary editing, this one would merit serious consideration. The interview subjects offer some amusing observations and illumination, but by and large they make way for the clips from the actual movies, which come fast and furious enough to keep up a breathless pace but not too fast to catch every bared breast, flaming car, or exploding head. The documentary falters a little when it tries to posit the drive-in film culture as a microcosmic reflection of Aussie society at large or slags on "serious" fare like Breaker Morant or Picnic at Hanging Rock as being no fun, but mostly it keeps a tone reminiscent of a very hung-over group of acquaintances remembering (as best they could) the epic party held the night before.

Drag Me to Hell is straight-up, unabashed camp horror. From the 1980s Universal logo that graces the opening moments, it's clear that Sam Raimi is intent on creating a gleeful valentine to all of the straight-to-VHS splatter-fests that he and his acolytes made two decades ago. The broad plot is that Alison Lohman's bank loan officer is the victim of a gypsy curse, but those particulars are just a vehicle to deliver nonstop frights, shrieks, and gross-outs. A particularly savage "gumming" was a highlight for me, but let me say that if you're a fan of maggots, blood, or projectile vomiting that you won't be disappointed.

Grades - Not Quite Hollywood: B / Drag Me to Hell: B - because, well... they don't call them "A movies".


01-27-2010, 06:04 AM
Great reviews... I am laugh... I will check out the documentary, without a doubt!


01-27-2010, 08:55 AM
i thoroughly enjoyed Drag Me to Hell! Raimi is excellent at switching from making you laugh to creeping you out to actually scaring you a little bit as well. Some of the scenes really reminded me of Army of Darkness, especially since he uses all the same visual techniques, ala the seance scene with the wire work, wind blowing, fast camera moves.

Very fun movie!

Edit: The fight in the parking garage is absolutely fantastic!