Angela (Sigrid Thornton, “The Man from Snowy River”) is a young hairdresser thrown out of home by her puritanical mother after too many nights out. She quickly falls in with the modeling crowd and does some modeling work herself, while it seems she is being stalked by a mysterious figure driving an ice-cream van! Also known as “Snapshot” and directed by award-winning director Simon Wincer (“Lonesome Dove, “Free Willy”), now see this Ozploitation film in its original scope format – first time anywhere in the world!
1979 – Certificate: R – Australian Film
5.0 out of 10
Next week I have to face one of the greatest horrors in the civilised world. Something so frightening, that juggling with chainsaws with one arm tied behind my back, in a cage full of hungry lions, would be preferable. I have to go to a two-day meeting at work, one that everyone who’s anyone will be at. (I guess a typo somewhere meant I got invited by mistake too.) However, hanging out with the good and the great doesn’t bother me; after all, I’m pretty sure I was born to meet a higher purpose than I’ve so far managed to climb to, so I may as well get used to it. I also don’t mind the fact that some of my more ambitions colleagues may well trample me to death on their way to ‘the top’ as they attempt to impress. Even the thought of conversing ‘professionally’ with people so important that their job titles are almost too long to fit on a business card, is of little consequence to me. (As long as I don’t have to make ’small talk’, as that’s a skill I’ve never developed as I don’t have a life to talk about.) No, what really terrifies me is the fact that right at the bottom of the information I was sent it says, “Dress code smart casual”. What does that even mean? My idea of smart is wearing a new t-shirt that doesn’t have the name of an obscure punk band on it. This requirement has bought into sharp focus the inadequacy of my wardrobe. It’s years since I wore a shirt and I doubt there’s a diet in existence that will prepare me for wearing any of the ones I still own by next Wednesday. In the trouser department things are even more desperate. Can you even iron combat trousers? I think the last thing I ironed was a screwed-up poster of the Buzzcocks to put on my wall when I was a student. When I turn up wearing a hoddie, everyone is going to stare at me as if I’m some sort of migrant worker at a UKIP conference. Life is so stressful. Life as an aspiring model is stressful too, except the smart casual issue probably isn’t much of a problem to one.
Despite what it says on the cover, this film has nothing to do with Halloween, opening doors, answering phones or looking in attics. There’s nothing anywhere in this movie that wants you either. It’s barely even a horror. In fact it’s barely anything at all. I rarely find films boring but this one I did. Get the feeling they’re trying to hide something? It’s competently made and acted, but the script is just so dull. It manages to take some interesting ideas and make them as exciting as watching magnolia paint dry. All the men in it are horrible too, they’d hardly a redeeming feature amongst them. (Actually most of the women are as well.) It was originally called “Snapshot”, which is a far better name for it. About the most interesting this about it is its lead actress Sigrid Thornton, who manages to look convincing as both a model and a woman out of her comfort zone. (Next Wednesday I’ll know how the latter feels.)
The soundtrack is competent without being especially memorable. It’s used a lot too. The ‘Elvis’ is quite amusing though.
In the same way as the DVD cover, I think the trailer is trying to promote an entirely different film.
Recommended for models, stalkers, ice-cream sellers, hairdressers and photographers.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Given that this is a dull film with few characters that have any redeeming features, I’m going to have to go for Madeline running down her would-be lesbian lover’s stalker in his Mr Whippy ice-cream van. Trust me, it sounds a lot more interesting that it really is, but I guess it beats most chat-up lines.
Today I bought myself a Zyliss Swivel Peeler! It has a chunky, ergonomic handle designed to fit comfortably in the palm, whilst the hardened steel blade gives it long-lasting performance. (I’ve got the black and white version, but they make a green one too; the colours are apparently inspired by nature.) It also has a sharp steel tip for the removal of blemishes and de-eyeing; just how fucking cool is that? It comes with a 5 year guarantee as well. I tried it on a potato tonight and OMG, it was like being let loose in a Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron Super Sport (the world’s fastest production car) on a race track, after spending years in Reading’s rush-hour traffic in a Fiat Doblo (the car with the worst acceleration that’s currently available to buy in the UK; 0-60 in 21 seconds). I was in potato heaven. That’s worth £8 of anyone’s money. Anyway, my Zyliss Swivel Peeler is a product of Swiss “precision design”, made by a German company in China; but hey, it’s distributed in the UK, so that probably means we’re at the top of the potato peeler food chain… This movie is pure Australian and isn’t at the top of anything.
2009 – Certificate: Not Rated – Australia
This film was shot entirely in an old shed, in Australia, at night. It features a group of five young ladies who’ve decided to take revenge on a guy who’s been abusing one of them for years. He’s described and shown as having absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever; (cue not very funny feminist joke about all men fitting this description). The only real bit of social commentary in the film is a brief conversation about that fact that he doesn’t realise he’s done anything very wrong, which could have led somewhere a bit more interesting; but this is quickly thrown aside in an effort to get back to the ‘action’. Unfortunately, most of the ‘action’ consists of the group moralising over what it’s doing, rather than simply just doing it. Yes I want to do it, no I don’t want to do it… in the end I didn’t really care one way or the other. The acting wasn’t going to gain itself many Oscar nominations either. I did briefly start to feel sorry for Kat when she was describing how her life had been messed up, but most of the time I couldn’t care less about any of them. Once or twice the acting became so bad that I started to feel sorry for the actors themselves, rather than the characters. I have this film on Blu-ray. I think it’s the worst looking Blu-ray disc I’ve ever watched. I’m not sure if it was just filmed badly, or the crappiness was deliberately added post-production to give it a more ‘authentic, gritty’ feel, but it’s horrible. The sleeve even manages to get the sound mix hopelessly wrong; there’s nothing Dolby Surround 7.1 about this film. (Can you even get Dolby Surround 7.1 on consumer discs? I think not. “Toy Story 3” was the first film with Dolby Surround 7.1 sound and that didn’t come out until June 2010, the year after this film was released.) At its most gruesome, this movie does make you (guys anyway) want to cross your legs, very, very tightly, but most of the time you’ll just be getting angry because of the quality of the picture, the crappy lighting and all the moralising going on. The masks that are worn at one point will also baffle even the most astute viewer. (Really, what were they for?) Australia also appears to have the world’s most ineffective police force too. Sure, they turn up, but the time it took them to get into the shed was pitiful. Don’t expect anything much in the way of special effects either; it’s really not an especially gory film, although it does have its moments, just not very many of them. I did start to feel that the person who was suffering the most was me. It could have been a good film, but it ends up lost somewhere between torture porn and thriller and not in a good place either. “What happens in the barn stays in the barn.” I wish. And finally, the scene where a knife is sharpened on a sharpening stone uses entirely the wrong technique; all what was shown would achieve is to blunt the knife and trust me, it really needed to be sharp for what it got used for.
Recommended for people who want to experience real pain when viewing a film; just not the same sort of pain that’s on-screen.
No cats, decapitations or chainsaws. It does however feature someone called Kat; and there’s an amputation too. Looks really nasty.
Top badass moment? Well I guess this has to be Crystal and her strap-on. In a film with all the lighting and colour subtlety of the inside of a metal dustbin, with the lid on it, that bright splash of pink was very welcome.