Another deeply buried treasure is 1982's Turkey Shoot, a Most Dangerous Game spin that Brian Trenchard-Smith turned into a "high camp splatter movie" when the unfortunate last-minute disappearance of half the planned budget x'd out the script's more expensive ideas. Its zesty offensiveness still riles critic Philip Adams, a plummy-voiced snob who decries "these vulgar films" that "admitted to the wider world we were yahoos."
But what yahoos. Australian exploitation cinema has had a particular penchant for putting protagonists at the mercy of crazy-car-driving, sheila-ogling, unkempt and un-sane rural inbreds. Sometimes they're the main peril, sometimes just an unfriendly preliminary to the central menace of giant killer hogs (Razorback, 1984), giant killer crocs (Dark Age, 1987), giant punk prisoner camps (Dead End Drive-In, 1986) or psychotic stalkers driving Mr. Whippy ice cream vans (Snapshot, 1979).
There's a whatever-works (even when it doesn't) spirit to these films personified by the career of Trenchard-Smith, whose boldly indiscriminate resume has thus far stretched from several Aussie kung fu movies to 1983's BMX Bandits (with Nicole Kidman!) to 1997's Leprechaun 4: In Space. It's a little annoying when Tarantino brags about dedicating Kill Bill's Australian premiere to this prestige-resistant director just to piss off the local "snobs." But it's gold when the man himself cheerfully admits "I am a guilty pleasure footnote." *
NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF OZPLOITATION! opens Fri/14 in San Francisco.
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