Peter Wier and Bruce Beresford were making the Australian films that put Australia on the international movie-making map in the 1970s. But in Oz itself, their grindhouse peers were churning out Benny Hill-ish sex farces, horror and car-crazy action films, movies that kept the "Ockers" (Aussie rednecks) in theaters and amused.
The movies were straight-out exploitation pieces with titles like Australia After Dark and The Naked Bunyip, Death Cheats and Stunt Rock. And naturally Quentin Tarantino is an authority on them.
Not Quite Hollywood features snippets of many of those films, a history lesson about the Australia of those days and a lot of memories from actors (Jack Thompson, a "Dame Edna" Barry Humphries out of drag, shocking), filmmakers, stunt folks and Aussie critics (who panned those movies mercilessly).
What comes across in this too-long tribute is a seat-of-the-pants cinema in which stunt men took risks they shouldn't have, women showed body parts they mightn't have and movies were made almost entirely for the Aussie version of the drive-in audience, where the shrimp was always on the barbie.
Most of the titles will leave even a committed film buff scratching his or her head. But there's one almost everybody has seen the original Mad Max (1979) shown theatrically in America, still turns up on TV, sometimes with a dubbed (non-Aussie accented) Mel Gibson.
Screening at: 12 midnight, Saturday, March 28, Regal; 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, Regal.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun