Watching this year’s crop of AFI/AACTA nominated films this year gives the distinct impression that as a nation of film-makers our main trope is derivation. Watching them at a moment when smallminds and idiots everywhere are sticking needles in the fruit crop, you realise that one of our national default modes is mindlessly copying others. Yet one film in our past leapt out of those circumstances to make something quite unique, something which at the time in fact drew some praise from the cognoscenti but which has now developed a two-decade long and quite formidable international reputation for its unique combination of genre subversion, dirty black humour, gross-out special effects and satirical dismembering of many Oz icons.
Phillip Brophy’s Body Melt became our own outlier movie. It exists almost as Australia’s, singular, film maudit, its aesthetic being such that, despite the praise referred to it caused noses to be turned up from the moment of its first appearance. It both began and ended Brophy’s career as a commercial film-maker. Brophy himself has written somewhat philosophically about his fate and that of the film.
Among its public champions. Adrian Martin has continually, even doggedly, championed the film, most recently here on Film Alert when another local Blu-ray edition was released. You can also read more of Adrian’s views on his Film Critic website. Quentin Tarantino has also been most supportive.
Now, the film’s producer, and regular Film Alert contributor Rod Bishop, has drawn attention to the reception of the film on the invaluable DVD Beaver website. There is much technical analysis devoted here to a new US edition of the film which producer Bishop and others claim show the film off to its best extent ever. Go to the link for some very detailed commentary.
You can buy the Region-free disc if you go to this link. Here below is the cover of the edition, one of many on offer, you should be looking for.