Australia After Dark (1975)

The trailer promises us the film will never be boring and that everything in the film is true, and so it tells two lies one right after the other before we’ve even watched the film. The film poses various questions, like: how did Perth become the gay capital of Australia, at least in the mid-1970s? How did a respectable stage actor like Hayes Gordon get to narrate the thing? Who the hell was Count Copernicus? Why was the DVD transfer apparently sourced from a 1980s video master (the sudden intrusion of the voice in the end credits telling you to keep watching for more previews after the movie kind of gave that away) when the NFSA (the avowed source of this copy) do have film materials? And whatever did happen to the X-rated version of this film, and why did it come about in the first place? Cos there WAS no X rating here until 1984. John D. Lamond claims here that the film was released uncut in 1975 because he confronted the censorship board over the cuts they wanted and made them back down… but, oddly enough, the bit with Madame Lash is slightly extended in Not Quite Hollywood—which is REALLY ironic cos the OFLC won’t even allow that in X-rated videos—so obviously something got cut. Given some of the stuff that is in the R-rated version, what got left out, given the X version is apparently three or four minutes longer than the R? Did Lamond have a bunch of stuff just lying around that he cut back into it to get it the X rating in 1984? Why did he even care by that time? These questions are marginally more interesting than the film itself; Lamond admits it was essentially a Mondo Cane knockoff, and doesn’t exactly do much to improve on his avowed model. The final question, therefore: why have I wasted my time writing so much about this fucking lump of crap? Alas, I’ve no answer to that either…

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