Mark Hartley’s first feature film brings to the screen Australia’s crude comedies, sex romps, action thrillers and road movies from the 1970s and early 1980s.
'Ozploitation' (short for Australian exploitation) is director Hartley's original term for these genres that include films such as ‘Alvin Purple’, ‘Stork’, ‘The Adventures of Barry Mackenzie’ and ‘Mad Max’.
A Swinburne Film and Television alumnus, Mark spent five years cutting 150 hours of interviews and 100 hours of footage from original movie prints into his documentary.
Mark has directed more than 150 music videos for bands such as Powderfinger, and The Living End, and made a documentary about Picnic at Hanging Rock to accompany that film’s DVD release, but never lost his schoolboy passion for the fast and cheap movies Australians made thirty years ago.
During that era producers and directors took full advantage of the R-rating that had been introduced across Australia in 1971 allowing more nudity, sex and violence than had previously been permitted on screen.
"As a kid my parents and teachers insisted I see quality films like ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’," Mark said. "Then I saw this movie ‘Patrick’, about a telekinetic coma victim, on TV late one night and it thrilled, excited and downright scared me… I didn't know we could do that."
Having planned to make a TV series on Australian genre cinema, Mark had given up for lack of backing when renowned filmmaker Quentin Tarantino revealed himself as a fan of ‘Ozploitation’. His participation in the movie enabled Mark to obtain funding from the Film Finance Corporation.