From the untamed wilds of 1970s Australian exploitationers comes a hard-to-define, impossible to forget melodrama about a bored, unattached Outback schoolteacher on holiday (Gary Bond) and what happens to him when he drifts aimlessly into a nightmarish town called Bundanyabba. Animal lovers, beware. More than one or two kangaroos meet grisly ends in the movie, but not to worry — they were all killed by “professional hunters.” What happens to the some of the humans is almost as bad. Canadian-British director Ted Kotcheff (North Dallas Forty, Weekend at Bernie’s
) catches the, uh, spirit of violent, beer-swilling “ocker” life like no other movie before or since, with sweaty, queasy-making character support by Donald Pleasance, Chips Rafferty, and Sylvia Kay as denizens of “the Yabba.” One of a kind. (114 min.)
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This year, it was all about genre.