FIB Retro Film Review: Romper Stomper

Russell Crowe’s blazing entrance onto world cinema attention like Eric Bana’s in Chopper and Geoffrey Rush’s in Shine, all of them going on to international careers that have included films a world away from indie roots such as this film.

Credit: Rearview Mirror

There isn’t a lot of story to speak of. It’s more a day in the life of, about a group of white supremacist thugs who target Asian immigrants in their inner city home turf. What’s not terribly clear is whether it’s set in the present day or the near future. While there are undoubtedly racist elements in mainstream Australian society I actually found it a little hard to believe there were many people like this around, and there seemed a slightly post-modern science-fiction element to several aspects from the costumes to the blue-tinged colour palette.

When the pixieish Gabe (McKenzie) falls in with Hando (Crowe) and Davey’s (Pollock) band, she’s more or less a hanger on for Hando’s sexual pleasure, but could she be teaching Davey the tenderness he needs to be a bit more forgiving in his life?

Credit: Cinesthesia

Long before his telephone-throwing antics, Crowe looked plenty scary with shaved head, tatts and icy stare, and his swagger made his destined for stardom despite Ben Mendelsohn being the first choice for the role.

Somewhat cursed for everyone else involved, with co-star Pollock as Davey tragically taking his own life before it was released and director Wright never scaling the same heights as Crowe, his only other high profiles projects the hack horror film Cherry Falls and the mostly derided contemporary Australian Macbeth.

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