Monday, January 25, 2010

Fair Game (1986)

An Australian exploitation film about a homesteader (Cassandra Delaney) who is harassed by increasingly aggressive poachers while her husband is away on business and must defend herself against them. As expected, the police aren’t interested in her troubles, even after the poachers try to run her off the road, sneak into her house and take pictures of her sleeping naked, and generally menace her. The police are always ineffectual in these films in which average people have to take the law into their own hands; one imagines the movies would be pretty short otherwise. And the poachers are cartoonishly violent here; pretty much the standard Ozsploitation hoodlums with a ridiculously modified Mad Max monster truck. No word as to how the poaching community responded to the strident anti-poaching bias of the movie.

If the storyline seems pretty thin, that’s really the problem with Fair Game. You have a half-hour story stretched to an hour and a half. At some point, you just want the woman to shoot the poachers, especially after she steals their guns! Instead, she has to overcome her pacifism for an hour. And, if you’ve seen the Ozsploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood, you’ve already seen the two best stunt set pieces in the film: one in which she is tied half-naked to the front of a speeding monster truck and another in which the truck is driven through her house! Otherwise, it’s about an hour and twenty minutes of a woman being harassed (not raped, thankfully), and about ten minutes of her killing her harassers. Skip it, mate.

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