AroView: After many years in obscurity, this drama has been dusted off and deservingly reappraised as an Australian classic - a waking nightmare of “beer and sunshine” that combines the twin threats of Australia’s formidable desert heat and its ‘mob rules’ drinking mentality.
The little-known Gary Bond is superb as the middle-class schoolteacher adrift in a remote desert township, who must ingratiate himself with the eccentric, hard-case locals whose amoral, unpredictable ways are blurred in alcoholic ritual. While it fits well into the ‘Australian Gothic’ mold, it avoids the cheap tricks of a ‘genre’ film, but is provocative and layered enough to linger long in post-viewing discussion and beyond.
“Visually, dramatically, atmospherically and psychologically, it’s beautifully calibrated and it gets under your skin one encounter at a time, right along with the protagonist played by Gary Bond.” ~Martin Scorsese, 2012
“Deserves to occupy a place next to LORD OF THE FLIES and HEART OF DARKNESS, all of them stories that force us to observe the veil, so thin, that separates civilization from barbarism.” ~El Financiero