It's not really necessary that you be fully schooled in the great Australian action films of seventies and eighties -- or even in American westerns -- to enjoy Patrick Hughes' Red Hill, but it wouldn't hurt. Hughes has taken the immortal, mythic figure of the lone lawman standing up for decency and right in untamed territory, melded it with a George Milleresque penchant for nonstop action and graphic violence, and then retooled it for the twenty-first century in the tale of a city-bred policeman (Ryan Kwanten) who moves to the small rural town of Red Hill and has to face down an unrepentant murderer (Tom E. Lewis) who's returned to seek vengeance on the men who arrested him. That he pulled off the beautifully-mounted, entertaining film on a microscopic budget makes it all the more impressive, and I got a chance to discuss with him how he managed it.
(And if you are interested in finding out more about the film industry that led to the likes of Mad Max and Mad Dog Morgan (and other films without the word "Mad" in the title but are still pretty wicked insane), you might want to check out the almost-as-wild documentary Not Quite Hollywood. It'll get you up to speed pretty durn quick.)
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