Friday, 17 October 2008

No.88 : Welcome To Woop Woop

Welcome to Woop Woop at the IMDb

Here’s an Australian film you’ve probably not heard of, directed by the same guy who gave us ‘The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert’.

Teddy is a New York con man who smuggles exotic birds from Australia to sell out the back of his van for $1000 a time. Unfortunately for him his creditors turn up looking for money and in the resulting scrap both get killed and he loses his stock of birds. Fearing retribution he decides to lose himself in darkest Australia. After getting his VW van filled by Sir Les Patterson he picks up a couple of passengers, including the free spirited Angie, who is more than free her charms.

After some energetic sex and a dip in the ocean Teddy feels free of his troubles and gleefully agrees that he’s in love with his foxy, but slightly unhinged partner. She proceeds to knock him spark out and the next thing he knows is waking up in a pig sty in the titular town of Woop Woop. The town used to be a big producer of asbestos but was wiped off the map in the 70s when the mine closed. The townsfolk decided to stay in their isolated community and live by their own set of rules, including one that states that you can never leave. We learn that inbreeding has produced too many runts and strangers are lured in to keep the gene pool viable.

The town makes a brand of dog food from road kill kangaroos and they subsist on pineapple chunks and lager. Sounds good to me! The patriarch, Daddio, is a right bastard and shoots potential escapees and hogs the good grub for himself. Teddy sensing dissension in the town forms some alliances and hope to hatch a plan to escape with the similarly disaffected Krystal. With only one truck in town and the key in Daddio’s hands can an escape work and will the mythical ‘Big Red’ come to their aid?

I quite enjoyed this film but it was a pity that it wasn’t so much better. The idea of an inbred community capturing virile men to keep them going was a fun one and for once they weren’t a bunch of mutant hill billies. The community angle worked quite well although it was a bit heavy to show Daddio having a stuffed fridge as if being a kidnapping dictator wasn’t enough.

The first half hour was best the scenes with the young couple were lively and fun - it was a shame they had to get back to the plot! Various Aussie luminaries made an appearance including Rod Taylor playing the stereotypical XXXX drinking, loudmouth Ozzer and Rachel Griffiths in a blink and you’d miss it part of an American slut.

The attempts to make the town sinister and threatening didn’t really work and I quite fancied a couple of weeks there myself. It was obvious from the start that the power corrupts angle was going to be exploited with our man the breath of fresh air needed to blow the old regime away. The finale was pretty routine until a left field supernatural moment caught me by surprise. A bit daft, but fun all the same.

If you FF by the credits you get an extra scene and I just hope the Aussie child support agency aren’t watching. An enjoyable distraction of a film that had plenty of lively women and cracking scenery but not enough character development or plot to hold it together.

Best Bit : Angie goes on a man hunt

‘W’ Score 14/23