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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Long Weekend (1978)
(2018 Reissue)


Starring: John Hargreaves and Briony Behets
Distributor: Second Sight Films
RRP: £19.99


Certificate: 15
Release Date: 05 November 2018

Peter and Marcia are having marital problems. Marcia has just had an abortion after a relationship with another man, and Peter was drawn towards a female friend of the family. As an attempt at reconciliation they decide on a weekend away together. Marcia opts for a hotel in the urban district, but Peter arranges a camping trip to a remote beach on the coast of Australia. On the way Peter accidentally kills a kangaroo on the road with his jeep, and that's just the start of their problems. After finally setting up camp they hear strange noises at night which sound like a distressed baby. The next day Peter is called from the surf by a frantic Marcia. He kills what he thinks is a shark but turns out to be a harmless sea cow. The theft of an eagle egg, and the blatant disrespect for the environment is the last straw. Nature begins to take its revenge, and the escalating tension between Peter and Marcia is not helping...

I first reviewed the DVD release of this film back in January 2006, and the remake in 2010. You can tell it’s an Australian film because, like a boomerang, it keeps coming back! To say I didn’t think much of the two films would be a monumental understatement. There really isn’t that much difference between the two, and you have to ask why bother with a remake unless certain you are making a vastly superior movie.

In this one, from 1978, very little happens, aside from some arguing and repeated footage of a beached sea cow. If you enjoy watching someone drive aimlessly around in a jeep, before sitting at a campfire and staring at nothing in particular, this film is for you. At least it bores you to distraction, so that you can think about other things you might want to get done. I realise it’s a Nature’s revenge scenario, but it’s a great opportunity lost.

This being a Blu-ray presentation I should talk a little about the picture quality and special features... And this is where things improve somewhat. The remastered picture quality makes the old DVD version look like they filmed the entire thing deep in the woods at night with no lighting. It makes the film much more watchable, without making it any more palatable.

Extras include an Audio Commentary by Executive Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton; Nature Found Them Guilty – Panel Discussion with Film Historians Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Emma Westwood and Sally Christie; Uncut ‘Not Quite Hollywood’ Interviews with Everett De Roche, Briony Behets and Vincent Monton; Stills Gallery with Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves; and Trailer.

The special features and the attempt to present this as a slightly more attractive prospect earns it 2 additional points.


Ty Power

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