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Australia 1970
Directed by
John B. Murray
139 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

The Naked Bunyip

The Naked Bunyip is justly regarded as the film that initiated the revival of the Australian film industry in the 1970’s. Produced by John Murray and Phillip Adams and bankrolled to the tune of $40,000 by Bob Jane and his brother, Bill, it is a serio-comic  look at sexual attitudes in Australia at the end of the '60s, a kind of Antipodean equivalent of I Am Curious, Yellow (1967),and one influenced by both cinema verité and documentary realism.

A pre-Alvin Purple Graeme Blundell plays a naive market researcher given the task of assessing the sexual state of the nation. He, of course, diligently explores its various manifestations, from gym culture to gang rape. There are many intriguing segments, such as a very early, probably the first, appearance of Edna Everage, Fred Schepisi shooting a toothpaste commercial and Russell Morris singing The Real Thing live and although not all the segments are so easy to relate to and it is not the sort of thing many people will want to watch in one sitting, the film remains a fascinating document of its time.

DVD Extras: A valuable featurette explains the history of the production; Deleted Scenes gives you the scenes or audio cut by the censor; there is an audio feature Let’s Make Love which samples dialogue from the film and apparently from a vinyl record of the time whilst the theatrical trailer and stills gallery wraps up a worthy package of extras. The DVD also comes with a copy of the program notes handed to patrons in 1972.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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