Review: Long Weekend
Blu-ray: Long Weekend (1978)
Long Weekend is a sort of ‘lost’ film of Australian cinema, largely unknown by most film fans, it was written by Everett De Roche, who also created Road Games and Razorback (both previously reviewed here at 60MW, click on the links) and like these two films examines horror from a psychological standpoint. What if nature itself turned against man?
It follows a very unhappily married couple who treat the environment, animals and each other with utter contempt. Hystercal Marcia (Briony Behets) can’t be bothered organising anybody to take care of the family dog during their ‘boring’ holiday. While Peter (John Hargreaves) tosses a cigarette out of his window which immediately starts a fire, he then runs over a kangaroo and kills a dugong (like a manatee) and its baby.
The films begins with a television report on the TV in the background. Residents in western Sydney have reported flocks of white cockatoos attacking their homes, the reporter says it’s an occurrence for which the Department of Agriculture has no reasonable explanation an inattentive Marcia turns off the TV mid-report before leaving with Peter to go camping at the beach to see if they can salvage their marriage. They bicker and fight for much of it, and as their exchanges grow increasingly vitriolic the forces around them, strange noises in the outback, animals attacking, become more insidious.
This is more or less a two hander, and Behets and Hargraves give stellar performances as this caustic couple, both self-absorbed and unlikeable, you find yourself inwardly cheering as nature punishes them for being arseholes. Its great strength is a real sense of a mounting psychological terror that has a pay off.
An absolute cracker of a film that despite being released in 1978 still resonates now.
- Audio Commentary with Executive Producer Richard Brennan and Cinematographer Vincent Monton
- Nature Found Them Guilty: Examining Long Weekend 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.
- Extensive Stills Gallery Accompanied by Audio Interview with Actor John Hargreaves
- SDH English subtitles for the hearing impaired
- Original Theatrical Trailer
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