With all the attention MAD MAX: FURY ROAD has been getting, I think it’s high time to shed a little light on Australian Cinema, a veritable treasure trove of undiscovered grit and action. With his film THE SUICIDE THEORY opening this week (nationwide and on VOD/Streaming), Dru Brown seems the perfect choice to chat all things Oz. An unforgettable cross-genre neo-noir flick, The Suicide Theory brings together two unlikely friends in the singular goal of one of them killing the other one. As difficult as being a hitman can be, Steven Ray has never quite had a job like this. Hired by Percival to make good on a failed suicide attempt, Steven encounters a bizarre string of either incredibly unlikely coincidences or very direct karmic powers: Percival cannot die. No matter how many ways Steven tries, no matter the gruesome circumstances of the attempt, Percival soldiers on, worse for the wear, but a breathing example of Steven’s failure.
Dru Brown’s film took home the Grand Prize at last year’s Dances With Films, and the Audience Award four months later at the Austin Screenwriting Conference & Film Festival. Now it receives a national release (including screening in Dallas at the Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley 16). The Suicide Theory is a unique film in many ways, but one of the most interesting thing is that it was written by an American, and reset to Australia (Brisbane specifically) by the director, who shot with Australian actors being… well Australian (they are not putting on fake American accents). It shows that ne’er-do-wells are pretty culturally universal, a dive bar is a dive bar, and Australia is more than a post-apocalyptic wasteland waiting for someone to drive around a guitarist chained to a forty foot amp.
I caught up with Brown a few days ago and asked him to guide the uninitiated to a few Australian films that inspired him, so after you see The Suicide Theory, you can track down some films to brag about to your film snob friends.
Cast: Eric Bana, Kate Beahan
Brown: “A loosely based bio-pic about notorious Aussie gangster Mark Chopper Read, this film is one of the best Aussie films of its generation. An unflinching look at the Melbourne underworld, expertly handled by Andrew Dominik.”
Dead End Drive-In
Cast: Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry, and Peter Whitford
Brown: “A Post-apocalyptic dystopian film set in a drive-in theatre, what’s not to love. My favourite Brian Trenchard-Smith film, just on pure imagination alone. Great cinematography and cool 80’s action.”
Cast: Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, and Bill Kerr
Brown: “Sold as ‘Jaws in the outback’ this film is visually stunning and one of (if not, the) best Aussie creature features. Writer Everett De Roche and Director Russell Mulcahy nailed it.”
Cast: Stacy Keach, Jamie Lee Curtis
Brown: “Director Richard Franklin studied Alfred Hitchcock, and it shows in this psychological thriller. If Razorback is ‘Jaws in the outback,’ this is ‘Rear Window on the highway.’ I’ve wanted to work with Stacy Keach ever since I saw this.”
Cast: Heath Ledger, Rose Byrne, Bryan Brown
Brown: “Gregor Jordan’s Two Hands, can be described as the Aussie cousin to Snatch. Low level crims get mixed up and collide. Great performances by Bryan Brown, and then teenagers, Heath Ledger and Rose Byrne.”
THE SUICIDE THEORY opens theatrically on July 10th, as well as being available for VOD. For more information, check out their facebook page.