Part academic conference and part film festival, London’s Cine-Excess is an annual celebration of all things cult and exploitation. The sixth instalment looks at adaptation in cult cinema, opening yesterday with conference panels on ‘The American Nightmare’ and ‘Transnational Excess’, followed by a film-maker discussion and two UK premières: Italian found-footage chiller Closed Circuit Extreme (d. Giorgio Amato, 2011) and US serial killer flick Shiver (d. Julian Richards, 2011), starring Australia’s very own John ‘Mick Taylor’ Jarrett (Wolf Creek).
The action continues today with more conference panels and keynotes, followed by an evening dedicated to the 1970s Italian Extreme, with screenings of Keoma (d. Enzo G. Castellari, 1976) and Your Vice is a Locked Door and Only I Have the Key (d. Sergio Martino, 1972) as well as a panel discussion featuring both of these legendary cult directors. The day’s activities are rounded-out in true cult cinema style with a midnight screening of Jack Cardiff’s ode to Tod Browning, The Freakmaker (1974).
Tomorrow (Saturday, May 26) marks the final day of Cine-Excess VI, with more conference sessions (including a paper on ‘Tough, Twisted Girls in Borderless, Multicultural Oz’, which I’m assuming involves neither tornadoes nor gingham), as well as encore appearances from Castellari and Martino. But the main event – so far as we’re concerned – is a very rare screening of Mario Andreacchio’s rough and tough, rape-revenge classic Fair Game (1986), a chunk of Ozploitation that brings the festival to a close.
Andreacchio might be best known these days for fluffy family fare like Napoleon (1995), The Real Macaw (1998) and Elephant Tales (2010), but Fair Game – his directorial debut – is strictly adults only! Here’s how the fine folks at Cine-Excess see it:
Rape, revenge and ‘roos! One of the most contentious of all cult adaptations remains the ‘female vengeance cycle’, which flourished in the wake of 1970s controversies such as Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave. The cult rarity Fair Game is Australia’s infamous entry to the cycle, and features Cassandra Delaney as the owner of a remote animal sanctuary, who is stalked and brutalised by a trio of kangaroo hunters who come to see her business and body as ‘fair game.’ Featuring a strong central performance from Delaney, as well as as an effective realisation of outback iconography (courtesy of director Mario Andreacchio), it is easy to see why Quentin Tarantino has confirmed Fair Game as one of his favourite ‘Ozploitation’ titles, even re-working its central scenes of female torture into his Death Proof entry for Grindhouse.
This special Cine-Excess screening of Fair Game takes place at London’s Italian Cultural Institute on Saturday May 26, with an introduction from cult Canadian actor and producer Deke Richards (Deaden, Crawler). The film starts at 10:30pm, tickets cost £7 and are available on the ICI website.
If you still need convincing, here’s the trailer: