If, as Quentin Tarantino believes, the real core of exploitation cinema is found in images so crazy you cannot believe your eyes, then the new film about the history of Australian exploitation, Not Quite Hollywood, not only documents its subject, it embodies it as well.
For 100 lightning-paced minutes, director Mark Hartley takes you inside the era of “Ozsploitation,” when restrictive censorship laws were lifted and the first true Australian film industry — and a slew of nudie, horror, and action pictures — were born.
Hartley’s approach is in the great exploitation tradition, with lots of flashy editing and plenty of titillation. The result, by design, is light on serious critical or cultural analysis and heavy on batshit insane film clips (like the one where George Lazenby engages in a karate fight while his back is completely covered in flames), cheeky interviews (one is conducted in a working strip club) and hilarious on-set anecdotes (the one about the girl with the machete and the director yelling “Cut!” is worth the price of admission all by itself). It’s not the most comprehensive history lesson, but it is a highly entertaining one, and the final product is bawdy, vulgar, and thrilling enough to make its subjects proud. And if you’re a fan of genre cinema, you’re guaranteed to find plenty of fodder for your Netflix queue.