Masters Of Cinema To Release Ted Kotcheff's WAKE IN FRIGHT

James Marsh, Asian Editor

Eureka Entertainment has announced its acquisition of Ted Kotcheff's 1971 Australian survival thriller Wake in Fright, for its Masters of Cinema label.

Lost for many years following its debut at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, Wake in Fright is the story of displaced teacher John Grant, stranded at a remote outpost in the Australian outback, who falls in with a particularly rowdy gang of locals who take him on a desperate odyssey of beer, gambling, beer, kangaroo-hunting, beer and even more beer.

Eureka's new release of First Blood director Kotcheff's film, which stars Gary Bond and Donald Pleasance, will premiere at Film4 FrightFest in London at the end of this month, before embarking on a limited theatrical run across the UK. Wake in Fright will then get the Blu-ray and DVD treatment in early 2014, on the excellent Masters of Cinema label.

This is fantastic news all round. Drafthouse Films released the film in North America last year following an unveiling in the presence of Ted Kotcheff at Fantastic Fest. Masters of Cinema seems the perfect home for this excellent, if criminally under-seen, Australian classic on UK soil. We will bring more details about the release as we get them.

Around the Internet:
  • davebaxter

    Just recently saw the Drafthouse release of this film via Netflix. Really, really memorable. The kangaroo hunting sequences a difficult to watch these days though, imho.

  • Michael

    Thanks for heads up. Had been looking forward to this when it was mentioned some time ago. But I have no desire to see kangaroo hunting sequences so I'll give this a pass. I personally favor excising scenes like this from older films when, sadly, animal welfare wasn't even a consideration.

  • davebaxter

    Just to clarify: the hunting sequences weren't made just for the movie - the filmmakers did not personally harm kangaroos just to have those parts in the film. But they tagged along on a real hunting expedition and used what footage they captured to create the desired film moments. So it's real, and difficult to see, but I wouldn't quite say that animal welfare wasn't even a consideration. But the filmmakers obviously couldn't stop the hunting expedition from happening even if they wanted to, so they used it for their own ends instead. Sadly, I don't think they used it to help end the practice, they just used it to make a film, though they did obviously mean for the sequences to be disturbing, so hey, maybe they had ulterior motives in mind.

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