Romper Stomper (1992)

This film was the Australian equivalent of American History X. I'm more of a fan of Ed Norton than I am of Russell Crowe, but I saw some serious parallels in not just the storylines but the manner of acting. The way they move and the grimace of hatred when they see what they consider inferior races is almost identical.

This movie features Russell and a bunch of actors I've never seen or heard of before or since. But let's be realistic, no one is seeing this movie to see Jacqueline McKenzie or Daniel Pollock. So Russell did this movie well before he made it big. This was considered by many to be his breakout, as he made the jump from TV to the big screen with this film. He's got fake tattoos out the wazoo, and a shaved head; I wonder if this was after his brief stint as a rock and roll singer.

So, this movie is about an Aussie gang of neo-Nazi/skinheads (is there a difference between them?) who are very VERY anti-Asian. It is my understanding that this is not too uncommon in the land down under, and it is much the same way we militantly hate Canadians. Well, those of us who are REAL Americans hate those moose-riding lumberjacks who call ham bacon - HAM! It's HAM! Ham is the BYPRODUCT of making bacon, dammit!

Anyway, it's all about Hitler and racial purity for the gang, and they eventually take on too much for them to handle. All the while, there is the female who is still undecided about exactly how she's going to waste her life, and she is giving racial hatred a go for a bit. She gives the gang some leads on who they can harass for money, and they accept her as one of them - albeit one with a lot more hair than the others.

The movie is interesting enough, but it's got some not-award-winning performances by quite a bit of the cast. As this is an Australian-made movie, the general production qualities are below our expected norm. But, this is actually not a bad movie even in terms of production. The methods seem a bit dated, but this was 1992, and it is a whole heap better than the Big Hit, which was made six years later. In context, this movie is not half bad.

Acting was good and bad.
Directing was pretty bad, but it had some bright spots.
Editing was decent.
Dialogue was run of the mill.
Story was simple, yet effective.
Cinematography was not great.



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