Drafthouse Films Acquires Sweaty Donald Pleasance, Doomed 'Roos

Drafthouse Films acquires Ozploitation Classic 'Wake in Fright'

Drafthouse Films Acquires Sweaty Donald Pleasance, Doomed 'Roos

Drafthouse Films has announced their acquisition of the long-unseen Australian outback thriller Wake in Fright, with plans for limited release in New York, Los Angeles, and presumably here in Austin this October, with DVD and VOD to follow in early 2013.

Although director Ted Kotcheff's thriller debuted the 1971 Cannes Film Fest – and was nominated for the prestigious Palme d'Or – the film itself has been rarely screened since, and was considered "lost" until serial film preservationist and marinara sauce fanatic Martin Scorsese screened a comprehensively restored version at Cannes 2009 (Thus making it the only film ever to be screened twice at the legendary fest.)

We've heard all about Wake in Fright over the years, but this is one Ozploitater we haven't actually viewed. Shocking, we know, but our infatuation with both the films of Brian Trenchard-Smith and Jenny Agutter in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout have kept us obsessively busy of the years. (We do so love Razorback, as well.)

So in lieu of our own critique of Kotcheff's film, we're going to drop in a nifty quote from no less a scholar of darkness than Australian-born murder balladeer Nick Cave, who said Wake in Fright "is the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence."

From the official press release:

"Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced today their acquisition of North American rights to classic Australian thriller Wake In Fright. Alongside Mad Max and Walkabout, Wake In Fright is widely acknowledged as one of the seminal films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Directed by Ted Kotcheff (Rambo: First Blood, North Dallas Forty), the film tells the story of a British schoolteacher's descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia. Virtually unseen in the United States and renowned in its home country after years of neglect, Wake In Fright is ripe for rediscovery and returns to cinemas beginning with engagements at Film Forum in New York City on October 5th, The NuArt in Los Angeles on October 19th and expanding to additional markets before a home video and VOD release in Q1 of 2013."

Damn. We can't wait.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Drafthouse Films
Fantastic Fest Wave Three
Fantastic Fest Wave Three
Multiple monsters, sequels, and regulars (and RZA)

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 7, 2016

Fantastic Fest Snags <i>Arrival</i>
Fantastic Fest Snags Arrival
The Handmaiden, Sadako vs. Kayako in wave two

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 25, 2016

More Wake in Fright
FF2012: 'Wake in Fright'
FF2012: 'Wake in Fright'

Marc Savlov, Sept. 23, 2012

More by Marc Savlov
Remembering James “Prince” Hughes, Atomic City Owner and Austin Punk Luminary
Remembering James “Prince” Hughes, Atomic City Owner and Austin Punk Luminary
The Prince is dead, long live the Prince

Aug. 7, 2022

Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone
Texas-made luchadores-meets-wire fu playful adventure

April 29, 2022


Drafthouse Films, Wake in Fright, Cannes Film Festival, Palme d'Or, Donald Pleasance, Ted Kotcheff, Ozploitation, Martin Scorsese

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle