Wake In Fright Review

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Working as a teacher in a two-horse Outback town, Gary Bond heads to a neighbouring town to catch a flight back to Sydney for Christmas. His plans, though, are soon derailed as the sweaty, sinister locals make his life a misery.


John Grant (Gary Bond), a teacher stuck in the outback, wants to spend the long Christmas holiday in Sydney but gets detained in the town of Bundanyabba, where he gambles away his pay and falls in with locals who offer beer and sinister companionship. A vivid Australian nightmare from 1971, reissued in a splendid restoration, as in After Hours this sees a buttoned-down protagonist make a single misstep which leads to infernal collapse... The subtlest touch is that the folk who ruin Grant’s life all seem genuinely matey as they drag him down. Director Ted Kotcheff brilliantly conveys the sweaty, beery heat, and Donald Pleasence is great as a loon.

A well-warranted remastering of his Aussie new wave classic.