1992/Director: Geoffrey Wright/ Writer: Geoffrey Wright
Cast: Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie, Alex Scott, Leigh Russell, Daniel Wyllie, James McKenna, Eric Mueck, Frank Magree,
Romper Stomper was early on in Russell Crowe's movie acting career and when I first saw the film on VHS back in the 90's he had yet to achieve the level of stardom he has since attained. Had I known Crowe already and some of the Hollywood work I have seen of his lately, such as A Beautiful Mind and Cinderella Man I would have thought something like "wow, he really made some wild movies way back then, not like Gladiator at all". But when I first saw the film I really knew very little of the guy and doubt that I even knew his name, which only added to the intensity of this already riveting drama about angry skinheads in Melbourne Australia. Crowe is simply mesmerizing as Hando, the leader of a band of skinheads who focus their hatred and violent behavior on the local Asian community, and Vietnamese in particular. The film was written and directed by Geoffrey Wright and has a blood pumping soundtrack of instrumental music as well as bombastic skinhead punk rock music. Along with Crowe are Australian actress Jacqueline McKenzie and actor Daniel Pollock, who had played a small role with Crowe in 1991's Proof, another great independent Australian film.
The movie is brutally powerful and Crowe is chilling as the sociopathic Hando. The acting and direction is excellent from start to finish. The film was shot on 16mm and has a look much older than 1992. Actors Daniel Pollack and Jacqueline McKenzie had an off screen relationship during the filming of the movie. Problem with the relationship as well as Pollock's attempts to manage his heroin addiction may led to his suicide by jumping in front of a train, shortly before the film was released. The incident was made into a song by Crowe's rock band at the time 30 Odd feet of Grunts called The Night That Davey Hit the Train.
Below is an MP3 sample of one the catchy Aryan pop classics from the film.
PULLING ON THE BOOTS