BARRY MCKENZIE HOLDS HIS OWN (1974)
Pt. 4 of 6 reviews from the OZPLOITATION VOLUME 3 (6-Disc Set)
LABEL: Umbrella Entertainment
REGION: Region 0 PAL
DURATION: 93 mins
DIRECTOR: Bruce Breseford
CAST: Barry Crocker, Barry Humphries, Donald Pleasance
PLOT: Aunt Edna Everage (Barry Humphries) is returning from London with her hapless loud-mouthed, sex crazed nephew, Barry McKenzie (Barry Crocker), when she is mistaken for the Queen of England by a couple of Eastern European ratbags. She is kidnapped and taken to Transylvanian in a bid to boost their struggling tourist industry. Excitement brews and Fosters flows as Bazza sets out to rescue the Dame-to-be in distress from the clutches of Erich Count Plasma (Donald Pleasence), the sinister head of the Transylvanian Tourist Commission. Can Bazza pull it off?
DVD: Barry McKenzie Holds His Own comes to us from Umbrella Entertainment as part of the 6-disc OZPLOITATION VOL. 3 set. Presented in "Chunderama" which translates to a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that does not look pristine by any means but is probably better than the film has ever look in previous editions. It's grainy, soft and non-too vibrant but given the age of the film and it's better than you might think. The audio is mono and no subtitles are offered aside from the in-movie subtitles which help translate some of Bazza's more challenging Bazzaisms.
- AUDIO COMMENTARY BY ACTOR BARRY CROCKER - A decent commentary with plenty of anecdotes from the star of the film.
- BARRY HUMPHRIES GIVES US THE GOOD OIL (24:07) - An interview featurette (filmed in 2003). Humphries gives us the comic strip origins of the McKenzie character as well as a great story about pitching an idea about a 3rd film wherein McKenzie would travel to America. The film never did happen but he recounts how familiar the premise of Crocodile Dundee seemed just a few years later. Humphries is always a great interview, very unapologetic and wry.
- BARRY MCKENZIE: OGRE OR OCKE? (50 mins) - an interesting made for Australian TV documentary with film footage, footage of the film's premier, it's censorship and some great interviews with the always enjoyable Barry Humphries and a film critic whom truly seem to despise the film and Humphries inparticular.
- BEHIND THE SCENES FOOTAGE (32:17)- very raw BTS b-roll footage.
- TEASER TRAILERS (3:46) - three teaser trailers featuring either Edna or Bazza introducing the films to theatre goers.
- TV SPOTS (2:21)
VERDICT: Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974) is a bit of a slog at times but is still an amusing ozploitation comedy. The adventures of the uncouth Australian making a spectacle of himself while abroad is a fun time, if extremely uneven. There's an over abundance on insensitive racial humor, gay-bashing and plenty of crudity for the sake of comedy but these characterizations are stereotypes of the perceptions of Australians at the time; crude, smutty people descended from British penal colonies, more so than any true celebration of racism and bigotry. Barry McKenzie Holds His Own will never be mistaken for great cinema but it will most definitely elicit a few chuckles. Not a whole-hearted recommend but I think it's worth a watch with at least 3-4 beers.
**1/2 (2.5 out of 5 stars)
This is pt. 4 of six reviews forthcoming from UMBRELLA ENTERTAINMENT's OZPLOITATION VOL. 3. It's chock full of Aussie Ozploitation goodness featuring some of the most madcap and erotic exploitation films from the land down under. Prepare yourself for reviews of the following films to come your way in short order. Listed below are the other six films on the set. Up next for review: FELICITY (1980)