Monday, January 12, 2009

Watch The Poster, Avoid The Movie

Unfortunately, the "fuzz" that flashed his badge "on" the 'The Dirt Gang' (try "at" next time) didn't receive anything like the treatment he receives in this striking ad art (a nice front tyre to the chops!), which is one of the many reasons why this film was such a disappointment.

The poster art did inspire small-time juvenile delinquency in the Melbourne suburb of Mt. Waverley, though. My brother, myself, and two friends formed our own "Dirt Gang". We would jump on our dragsters, roar up the street with cardboard pegged to the spokes, stop outside the local Milk Bar (read: Dairy, General Store) on Bernard St., and hurl handfuls of dirt and crud at the window. Nobody got bludgeoned with a bicycle tyre and no "fuzz" flashed his badge "on" us, but we did scare some old ladies and infants in strollers. After our mean-spirited dirt raids, we would return home for lime cordial, served by my mother, and salivate over my "Dirt Gang" ad art for an R-rated film we couldn't legally see for another 8 years. Clearly, we were beyond rehabilitation.

One should never lose hope entirely, though. Back in the good old days when George Lazenby made films like "Universal Soldier" (not to be confused with Dolph Lungren's effort), you could count on infamous Melbourne-born femi-nazi Germaine Greer (!) to sell your action movie.

The Metro cinema, where the film screened, was part of the Greater Union chain, and was shuttered over 30 years ago, as were most the city's single-screen hardtops.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent stuff. The old ads bring back memories; I remember being at the same time horrified and fascinated by the ads for 'man from deep river', where, if memory serves, a guy is tied up, and arrows shot into his chest. It reminded me of the same horrifying and yet transfixing images of Richard Harris dancing with the piercings in his chest in a 'man called horse'. This stuff weaves it's way into your subconscious, and never leaves. Funny how when you finally see many of these films, they are never quite as good as the ads. Even films I WAS ALLOWED to see-'Westworld', and 'Soylent Green', for example- always seemed to be somewhat of a letdown compared to the incredibly evocative and stimulating advertisements. This still stands, for me, to this day; not one of the 'Friday 13th' films was a fraction as good as their advertising material. There are other, better examples, but they do not spring to mind at the moment. In any event, I think this illustrates the power of our own imagination, and how, so often, that which we visualise pales when we materialise. Perhaps, in the end, it is far better to keep it all to ourselves?? Just a thought...