Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Wake in Fright

Considered to be “one of the films in the development of modern Australian cinema,” Wake in Fright, directed by Ted Kotcheff, follows a schoolteacher (Gary Bond) as he slips into madness while being stranded in a small town in the outback.

The film wasn’t released on DVD or VHS. After many Australian directors and film schools lamented about not being able to find and view it, the film’s editor Tony Buckley decided to track down the original print in 1994. Years later, Buckley did find it, however, in an interview with Indiewire, Kotcheff describes how close Wake in Fright came to complete obliteration.

He took two years on to try and find it and he finally found it in a warehouse in Pittsburgh, in two big boxes with inter-negatives, sound reels, everything — On the outside of the box it was marked ‘For Destruction,’ — Had he arrived one week later, they were going to make room in the warehouse and Wake In Fright would have been lost forever.

Martin Scorsese, has said this about it:

Wake in Fright is a deeply — and I mean deeply — unsettling and disturbing movie. I saw it when it premiered at Cannes in 1971, and it left me speechless. Visually, dramatically, atmospherically and psychologically, it’s beautifully calibrated and it gets under your skin one encounter at a time, right along with the protagonist played by Gary Bond. I’m excited that Wake in Fright has been preserved and restored and that it is finally getting the exposure it deserves

I’ve seen it a couple of times on FOX in Australia, and it is odd, unsettling and well worth a viewing. You can buy it HERE and there are 4 purchase options: some include a physical DVD/Blu-ray, digital download, posters, and other extras.

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