Friday, August 04, 2006

Bad Blood

New Zealand the way it used to be. Both in terms of New Zealand film making (even though this is an NZ/UK co-production) and in terms of West Coast life in 1941. This film was made in 1981 and has been restored by the NZ Film Archive as part of a 25th anniversary project. In October 1941 Stanley Graham killed several policemen and went bush for 12 days. This dramatisation portraits Stanley and his wife as paranoid, unsuccessful farmers who resent having to give up their .303 rifle and who blame their neighbours for their troubles. A couple on an collision course with disaster, which the well meaning and tolerant local cop is unable to defuse to inevitable confrontation.

The camera work and acting is workman like and help make the rural West Coast in 1941 more believable than it would be with more polished performances by cast and crew. This film deserves to be better known in New Zealand as it is far from our worst film.

Ian’s Rating: 3/5

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