HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
   
 
Newest Articles
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
   
 
  Mad Dog Morgan Bushranger BotherBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Philippe Mora
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jack Thompson, David Gulpilil, Frank Thring, Michael Pate, Wallas Eaton, Bill Hunter, John Hargreaves, Martin Harris, Robin Ramsay, Graeme Blundell, Gregory Apps, Liza Lee-Atkinson, Norman Kaye, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Bruce Spence
Genre: Historical, Adventure, Biopic
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Australia during the 1850s, there was one so-called bushranger whose antics struck terror into the populace, and he was Daniel Morgan (Dennis Hopper), known colloquially as Mad Dog. Hailing from Ireland, he had a tough few years as a workman and his lack of racism towards the Chinese community got him into deep trouble when he was spending time at one of their opium dens and was caught up in a massacre which saw his new friend murdered by bigots. But worse was to come, for soon he would spend six years in prison...

All of which experience made him the man we saw in the rest of the movie, which was named after him. Morgan was an actual person, and if this was sounding like the better known film Ned Kelly, in which Mick Jagger made an unintentional mockery of an Aussie folk hero, then rest assured this was a far better film. Under Philippe Mora's direction - he wrote the script as well - the way it turned out may have been rather ramshackle, and indeed it plays artlessly on the screen as if verging on the amateur in places, but it captured a raw sense of place and of history better than many higher budgeted and slicker productions.

At the heart of this was what could be safely described as a committed performance by Hopper, although that did not mean he was much fun to be around during filming. He didn't go as far as shooting people with a clutch of revolvers as the real Morgan had done, but he did get heroically drunk on rum and high on cocaine, all to better interpret the role as he claimed at the time, but mainly because he was a wreck for the whole of this decade. The seventies were something of the wilderness years for Hopper, not well publicised but it's well worth tracking down the movies he made during this era - if you can find them.

Some of these films are better distributed than others, and a few can be considered well nigh essential, not just for Hopper aficionados but for those with an interest in off the wall cinema no matter how casual. Much of that was down to marvelling how the star could actually keep it together for the length of a take, even if the moment "Cut!" was called he was sprawling and staggering all over the place once again. In this case Hopper kept up his Irish accent even when not on camera, which at least displayed dedication, though everyone working with him doubtless wished he had done more in that direction by not getting hammered and occasionally arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour.

Yet here his spacey, out of it performing worked in the role's favour as his Morgan does come across as a genuine outsider, something Mora emphasised by placing the character in surroundings which allied him to groups like the Aborigines, as embodied by Australian cinema's most visible representative, David Gulpilil, playing the only friend Morgan really has after he's raped and abused in prison, shunned by society on his release, and eventually shot for no good reason whereupon the native nurses him back to health. There wasn't much of a plot here, more a ramble from one scene to the next, but this shaky grasp of narrative proved as distinctive for the lead character as any number of shots of the rolling scenery or exchanges between corrupt authorities who bully or cajole their way through the population depending on their class status. Yes, Mad Dog Morgan was rough and ready, but it contained a spirit which makes it plain to see why it gathered the cult following it did. Music by Patrick Flynn, with contributions by Gulpilil.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2095 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: