One of the very cool things about London’s Frightfest festival is that, as well as screening plenty of cutting-edge modern fare, toes are also dipped in some back-catalogue magic.

Leading the charge in terms of interesting offerings from yesteryear this time around is 1971 Ozploitation classic Wake In Fright, which has earned a reputation as a brutally haunting, psychologically gripping one-off.

Directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring the likes of Gary Bond and Donald Pleasance, the film charts the descent of schoolteacher John Grant, forced into a living hell in the outback when he is stranded on his way to meet his girlfriend in Sydney.

Confronted with a world of alcohol-fuelled, senseless violence, Bond must seek to save his own destruction.

Not only is Wake In Fright screening at Frightfest on Friday, August 23, but those canny guys at Eureka also plan to release the film in the near future as part of their Masters Of Cinema series, with some planned special features to boot.

To whet the appetite for both, here’s a 1971 trailer for the US release of the film, that even seems to include a bloke fighting a kangaroo……


About The Author

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Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle