18

Wake In Fright

Year: 1971

Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller

Duration: 109 mins

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond, Chips Rafferty, Sylvia Kay, Jack Thompson

Director: Ted Kotcheff

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"Have a drink, mate? Have a fight, mate? Have a taste of dust and sweat, mate? There's nothing else out here."

Balanced on a knife-edge between social realism and existential horror, this disturbing, subversive portrayal of Australia's cultural underbelly failed to find a wide audience on its original release, but has since become established as a seminal cornerstone of the Australian cinema.

A middle-class schoolteacher, stuck in a government-enforced teaching post in an arid backwater, stops off in the mining town of Bundanyabba on his way home for the Christmas holidays.

Discovering a local gambling craze that may grant him the financial independence to move back to Sydney for good, the opportunity proves irresistible. But the bad decisions are just beginning and a reliance on local standards of hospitality in "the Yabba" may take him on a path darker than ever expected.