“Wake in Fright” (1971) dir. Ted Kotcheff

One of the best, most brutal, and weirdest Australian films ever made is getting a major American reissue via Alamo Drafthouse Films.  “Wake in Fright” was thought to be a lost film, but a negative in great shape was found a few years ago and the film was restored.  This is the Australian “Deliverance”.    Director Ted Kotcheff later went on to direct “North Dallas Forty” (arguably, the best American football film ever made) and the original “First Blood” (a great film, especially when you forget the moronic blockbuster “Rambo” sequel).

As Martin Scorsese said, “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. I’m excited that WAKE IN FRIGHT has been preserved and restored and that it is finally getting the exposure it deserves.”

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