John Grant, a sophisticated young teacher, posted to a (literally) two-house town in the dusty Australian outback, dismisses his students for Christmas break, downs a beer and catches a train to a much larger but only slightly less remote town, “The Yabba,” for a one-night stopover before a flight back to civilization in Sidney.
But after a few beers–and then a few more–Grant (Gary Bond, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Peter O’Toole) loses his money in an coin toss betting game (with curious rules). And then with his new mates sinks into days of alcohol, sexual misadventure, and the horrifying brutality of a kangaroo hunt. He emerges from the madness transformed, dirty and full of self-loathing.
Ted Kotcheff’s 1971 thriller, “Wake in Fright,” which premiered at Cannes, has long been unavailable and believed to exist only as poor-quality print. But after a decade-long search, the original negative was unearthed in Pittsburgh and used to produce the new shockingly vibrant print.
Kotcheff (who has made other films about male mayhem–the inaugural Rambo movie, “First Blood,” “Weekend At Bernie’s”) will introduce tonight’s 7:30 show at Film Forum and a Q&A will follow the screening.
“Wake in Fright” will run through October 11.