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Romper Stomper (Widescreen/Full Screen) [Import]
Today Only: "Mad Max Anthology (4 Film Collection) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)" for $25.99
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The controversial film drew rave reviews for its visceral look at how the seeds of racial hatred, fueled by fear and paranoia, can explode into raw violence. Winner of three Australian Film Institute Awards, including Best Actor for Crowe, Romper Stomper is "exhilarating and utterly brilliant" (Preview Magazine).
The burning intensity of Russell Crowe (L.A. Confidential) first lit up screens as a hate-filled, Mein Kampf-spouting skinhead in this brutal Australian drama. Crowe glowers from under his deep-set eyes as Hando, the creepy but charismatic leader of a racist gang who declares war on the Asian immigrants pouring into Melbourne. His rage erupts in violent attacks on the local Vietnamese community, but when his victims fight back his gang breaks up, and Hando flees the city with his best buddy Davey (Daniel Pollock) and redheaded hellion Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie), a rich girl runaway who turns the dynamic duo into a splintered love triangle. Writer-director Geoffrey Wright's matter-of-fact treatment of this subculture eschews social commentary for visceral immediacy. His portrait of white supremacist punks living like squatters on the fringes of Australian society is powered by coiled anger and simmering frustration, which finds its outlet in brutal fights and murderous rampages (the intense violence earned the film an NC-17 rating). The lack of moral position may bother some people, especially in light of Wright's sympathetic treatment of particular members of Hando's racist army, and the cold, hate-driven violence is sometimes hard to watch, but his vivid characters and richly drawn world create a compelling drama for adventurous filmgoers. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Writer/Director Geoffry Wright came under attack by Leftist critics for not hitting everyone over the head, like American History X, with an anti-racist civics lesson - His position comes across as neutral. Indeed, one can almost sympathize with the group as they are convinced Australia's future depends on its racial and cultural purity.
Without a doubt, this movie is worth owning.
Although it has been criticized for "glorifying" skinheads and not taking a moral position against them, neither criticism is really well-founded.
It is clear that the director and the actors made a great effort to get inside the characters, to make them human beings -- however repulsive -- and not simply caricatures. Still, the skinhead lifestyle depicted is mean, mindless, unromantic and, ultimately, pointless. Which becomes clear at the end when the leader (brilliantly played by Crowe) commits one final act of brutal bullying. What was their message really?
Also, for all their posturing, they are mindless bullies, ganging up on isolated victims, and they are completely undone when faced with victims who join forces and fight back with the same intensity. By the end, all but one of the gang members is in jail or dead, which seems to me to be a pretty powerful moral statement.
It is surely not perfect but it features genuinely terrifying performances of men totally twisted and misshapen by hatred, frustration and fear, yet capable of genuine affection and tenderness towards their best friends.
I recommend renting this out if you have some appetite for gore and unflinching visuals.
approached from even less pleasant perspectives. Such efforts, especially in the climate of "political correctness", can often create public misunderstanding and controversies. Romper Stomper on the other hand is definately an accurate portrayal and does go after the unpleasant topics. The plot begins in Melbourne, town towards which flow the endless river of Asian, mostly Vietnamese, immigrants who gradually take over entire neighbourhoods. For many impoverished and unemployed white youths Asians are convenient explanation for their own misery, so some accepted the most extreme form of xenophobic racism and
became skinheads. The small group led by charismatic Hando(played by Russell Crowe) is just one of many that fight a war for racial purity by mercilessly beating any Asian unfortunate to be in their proximity. After a while, Vietnamese decide that they had enough so they organise and start fighting back.Read more ›
The violence is actually not all that atrocious---this is after all an Aussie production, and the Aussies just don't do celluloid violence anywhere as well as Hollywood does. (Bone-crunching, blood-splattering, in your face quasi 3-D violence on film is one of the few things America still does better than anybody else in the world.) You especially see this in the scene where the skinheads get overrun by a huge contingent of Vietnamese immigrants out to avenge their friends who were beaten up by the skins...the facial expressions, stunts, grunts, sound effects and fake combat often borders on comic cartoonish farce.
Again, the main problem with this movie is it just doesn't stick to any one particular theme or conflict, but stumbles along from violence to sex to romance to drama and back to a little bit of violence. The last 10 minutes is more like a road movie than anything else. There is no consistent theme, tone, or focus.
Overall it's a fairly entertaining 2 hours, but leaves you wanting. The director apparently lived with some actual skinheads for a couple of months prior to filming so he does try to capture much of their lingo, music, parties, etc. authentically...too bad the film as a whole just seems so staged and unreal.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm sorry... but if you liked movies such as American History X or This Is England and thought that this might be a similar type of movie and that you might like it as well you... Read morePublished on June 14 2011 by blackcatbone
First and foremost, let me note to the reader that I would fit in with what many other reviewers have called "the subculture" (that is, essentially, neo-Nazi) depicted in the film,... Read morePublished on May 8 2004 by David McConnor
Let me start out by saying that I am a skinhead. I am not racist in the slightest(though I'm not a SHARP). Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2004 by Sheldon Wilson
Four days after I viewed by copy of Romper Stomper for the first time, and thats all I can get out. Wow. Read more
this movie will make your skin crawl, I mean literally. With the NeoNazi genre wrecking havoc. Russell Crowe is brutal and violent in one of his best roles to date other then A... Read morePublished on Dec 1 2003 by Michael Bolts
Romper Stomper begins as a movie about racism. The Australian white people feel as though the Asian immigrants are encroaching on their homeland, so violence quickly ensues. Read morePublished on July 7 2003 by sliphsc
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