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Welcome to Woop Woop

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Stephan Elliott

This is a wild journey through "down under" as a scam artist, on the run, finds himself trapped in an outrageous Australian town. The town, and its inhabitants, are bizarre and wacky beyond belief, and from there the laughs begin to pile.

Director: Stephan Elliott
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 1997
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Welcome to Woop Woop

Welcome to Woop Woop

  • Feb 18, 2002
Rating:
+3
Pros: I don't want to take too many liberties here

Cons: a jaded and insular view of the Australian lifestyle

The Bottom Line: It's good for a laugh and you CAN'T miss the ending AFTER the credits!


First, I must thank SMITHWOODSIDE for his Australian articles introducing the nuances of the Aussie language, for it was through his instruction that I was able to enjoy many of the colorful statements made in this movie. Of course, SMITH would probably be shocked to see some of the culture exposed in this release, but I had a darn good time.

Directed by Stephan Elliott, who gave us Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, you are guaranteed from the beginning that you are entering a bizarre and highly entertaining film that will be swamped with music. No ABBA this time, instead, we are treated to the movies and soundtracks of the likes of Sound of Music and South Pacific.

Starting with an unfortunate incident in New York, our star, Teddy (Jonathan Schaech), is a dyed in the wool con man. Getting the bejesus beaten out of him by loan sharks is nothing compared to what he is about to confront in Woop Woop, Australia.

Teddy heads to Australia not only to avoid his creditors, but also to capture rare Cockatoos, which he sells on the black market. What he meets instead is the delightfully scrumptious Angie (Susie Porter) who drugs him and marries him while he is passed out. This only goes to show ya, men aren’t the only skunks.

Then Angie takes Teddy home to meet the family. Holycatsass – what a family! The family, and town, is run by Daddy-O (Rod Taylor) and his wife Ginger (Maggie Kirkpatrick), who brought his clan back to the land after the adjoining asbestos mine was closed down and they were shipped off to Sydney, of all places. All those red lights and traffic! Daddy-O and company are a rare breed, and the town slogan is “Nobody Leaves”. This becomes Teddy’s main goal, finding a way to get out of this dang blasted town and away from its inhabitants.

Their primary entertainment, other than beer, is watching movies on an outdoor screen, chairs all arranged, and each audience member dressed according to the appropriate film. In addition, they ‘act out’ the movie while they are watching it. If you have ever been to a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, you know exactly what I mean. Their favorites were Sound of Music and South Pacific, and I will given them credit, they had them down pat. Audience interaction with the film was at an all time high.

While I will admit there is probably more to berate about this movie than champion there are several good points to it. Underneath you see the change in Teddy, who previously thought the world began and ended with him, and the sentimental side of Daddy-O, who, although he is obtrusive and overbearing, still loves his wife completely and just wanted what was rightly theirs – this little piece of burnt out land. What happens in between is often bizarre, often offensive, and often hilarious.

There are many torn reviews on this movie. Understandably, the Australians were offended, much as the people from Fargo were offended when that film came out. This movie portrays the Australians as incompetent, incestuous, drunken dullards. But only in Woop Woop. I’ve seen worse movies and even worse portrayals, but I enjoyed this one completely, as bad as it was.

Filmed in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia, and Portland, Oregon, the Australian scenery is wonderful, if harsh. The language was a bit of a trial, but once you got the cadence down, the meanings, if not the words, we entirely understandable. In fact, the colorful language really added a plus to the movie.

Starring Johnathon Schaech, Rod Taylor, Susie Porter, Dee Smart, Barry Humphries, Paul Mercurio, Rachel Griffiths, Maggie Kirkpatrick and Tina Louise. Written by Michael Thomas, based on The Dead Heart by Douglas Kennedy. Produced and directed by Stephan Elliott.

The Big Red One is just a dream, and Sonny & Cher could come knocking on your door anytime. Welcome to Woop Woop!

Thanks,
Susi

The Oracle says: Paul Mercurio has a Bacon number of 2.

Paul Mercurio was in Exit to Eden (1994) with Dr. Joyce Brothers (?)

Dr. Joyce Brothers was in Hero at Large (1980) with Kevin Bacon – compliments of : Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering, University of Virginia



Recommended:
Yes

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