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12 films to see before TERROR NULLIUS

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Ready to ride into the dark heart of Australia?

Part eco-horror, political satire and road movie, TERROR NULLIUS samples, remixes and recontextualises some of the most iconic characters, moments and imagery in Australian cinema. Before you see the "crazy, punch-drunk, astral-projecting, bizarro roller-coaster ride" in our galleries, flick on these classics in preparation.

Wake in Fright (dir. Ted Kotcheff, 1971)

After a bad gambling bet, a schoolteacher is marooned in a town full of crazy, drunk, violent men who threaten to make him just as crazy, drunk, and violent. There's an urban legend that during an early Australian screening, a man stood up in the audience and screeched, "That's not us!".

We know the feeling.

Find it on Ozflix.

Walkabout (dir. Nicholas Roeg, 1971)

Two young siblings are stranded in the outback and forced to traverse the searing desert alone. During their trek, they meet an Australian boy on "walkabout": a ritual separation from his tribe. It's a sparse and tense survival drama starring David Gulpilil, Jenny Aguttar and Luc Roeg.

Find it on SBS On Demand.

The Cars That Ate Paris (dir. Peter Weir, 1974)

In this horror comedy classic, the residents of Paris, Australia deliberately cause car accidents, salvaging and selling all the valuables as means to sustain themselves. Find out why the Guardian bestows it "the mantle for the most batshit crazy Australian automobile movie".

Find it on Google Play.

Picnic at Hanging Rock (dir. Peter Weir, 1975)

One of the most haunting visions of the Australian landscape put to celluloid, Peter Weir's breakthrough film follows the fallout on a small town when a group of school girls and their teacher disappear on a Valentine's Day picnic.

Find it on iTunes.

Long Weekend (dir. Colin Eggleston, 1978)

We all know the landscape often features as a character in Australian cinema, but what about when it’s the antagonist? That’s the premise of Colin Eggleston’s Long Weekend, when a suburban couple are under assault from the land itself.

Find it on Google Play.

Road Games (dir. Richard Franklin, 1981)

A truck driver plays a cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious serial killer on a desolate Australian highway in a classic Ozploitation film that also stars American Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Find it on Google Play.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (dir. George Miller, 1981

In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich community escape a horde of bandits in George Miller's classic. 

Find it on Google Play.

Romper Stomper (dir. Geoffrey Wright, 1992)

The story of the exploits and downfall of a skinhead gang in a blue-collar suburb of Melbourne, Romper Stomper is confronting, controversial and essential viewing.

Find it on Stan.

Body Melt (dir. Philip Brophy, 1993)

If you like the splatstick horror of early Peter Jackson, you'll love Philip Brophy's satirical horror film. They don't know it but the residents of peaceful Pebbles Court are unknowingly being used as test experiments for a new 'Body Drug'. The side effects? Their bodies melt.

Find it on Google Play.

Heavenly Creatures (dir. Peter Jackson, 1994)

Ok so this one is actually Kiwi, but it's a good rewatch nonetheless. Peter Jackson directs Kate Winslett and Melanie Lynskey in a story about two schoolgirls with an intense fantasy life. When their parents try to separate them, the girls take bloody revenge.

Don't watch it with your mum.

Find it on Google Play.

Lucky Miles, dir Michael James Rowland, 2007

Based on the true stories of people entering Western Australia by boat, this 2007 drama portrays the struggle of Iraqi and Cambodian refugees desperately searching the desert for evidence of a liberal Western democracy.

Find it on iTunes.

Bran Nue Dae, dir Rachel Perkins, 2009

An uplifting screen adaptation of a stage musical about an Aboriginal teenager who's looking for love and running away from boarding school, featuring Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Ernie Dingo and Missy Higgins. One of the few optimistic visions in this list!

Find it on Stan.