With Australia Day falling on a Thursday this year, chances are you’ve decided to take a long weekend along with the rest of the country, which makes Colin Eggleston’s eerie Ozploitation classic the perfect viewing choice. Unless you’re planning on some coastal camping…
City slickers Peter (John Hargreaves) and Marcia (Briony Behets) take off for a weekend getaway on an isolated beach, in an attempt to patch up their rocky marriage. Hitting a kangaroo en route and starting a fire with a carelessly tossed cigarette is just the beginning of a chain of environmental neglect that will have nightmarish consequences for this bickering couple.
The discovery of an abandoned campsite and a submerged kombi is unsettling enough, but when Peter shoots a dark shape lurking in the surf – believing it to be a shark – a series of frightening and inexplicable events drive the pair toward the edge of madness.
Ostensibly a ‘nature strikes back’ horror movie, there’s a lot more to Long Weekend than wrathful wildlife. Written by the late Everett De Roche, whose Ozploitation credits include Patrick, Road Games and Razorback, it’s both a dark depiction of a disintegrating marriage and a terrifying eco-thriller with subtle supernatural overtones.
Long Weekend exploits the isolation of the Australian outdoors to ominous effect, sustaining a stifling sense of dread throughout. Packed with chilling set pieces – which won’t be revealed here – it’s one of the creepiest camping trips you’ll ever take, and one of the great, unsung Aussie classics of the seventies.