Sunday 24 March 2019

Next of Kin (1982)

"Stylish Ozsploitation Gothic Well Worth A Look"

Second Sight present us with a welcome Blu-ray (and download and on-demand) release for this obscure Australian horror picture from director Tony Williams.

When her mother dies, Linda Stevens (Jacki Kerin) inherits Montclare, a retirement home set in the middle of nowhere that looks as if it belongs in a Pete Walker film. Her mother's diary tells of peculiar goings-on and soon people are turning up dead. Is there a ghost haunting Montclare or is it someone with leanings towards becoming a prospective Australian giallo star?

For much of its running time, NEXT OF KIN feels as if it's trying hard to emulate the EuroGothics of the 1960s and 1970s like Narciso Ibanez Serrador's 1969 LA RESIDENCIA, but with a level of grit you'd be more likely to find in British pictures of the period. Tipped into the mix, however, is some genuinely unsettling imagery that keeps you guessing as to what is actually going on.

It's in the final act that NEXT OF KIN really comes into its own, providing us with an array of startling images, some gory murders and, almost out of nowhere, some stunts that wouldn't be out of place in a Brian Trenchard-Smith film. It's all atmospheric entertaining stuff and if you're a fan of horror movies from this era and you haven't seen it now's your chance.

Second Sight's Blu-ray comes packed with extras (hooray!). There are two commentaries - one with director Tony Williams and producer Tim White, the second with cast members Kern, John Jarratt, Robert Ratti and Mr Ozsploitation Documentarian himself, Mark Hartley. 

You also get extended interviews from Hartley's documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD (which is excellent, by the way, & also well worth seeking out), plus a look at the shooting locations, deleted scenes, trailers, the complete sequence of the ballroom dancing footage someone is watching on the TV, an image gallery and reversible sleeve art. There are also a couple of Tony Willliams' short films from 1971 - Getting Together and The Day We Landed on the Most Perfect Planet in the Universe. An excellent package of classic ozsploitation goodness.

Tony Williams' NEXT OF KIN is out on Blu-ray (and download and on-demand) from Second Sight from Monday 25th March 2019

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