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Next of Kin – A rediscovered ozploitation gem

Next of Kin – A rediscovered ozploitation gem

A real cult movie from Australia. Retro horror recommender from the half-finished special issue of Shivering.

(The Shivering Horror Magazine unfortunately said goodbye indefinitely due to reduced readings, but you’ll be able to read the semi-finished Halloween special in PC Guru Online in the coming weeks. Follow the Shiver label!)

A flaming, explosive canteen in the middle of the wilderness; a young woman who walks out of the building slowly, almost in delirium – so, with these images, the cult film begins, which no one watched at the time of its presentation. We’ll come back to that later, but now the story is the point, which, after a lot of promising start-up sequences, naturally bounces back into the past to illustrate the cold and bloody journey Linda is taking to the final explosion. Our heroine inherits a nursing home from her mother, but not empty: she lives in a beautiful building or two dozen old gentlemen and ladies, and the number of residents increases by one on a stormy night as a handsome young man transports his somewhat disabled mother home. The new resident doesn’t bother much of the water, but then stir up the lives of Linda’s death when one of her cared for bodies is pulled out of the bathtub. The cause of death is apparently not alienation, as does the outgoing doctor. Linda, meanwhile, reads the diary of her late mother and, to her greatest horror, discovers that the terrifying events of the past are what will happen again…


Australian filmmaking has recovered from a state of clinical death in the 1970s. Very interesting and high-quality pieces have emerged from the hands of talented directors, suffice it to mention the names of Peter Weir (Picnic at the Hanging Rock) or Brian Trenchard-Smith (Fold in, Die!) From the action / trash line. Next of Kin (which unfortunately only made documentaries later) is the work of Tony Williams, and if the talent of the Aussies / New Zealanders is really emphasized somewhere, this is the film. Next of Kin exhibits a form of perfection (at least until the last scene, but it has a separate story) that will be striking even to viewers who watch movies solely and exclusively for the story. The sight is lavish: as the camera (sometimes a handheld camera) glides down the hallway on the top floor of the house, it evokes Hitchcock (Dizziness), but overall, Gary Hansen’s work can be used to make the most of everything, including Linda’s Jacki Kerin, terrified, wide about his open eyes, or even an extremely close-up key as it just turns in the lock. The genius cameraman unfortunately had a sad fate: along with his assistant, he was the victim of a helicopter accident a few weeks after filming.


No, in Next of Kin, that’s not the point. The film culminates in a duel, gymnasting the tension to incredible heights. He does the same with the help of Williams – the director comes up with weird but even more powerful ideas, including what became perhaps the most famous picture in the film: Linda, waiting for the person who almost killed me minutes ago to reappear, expects sugar cubes builds (the scene was not in the script at all). During the aforementioned duel, but also throughout the film, Klaus Schulze’s electronic music is played, which is another excellent choice. It’s worth watching how the hammer (the killer tool) slamming against the floor of the killer snarling in self-excitement strikes the ground at the beat of the drum.

It’s almost unbelievable, but at the premiere of the film, no one watched it in their home country. Australia was then burning with Hollywood fever, with the cinema market dominated by imported American films. Over time, however, it turned into a cult film, with horror fans discovering Next of Out, all the talent that came to light both in front of and behind the camera. In this case, even imperfection contributes to its perfection: just as the camera, which turns around too slowly in the final scene, lags behind the explosion, makes Williams ’masterpiece even more unique. This production is essentially one of the highlights of the Australian film industry (commonly known as ozploitation), so I can only hope that more and more fans of the genre will discover for themselves. This can be helped by the recent release of Blu-ray (now in the English edition of Second Sight after Umbrella in Australia), which features a crystal clear picture with a number of extras (even the legendary missed scenes available). I can also recommend Next of Kint to those who have seen little or no movie about the distant continent – guaranteed love at first sight.

That would have been the case in the magazine