Category Archives: blogs

The Sylvester Stallone Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

ROCKY II (1979) and ROCKY BALBOA (2006)

If you’ve never seen a Rocky film, this double still works surprisingly well in isolation. Rocky II, like nearly all the Rocky films, kicks off with a Previously On montage, so you get a good idea of what you missed in the previous film. Stallone wrote all the Rocky films, but II was his first entry in the franchise as director, and he doesn’t venture too far from the style that John G Avildsen established in the original. There are some differences, and these differences highlight Stallone’s interests: he’s clearly influenced by vérité of New Hollywood, and yet these are still films about ordinary people becoming extraordinary. Throughout the big fight, Stallone lowers the camera so the fighters go from humans to heroes, towering above us. It’s deft work from Stallone so early in his career. When you’re done with Rocky II, put on Rocky Balboa. This was the big comeback for both Stallone and his character, 16 years after the series had seemingly wrapped up. For a film that’s all about a boxer from the ’70s coming up against a boxer in the ’00s, it has the feel of a director from the ’70s trying to hold onto what worked once before in a Hollywood that’s long-since moved on to greener pastures. But the film works; Rocky’s still got it, and so does Stallone.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen Rocky II, check out Paradise Alley (1978). This was the first film Stallone ever wrote, and after the phenomenal success of the first Rocky, he was given the chance to direct it. The story of a low-rent hustler who convinces his brother to become a wrestler so they can make some fast cash is a pretty fascinating entry in the Stallone canon. If you can’t get or have already seen Rocky Balboa, check out Rambo (2008). In a two-year period, Stallone revisited his two most iconic characters with unsentimental postscripts. The lack of Roman numerals suggests that, as with Rocky Balboa, this was designed to be the final entry. There’s not as much solemn introspection in Rambo, but that makes it all the more profound: Rocky’s world may be long gone, but John Rambo’s remains. The conflicts of the past take on new yet similar guises, and those who try to help are quickly forgotten. But most importantly, it’s crazy violent yo!

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about the films of Sylvester Stallone? Then you should probably check out Staying Alive (1983). Chances are you’ve forgotten that Stallone directed the sequel to Saturday Night Fever (1977) – yeah, the BeeGees film with John Travolta – because it’s one of those facts that seems impossible to grasp onto, regardless of how many times you’ve heard it or even seen the film itself. But it happened. And if you want to see Stallone directing something that doesn’t involve high-stakes combat sports or the graphic shooting of faceless bad guys, this is something you really need to see.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Michael Ian Black talking the films of Sylvester Stallone, will be released on 30 September 2017.

Our Next Hyphenate Michael Ian Black

Actor, comedian, writer and Hi4H September 2017 guest host Michael Ian Black

Going on both merit and popularity, Michael Ian Black ranks high above the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, motion-induced blindness, the chemical methylisoborneol and the second Men In Black film, as one of our greatest ever MIBs. Top three, easy.

He wrote and starred in the long-running sketch comedy show The State; he played the entrepreneurial bowling alley employee Phil Stubbs in the hit sitcom Ed; he was – and is – McKinley in the cult film Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and its recent Netflix prequel and sequel series.

You’ll also have seen him in films such as This Is 40 (2012) and They Came Together (2014), and in TV shows including Another Period, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Maron, Reno 911!, and more besides. With Simon Pegg, he co-wrote the 2008 film Run Fatboy Run. In 2006, he both wrote and directed the 2006 comedy The Pleasure of Your Company (aka Wedding Daze) starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher. He’s also a prolific TV presenter, author and comedian, though we’re going to stop now because this bio is getting out of hand.

But of course, you know him best from his upcoming role of a lifetime: this month’s guest host of Hell Is For Hyphenates!

So which filmmaker has he chosen to talk about on the show?

Cue Bill Conti’s Gonna Fly Now and run up those Philly Museum of Art steps, because it’s none other than Sylvester Stallone!

We all know the Stallone origin story: he was an aspiring actor who took matters into his own hands and wrote himself the role of a lifetime with 1976’s Rocky.

Rocky made him an instant star, but Stallone continued to work behind the scenes, writing numerous films and directing many of them: he debuted as director with Paradise Alley (1978), directed four out of the six Rocky films, made the Saturday Night Fever sequel Staying Alive (1983), directed 2008’s Rambo, and launched a new franchise with 2010’s The Expendables.

So what is it about Stallone the Filmmaker that so appeals to Michael? Join us on September 30 when we find out!

Be sure to subscribe now so you don’t miss the episode. Find us on iTunes, Stitcher Smart Radio, or whichever platform on which you prefer to listen to podcasts, except for the ones we’re not on.

Our next filmmaker of the month, Sylvester Stallone

Wright On Miller

“Death is something that permeates through the whole of the Mad Max franchise, and that’s fascinating to me.” – Edgar Wright

A new era of Hell Is For Hyphenates dawns! Or, if we’re going by Planet of the Apes terminology, it rises, then it dawns. Then it wars. With Sophie departing the show last month, this month included not just prep for a new episode, but simultaneously hunt for a new co-host.

If you’ve been listening to the show since the beginning – and of course you have – you’ll remember that one of our earliest guests was the wonderful Rochelle Siemienowicz, writer and critic, who joined us in October 2010 to talk the films of Sofia Coppola. Rochelle now joins the show on a permanent basis, immediately and brilliantly hitting the ground running like she’s always been here.

Rochelle and Lee kick off their first show with a look back at some of the key films of this month, including Steven Soderbergh’s hillbilly heist Logan Lucky, Luc Besson’s sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Claire Denis’s comedic drama Let Sunshine In, and Agnès Varda’s rural France road trip documentary Faces Places.

They then look at the films and career of the legendary Australian filmmaker George Miller. From the post-apocalyptic muscle cars of the Mad Max series to solemn biopics, from supernatural comedies to singing pigs and dancing penguins, Miller’s career is nothing if not eclectic. But are there common threads between these apparently mismatched films that we may have previously missed?

Then, Lee speaks to this month’s guest, writer/director Edgar Wright – the beloved cult filmmaker behind Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, The World’s End and Baby Driver – about the effect Mad Max had on him. The interview was conducted the day after George Miller had hosted Edgar at the Q&A for the Sydney premiere of Baby Driver, so the timing was pretty perfect. And you’re really going to want to hear about Edgar getting both filmmaking and medical advice from Dr George.

In fact, you’re going to want to hear the whole thing. So get downloading, get listening, and get scrolling-down because our show notes provide, as always, the value-added content we like to imagine you crave.

(Note: the original post announcing this month’s episode promoted our guest as director Patrick Hughes. Due to scheduling conflicts, Patrick was unable to join us, but we hope to have him on in a future episode.)

Further reading:

Edgar and Lee bond over having beards and putting their hands in their pockets

Outro music: score from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, composed by Brian May

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Edgar Wright talking the films of George Miller, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed via our website.

The George Miller Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…


How do you pick two films that satisfactorily summarise the career of someone like George Miller? It’s not easy, but we think we can do it, and we’re gonna do it with sequels. Your evening kicks off with Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, the film that obliterates the ambition of every other sequel in history by casually pointing out that there was an apocalypse at some point between the first film and the second. That brazen move is enough to make this a must-see, but it’s also one of the greatest Australian films of all time, one that helped redefine an entire nation’s cinema. Max is an anti-hero for the ages, a road warrior reluctantly enlisted as saviour by a group of desperate survivalists. Once you’re finished this dystopic action film, follow up with that other George Miller sequel set in a familiar yet distant reality, Babe: Pig in the City. Considered a disaster on its release, the film has since been reassessed as a modern classic, a dark fairytale that feels like something the Brothers Grimm would make if they were filmmakers. It’s got heart and there’s a morality lesson, but there’s also a lot of very strange and disturbing stuff you don’t normally see in a family film. Which is part of the reason it works so well.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, get your hands on the original: Mad Max (1979). It may be slightly eclipsed by subsequent entries, but the pre-apocalyptic ur-text is still an all-timer. If you can’t get or have already seen Babe: Pig in the City, track down Happy Feet Two (2011). Like Pig in the City, this is another sequel ostensibly aimed at kids, but refuses to walk the same ground as its predecessor as it leans hard into a bleaker tale for its heroes.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about the films of George Miller? There aren’t that many to choose from given every film he’s made holds an important place in the canon, but it appears that Lorenzo’s Oil (1992) may have slipped a little out of the general consciousness recently. And that’s a shame, because the only outright drama that Miller made is as deft and compelling as his genre work, a tear-jerking true story about two parents giving up everything to find a cure for their son’s disease.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, in which we discuss the films of George Miller, will be released on 30 August 2017.

Hayes On Anderson

If you’ve listened to this month’s episode, then you’ve heard the big news: this is, sadly, our last episode with Sophie. And if you haven’t listened to it, then spoiler alert.

Sophie joined the show back in September 2015 when Paul took his leave, and she brought a whole new energy – and hemisphere – to the show. It’s sad to see her go, but you can be confident it won’t be the last we hear from her. For sure, follow her on Twitter to learn what she gets up to in the future. Whatever it is, it’s undoubtedly going to be great.

But it’s not all goodbyes, and we have a show to do. This month Hyphenates welcomes guest Britt Hayes (also someone you should follow on Twitter) whose writing we’ve long admired. She brings her film journalist expertise to this month’s reviews, which include Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama Dunkirk, Sofia Coppola’s civil war era remake The Beguiled, the Planet of the Apes prequel-sequel War For the Planet of the Apes, and the Marvel Studio’s new iteration of the Spider-man character, Spider-man: Homecoming.

Then, Britt takes us through the films and career of her favourite filmmaker, American indie writer-director Wes Anderson! If you’re a fan of Anderson’s films, you’ll want to listen. If you’re not a fan, Britt’s articulate passion may well convert you.

And once you’ve listened to the show, we’ll grab a couple of burgers and hit the cemetery.

Edward Norton discovering escape tunnels in The Grand Budapest Hotel (left) and Moonrise Kingdom (right)

Further reading:

  • As referenced by Sophie, here’s Jane Campion talking to The Guardian about being done with the movies.
  • Britt’s ingenious article about how to locate Harry Styles in Dunkirk can be read here.
  • A summary of the controversy surrounding the lack of African American characters in The Beguiled can be read at the Washington Post.
  • And you can read Sofia Coppola’s response to the criticisms in a piece she penned for Indiewire.
  • Lee wrote about the complicated chronology of the Planet of the Apes films and the concept of the Splintered Sequel for Birth. Movies. Death.
  • Speaking of Christopher Nolan and Matt Reeves, here’s Reeves talking about Nolan’s take on Batman ahead of his own upcoming Batman film.
  • You can watch Wes Anderson’s 1994 short film Bottle Rocket, the precursor to the 1996 feature of the same name, on YouTube here.
  • The Reddit about “real life” Wes Anderson locations mentioned by Britt can be seen here.
  • “Someone’s gonna re-edit The Shining as a Wes Anderson film and I’m gonna have to murder everyone.” When Britt said this, we couldn’t resist doing a search to see if anyone had actually done this already, and you’ll never guess what.
  • If you want to read up on the concept of the Uncanny as described by Sigmund Freud, you can find a English translation in pdf form here.
  • Britt’s article about her love of The Royal Tenenbaums and the meaning of lies can be read here.
  • You can check out the interview Britt conducted with XX director Karyn Kusama here.
  • Ten years ago, Jason Schwartzman was in Australia on a promotional tour of Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. Lee co-interviewed him for The Bazura Project’s Christmas Special, and you can watch that interview here.
  • If you want to see some of Wes Anderson’s distinct commercials, you can watch Castello Cavalcanti (featuring Jason Schwartzman as a race car driver in Italy), Come Together (featuring Adrien Brody as a train conductor), and a broad selection of other TVCs via this list on Mental Floss. You can see his elaborate American Express ad here:

Outro music: String Quartet in F major (second movement) composed by Maurice Ravel, from The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Britt Hayes talking the films of Wes Anderson, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed via our website.

Sophie and Lee meet face-to-face for the first time in London (December 2015)

The Wes Anderson Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…


Some people feel that Donnie Darko is the best indie film of 2001. What this post presupposes is: maybe it isn’t. If Hi4H is somehow ground zero for your experience with the works of Wes Anderson, you cannot do much better than to recommend you The Royal Tenenbaums. This story about an estranged family of geniuses is almost everything you need to know about Anderson’s style: it’s incredibly funny, genuinely touching, and an absolute aesthetic delight, with the formal lines and bright colours Anderson would become known for deployed to full effect. To be honest, this film is probably all you need to get a firm grasp on Wes Anderson, but the moment it’s over you’re going to want to watch some more. Your evening continues with The Grand Budapest Hotel, his Stefan Zweig-inspired Mandelbrot about the employees and guests at a hotel in the fictitious land of Zubrowka, particularly concierge Gustave H (Ralph Fiennes in an all-time performance). Anderson nudges his already-fantastical style even further away from reality, so that it almost feels at certain points as if we’re watching a marionette show or stop motion cartoon. The eccentricities are undercut by a genuine darkness, yet the film remains a complete delight; hilarious and gorgeous and eminently rewatchable.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen The Royal Tenenbaums, check out Rushmore (1998). Anderson’s second film is the one that him on the map, with endlessly quotable lines and Jason Schwartzman’s ostentatious Max Fischer high schooler easily one of the more memorable characters in recent years. If you can’t get or have already seen The Grand Budapest Hotel, get your hands on Moonrise Kingdom (2012). Set in the 1960s, Moonrise follows two 12-year-olds who fall in love and resolve to run away together. A maelstrom ensues as their friends, family and the police take off in search of them, in this stunning fable of love and danger.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about Wes Anderson? With a filmography as taut as Andersons – at time of writing, a total of eight released features with a ninth in production – it’s difficult to find a lesser-known film. So we’re compelled to recommend Bottle Rocket (1996), his debut feature, and the one that has still gone unseen by many whose first taste of Anderson came with Rushmore. This indie crime film feels perfectly at home in the canon of mid-1990s indie crime cinema, and is a fantastic origin tale for one of our most remarkable filmmakers.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Britt Hayes talking Wes Anderson, will be released on 31 July 2017.

Our Next Hyphenate Britt Hayes

Film critic, author, and Hi4H July 2017 guest host Britt Hayes

If you like your film talk funny and your analysis smart, then you’re either a fan of Britt Hayes, or you’re about to be.

Britt is the associate editor of the entertainment website ScreenCrush, and has been a regular contributor to Birth. Movies. Death. (formerly Badass Digest) since its inception. She is the author of I Should Just Not, a biographical book tracking the experience of online dating from the perspective of someone who “just wants to hang out with someone, eat pizza and watch The Wire”.

She’s talked film on the popular /Filmcast, the ScreenCrush Long Takes podcast, on US radio, and now – in what we can only assume is her most exciting media appearance to date – on Hell Is For Hyphenates!

But which filmmaker has Britt chosen to discuss with us on the show?

None other than US indie wunderkind Wes Anderson!

For those not familiar with his work, Wes Anderson is the director behind Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1999), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).

He gained a cult fanbase almost immediately, with his distinctive visuals and idiosyncratic dialogue marking his style in an era when naturalism, shaky cameras and muted colours were the norm. His technique has been endlessly analysed and parodied, and he’s been a Hi4H near-miss since the show began, winning the dubious honour of being the most popular second choice amongst our previous guests.

But bridesmaid no longer, as the films of Wes Anderson will be the focus of our very next show. What is it about his works that appeals to many, and in particular Britt? Join us on July 31 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Wes Anderson (picture credit: Jonathan Short/Associated Press)

Cargill On De Roche

We have a lot of rules on Hyphenates, all of them self-imposed. A lot of the time they make sense: we always make sure a new release from a past Filmmaker of the Month is given preference in the reviews, for instance. This makes sense if you, say, cover Sofia Coppola’s career around the release of Somewhere and want to keep up to speed on where she’s heading.

This 30 Rock joke from 2011 has aged all too well.

So what happens when we’re cursed to watch the films of, say, Michael Bay forever more? And what must the person who first cursed us think of this prison? And what happens if that person just happen to return to the show exactly five years after their original appearance, at the exact moment Bay’s opus prime Transformers: The Last Knight is released into cinemas in much the same way a calicivirus is released into a population of wild rabbits to bring their numbers down?

You’ll have to listen to this episode to find out, because we are legitimately delighted to be joined by C. Robert Cargill, who first joined us in June 2013 in defence of Michael Bay’s unique brand of auteurism. Cargill, a former film critic now full-time screenwriter and author, has, since his last appearance, since worked on the horror sequel Sinister 2, the Marvel Studios blockbuster Doctor Strange, and many secret upcoming projects we unsuccessfully grilled him about once the mics were off.

So what compelled Cargill to return to the show? He wanted to talk about the films of his screenwriting guru, the one and only Everett De Roche. If you’re unfamiliar with De Roche and why he’s such an influential and beloved figure, you’ll really have to listen to this month’s show. You’ll leave it wanting to watch everything the man ever wrote.

Before we get to De Roche, however, Cargill joins us to talk about some of the films of this month: Transformers: The Last Knight, The Mummy and Wonder Woman. Do you spot the one big thing those films all have in common? No, the other thing. Yes, they’re all building blocks for ambitious, multi-billion dollar interconnected universes. Not just the usual bunch of sequels, but spinoffs and crossovers and films that explore other corners of the world created.

So, given we’re joined by a writer who worked on a Marvel film, we had to ask the question: how do you create a successful cinematic universe now that everyone is trying? Is this behemoth model sustainable? What’s the future of this franchise format?

It’s another tri-continental show as Cargill joins us from Austin, Texas for a jam-packed episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates you can’t afford to miss.

Everett De Roche cameoed in many of his films. Blink and you’ll miss him sitting in the pub as Jim Caviezel heads off on a fateful Long Weekend (2008)

Further reading:


  • To listen back to the episode from exactly five years ago, in which Cargill first appeared and cursed us with Michael Bay films forever more, click here.
  • And, exactly ten years ago almost to the day, Lee reviewed the very first Transformers on Australian community TV, which you can watch here.
  • Sophie mentions the MayBot’s possible appearance in Transformers: The Last Knight, referencing the British Prime Minister’s mainstream moniker. No action figures to speak of yet, though.
  • Also worth mentioning: during her epic Transformers rant, Sophie suggests a King Arthur equivalent of Godwin’s Law to punish anyone who resorts to a lazy referencing of the English legend. Only after we’d finished recording the episode did we hit upon the obvious name: Y Gododdin’s Law. There’s no chance it’ll catch on, but just in case it does, you heard it here first.
  • The non-Tom Cruise mummy film Sophie was referring to was The Night of Counting the Years (1969), directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. Restored by Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation in 2008. Now in public domain, it can be downloaded and viewed for free at the Internet Archive.
  • Cargill mentions the Mummy trailer that was accidentally released with half the soundtrack missing. Universal’s been trying to take them all down, but you can’t kill something once it’s on the internet. If this video disappears before you get to watch it, a quick search should find you a new one:

  • You can read more about the Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman video art piece by Dara Birnhum here, and watch the video here:

  • Cargill refers to Born Sexy Yesterday, a trope identified by Pop Culture Detective, aka Jonathan McIntosh, in his recent video essay:

  • If you want to join our Saïd Taghmaoui love-in, you can follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
  • The cyberpunk book that Cargill was adapting with writing partner Scott Derickson, When Gravity Fails, was written by George Alec Effinger, and won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1988. The book is available in print and digital from all the usual places.

Middle Topic

  • Want to know about all those shared universe properties Lee rattled off on the intro? Click the links to read more about the Stephen King TV show Castle Rock, Sony’s parallel Spider-man franchise, the currently-unconfirmed rumours about a JamesBond extended universe, for the sake of completeness here’s anoverview of the DCEU that Wonder Woman has just resuscitated, the monster mashed Dark Universe franchise possibly launched by The Mummy, and whatever the fuck is happening with Transformers.
  • Cargill talks about some of the slasher team-ups that were rumoured before the shared universe thing took off. These included Pinhead vs Michael Myers, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, Freddy vs Michael Myers, Freddy vs Chucky and Chucky vs Leprechaun. It was an exhausting period.
  • Tommy Westphall’s snowglobe was basically fanfic Netflix

    The Tommy Westphall Universe theory suggests that most of television is the dream of one kid named Tommy Westphall who appeared in the final scene of the 1980s drama St Elsewhere. The suggestion is that all of the show was imagined by an autistic kid named Tommy Westphall. And if that’s true, then it must mean Homicide: Life on the Street is in his imagination as well, given two characters from St Elsewhere crossed over into that. And Homicide crossed over with Law & Order, which crossed over with The X-Files, which leads us to The Simpsons, and basically all of television including Arrested Development, Buffy, Seinfeld, and really everything you’ve ever watched. Fall down the rabbit hole here.

  • We didn’t mention it, yet no discussion of the shared universe concept is complete without mentioning the Wold Newton family, created by author Philip José Farmer in his books Tarzan Alive: A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke (1972) and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life (1973). This theory unifies Tarzan, Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, Scarlet Pimpernel, James Bond, Sam Spade, Phileas Fogg, and many others. If you’re a fan of Alan Moore’s excellent comic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you need to check out Farmer’s work.
  • The Quentin Tarantino shared universe is a very real, very deliberate thing, and you can read more about its dual tiers here.
  • Lee’s unproduced sketch about Australia forming its own cinematic universe is reluctantly presented for you to download via this link.
  • Cargill mentions a Twitter convo he just had with comics writer Mark Millar and Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, which you should be able to read if you click on this link.
  • If you want to know more about the Chinese figures of legend that Cargill discusses, you can click on these links for primers on Ip Man, Fong Sai-yuk, and Wong Fei-hung.

Filmmaker of the Month

  • The Bazura Project interview Lee did with Everett De Roche that partly inspired Hell Is For Hyphenates can be seen here.
  • We mention Brian Trenchard-Smith, the director of the Everett De Roche film Frog Dreaming (aka The Quest), and you can hear him on Hyphenates talking about the films of Quentin Tarantino.
  • And we also give a shout out to Mark Hartley, the director of Not Quite Hollywood, who was also on our show talking about the films of John Hough.
  • Cargill mentions his fantasy novel set in Australia. This is Queen of the Dark Things (2014), a sequel to his book Dreams and Shadows (2013), both of which can be bought from all the usual outlets, including actual physical shops (support your local bookstore, people).
  • Yes, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt did go missing during a swim (as Cargill discusses in reference to De Roche’s film Harlequin) in 1967. Here are some of the facts surrounding the disappearance, and here’s the actual swimming pool we named after him, cos Australians generally don’t give a fuck.
  • The Edgar Allen Poe story that Cargill references in relation to Link is The Murders In Rue Morgue, which sets an awesome precedent for murderous orangutans. Read it here.
  • An interesting bit of trivia we didn’t get to in the show… we asked De Roche’s family if he ever harboured an ambition to direct, or if it was something he deliberately avoided. Their replied: “He’s always expressed an interest in directing. For one reason or another, the opportunity didn’t present itself in his lifetime.”
  • Check out these interviews with Everett De Roche, including this one from 1980 in Cinema Papers, this one from 2012 in Spectacular Optical, and this one from 2013 in Fake Shemp.
  • If you want to hear more of Cargill talking films, make sure you subscribe to his podcast Junk Food Cinema, available from Film School Rejects here.

Outro music: score from Patrick (1978), composed by Brian May

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring C. Robert Cargill talking the films of Everett De Roche, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed via our website.

The Everett De Roche Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

PATRICK (1978) and ROAD GAMES (1981)

Everett De Roche’s career as a screenwriter was more than Ozploitation, but given he was a key figure in Australia’s defining cinematic movement, we’re going to focus on this phase to demonstrate why he inspired a fanbase all of his own. The first title that should be invoked when talking about not just De Roche’s career but Ozploitation as a whole is Patrick, the supernatural thriller about a nurse tasked with caring for a comatosed young man who may or may not be killing people with his mind. De Roche’s first collaboration with director Richard Franklin – one that would last 25 years – was the kind of scrappy, energetic blast needed in a film movement’s nascent stages. Patrick is a hell of a lot of fun, and one you’ll enjoy watching with some friends. After you’ve watched that, your evening continues with Road Games, the Rear Window-meets-Duel outback thriller featuring the distinctly American pairing of Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis. Also directed by Franklin, this film is a propulsive blast, with some all-time classic moments of suspense and craft.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen Patrick, check out Long Weekend (1978). Released the same year as Patrick, De Roche’s film about a married couple heading to the beach for a weekend getaway positions them as the antagonist and nature itself as the protagonist, with what appears to be an unintended environmental message the result of a perfectly simple horror idea. If you can’t get or have already seen Road Games, track down Razorback (1984), and we’ll only bother with three words to sell you on this one: Gigantic. Killer. Pig.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned during discussions of De Roche’s work? You need to get your hands on Link (1986). Elisabeth Shue plays an exchange student at an English university who becomes a live-in assistant for a professor who is preoccupied with the training of super-intelligent chimpanzees… and then the killing begins. If, somehow, that’s not enough to convince you, then we should point out that the professor is played by Terence Stamp.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring C Robert Cargill talking Everett de Roche, will be released on 30 June 2017.

Our Next Hyphenate C Robert Cargill

Author, screenwriter, and Hi4H June 2017 guest host C Robert Cargill

Our unofficial, not-at-all set-in-stone rule of not repeating any guests – wonderful though all our guests have been – was broken in 2014 when we marked our 5th anniversary by having our very first guest, Thomas Caldwell, join us exactly five years on.

This month, we’re doing it again: five years ago, screenwriter, critic and author C Robert Cargill joined us on the show, and now he’s back! At the time, his first feature film credit, Sinister, co-written by that film’s director, Scott Derrickson and starring Ethan Hawke, had just been released.

He’s clearly kept busy in the intervening years. He’s released two fantasy novels, Dreams and Shadows and its sequel Queen of the Dark Things. He has also written Sinister 2 (with Derrickson), as well as the Marvel movie Doctor Strange (with Derrickson and Jon Spaihts), starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Tilda Swinton. We’re yet to grill him about his upcoming projects, but the internet tells us he and Derrickson are currently working on feature film adaptations of both the video game Deus Ex and the classic anthology series The Outer Limits.

But why is he returning to Hyphenates? Which filmmaking icon has inspired him to once again enter the hellish sanctum?

Five years ago, he talked to Paul and Lee about the films of director Michael Bay. This month, he’ll be talking to Sophie and Lee about the films of screenwriter Everett De Roche!

This isn’t the first time that our guest has defined the term “filmmaker” as screenwriter – and this is certainly an approach we encourage, given the concept of auteur should not be limited to just the directors. This is an easy case to make when we’re talking about someone like Everett De Roche, who helped define not just an era in cinema, but the screen identity of an entire nation.

De Roche got his start writing for some of Australia’s biggest television institutions – including Homicide, Bluey, The Flying Doctors, Fire, Good Guys Bad Guys, Stingers and many more – before playing a key part in the resurgence of 1970s and 1980s Australian cinema that would come to be known as “Ozploitation”.

De Roche wrote a lion’s share of the era’s classics, including Patrick (1978), Long Weekend (1978), Road Games (1981), Razorback (1984), as well as penning the adventure film Frog Dreaming (1986). He worked with directors such as Richard Franklin, Simon Wincer, Russell Malcahy, Jamie Blanks, and Hi4H alum Brian Trenchard-Smith.

Sadly, De Roche passed away in 2014, but not before experiencing an unexpected burst of fame when, during a visit to Australia in 2008, Quentin Tarantino announced: “Almost everything that Everett De Roche wrote is one of my favourite films.” As if on cue, every gen-y film fan in Australia rushed to imdb to find out what they had to catch up on, and the De Rocheassance was born. (Look, the term might take off. You don’t know.)

So what was it about the films of Everett De Roche that appeals to C Robert Cargill? Join us on June 30 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Everett De Roche