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DVD Reviews:  Romper Stomper

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Distributed by:
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Running Time: 89 Minutes

One of the most confronting movies that had been put out in Australia by Australians, Romper Stomper heralded the acting power of a young man named Russell Crowe. Playing the role of skinhead leader Hando, Crowe leads a motley bunch of wanna be fascists in Footscray against the apparent threat posed by the local Australian Vietnamese community. After a violent bashing carried out by Hando and his cronies, the Vietnamese decide that they have had enough of being the victims and that it's time for retribution.

I think one of the most gobsmacking things about this movie is it's no holds barred approach to storytelling. If it has to get it's hands dirty, this script just went and did it. There was no effort made to pretty anything up whatsoever and the savagery of the movie will leave you speechless at times.

The movie shows viewers that despite it's age (11 years), it is as relevant a film and as powerful as it was upon it's initial release. From the skinheads headquarters in old warehouses through to the Vietnamese family restaurants, the camera work for this title was exquisite and certainly portrayed the harsh reality of the situation all sides found themselves on.

Ironically, the film examines family and loyalty from both sides of the coin and whilst the view is somewhat taken from the skinhead side, you do not fully find yourself empathising with them, they are after all, racist scum. However the friendship displayed toward each other in scenes such as when Hando covers up an inebriated Davey (played by the late Daniel Pollock - this was to be his last film as he was hit and killed by a train shortly thereafter RIP), you do realise in their animalistic fashion, these skinheads do love each other.

The transfer from the source medium has been carried out with obvious attention to detail with no colour glitches or sound problems for that matter. It can easily be said that the film is a joy to watch and listen to from the perspective of technical concerns. The drab colours and tones are carried throughout the feature perfectly and at no time did I note anything that would have detracted from my enjoyment of the flick.

Finally there are surprisingly quite a few extras that I certainly did not expect on a film completed before the advent of DVD, it's just not the sort of film you'd expect people to have compiled extras for. These include a number of interviews with the stars, photo galleries and biographies. A very good assortment for an Australian classic.

Highest Recommendation!

Romper Stomper Features

  • Audio Commentary

  • 1992 Interviews

  • Photo Gallery

  • Biographies

  • Theatrical Trailer


 Copyright 2003