Romper Stomper (Review)
|Russell Crowe as Hando|
|Daniel Pollock as Davey|
|Jacqueline McKenzie as Gabe|
|Directed by Geoffrey Wright|
Before Russell Crowe was Gladiator, he was a soldier of the white race. But not a very good one. And this movie is not exceptional, either, though it isn’t that bad. It’s interesting to see a younger Crowe play a completely different character than usually seen in American films. Actually it’s interesting to see an actor I don’t really care for be a villain main character. Russell Crowe’s acting is like this introduction, it isn’t very good!
Opens in a subway station in Melbourne where a group of skinheads lead by Hando (Russell Crowe) beat up three young Vietnamese travelers. Another skinhead named Davey (Daniel Pollock) assists as he is another main character. Meanwhile across town a blonde girl has an old man and his tough deal with her abusive junkie boyfriend. She is Gabe (short for Gabriel), and as revealed later the old guy is her father, though here it is ambiguous if he is father or old boyfriend. In fact, once we find out it is daddy it gets really creepy.
Later at a bar where the skinheads hang out at, Hando and Davey are goofing around while Gabe is there, and Hando takes a shine to her. Outside they are making out and Hando steals a jacket for her. It becomes noticeable Davey likes her as well, but he is Beta to Hando’s Alpha. So Hando takes Gabe back to his place for some freaky-deaky. The next day some visiting skinheads from other Australian towns, including a guy in the Navy, show up and a Skinhead Party is had. In case you are unaware, there is a large selection of skinhead music out there, and that is what is blaring at this party. Most skinhead music is either lame techno with guys ranting about Jews added as soundbites, or punkish stuff with screaming incoherent words. The music here is the latter. If you’ve ever seen The Decline of Western Civilization Part III than you know of the punk/skinhead fighting, though that is not addressed at all in this film. Though if you have the means I highly recommend that film, in fact, stop watching Romper Stomper immediately and track down Decline III somewhere, probably at your local bootleg renting video store. Well, you can keep watching Romper Stomper long enough to catch the intense sex scene that happens at the party. Next morning, he shows her all his Nazi gear including a picture of his dead mother.
Meanwhile some Vietnamese Guys buy the Bar that the skinheads were hanging out at earlier in the film. A few skinheads see them, and get Hando and the gang. They go and start beating the Vietnamese guys, but then dozens of more Vietnamese show up. And then Dozens more. And dozens, and dozens. The Skinheads get overrun by the Charlie Zerg Rush and head for the safety of their hideout, leaving behind fallen members who are presumably stomped to death by angry Vietnamese. Vietnamese guys follow them to Hando’s place, and everyone goes up to the roof to sneak off as the Vietnamese guys storm in. Davey then goes back down to get the jacket Hando stole earlier for Gabe since he fancies her hard, risking his life like it’s nobody’s business. The Skinheads sneak off as their place burns, eventually finding a warehouse to squat at after evicting the previous drug addicted squatter. Hando is ticked off.
Gabe has a seizure, and Davey becomes more obvious in his feelings for her. The next day the Skinheads decide they want guns but they need money to get them. They have to figure out a place to rob. Gabe tells them about a rich guy she knows. Yep, it’s the old guy from before, her father. But the other skinhead girls with the group don’t want to be involved in killing. The Skinhead Skanks abandon their hairless men, hopefully in favor of boyfriends who insist their girls bathe. Gabe’s dad is tied up to the toilet as the Skinheads go on a robbing spree. Gabe talks to him by the toilet and we get confirmation on the incest (EWWWWWWWWW!!!!). The skinheads are playing around with the cars in the garage and not getting around to finishing the robbing, and that gives Daddy time to escape and get his gun. He starts shooting and they run off, with nothing to show. Hando yells at Gabe and she runs off, but Davey gives her the address of his grandmother before she goes, and he also leaves the group. Gabe calls the cops on Hando as revenge and squeals about the warehouse hideout. Unfortunately for her, Hando is outside when the police arrive, who arrest everyone else (except for Skinhead, Jr. — a young kid skinhead who is shot dead).
Gabe shows up and sees Davey and they knock boots for a while (goosestep boots?). Then Hando shows up as well and they all leave together before the cops come for them. The rob a gas store while on the lamb, and Hando kills the clerk because he’s a minority. The next day they stop at the beach, and while outside Hando tries to convince Davey to ditch Gabe. Gabe overhears and is ticked, but she missed the part where Davey says no and defends her. She missed it because she was busy burning the car. Hando goes 100% bonkers at this point (he was only 99.44% pure before) and tries to stab her. Davey tries to stop him and they have a fight going. While they are attempting to knife each other, a tourist bus full of Vietnamese tourists show up at the beach as well, and they get out and start taping the burning car. Eventually Davey stabs Hando with a Nazi Knife Hando bought for Davey earlier in the movie. Which would be ironic if it weren’t a standard plot device. Spielberg even used is in Private Ryan as a Nazi knife as well (technically a Hitler Youth Knife, but close enough). And then Davey and Gabe embrace, while the Vietnamese people film and the movie ends.
Good things about this movie include the main characters being a bunch of racist idiots who pretty much get what’s coming to them (though Davey and Gabe both survive despite their sins). Most movies don’t dare to show this side of racial issues, I will give the writer credit for that. Let’s also talk about how the main character is one letter away from being named Lando, but instead we get Hando. Lando would have made a much better movie as Billy Dee Williams drinks his Colt 45’s and shoots stormtroopers. Alas, we are denied. Finally, this movie has Asian people not being stereotypical Asians who back down and don’t want trouble, they kick the crap out of a bunch of Skinheads. I can’t think of a single film with a similar action offhand.
Bad The actor who played Davey, Daniel Pollock, killed himself after this movie was made when he broke up with Jacqueline McKenzie, who played Gabe, during some sort of Heroin thing. And then Crowe’s band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts wrote a song called The Night That Davey Hit The Train , lyrics are here in case you want to see them.
Ugly This movie needed Billy Dee Williams.
Rated 6/10 Burning Nazi Flags. Burn, baby, burn!
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