RARA-AVIS: Re: WAKE IN FRIGHT ("Spoilers" Included)

From: Chris Schneider ( chrisaschneider@earthlink.net)
Date: 17 May 2003

on 5/16/03 8:14 AM, Michael Robison at zspider@gte.net wrote:


> The kangaroo hunt is a shocking orgy of calloused killing and savagery. I
loved it.
> Anybody read this one? Am I wrong or was there a little sodomy going on at
the end of the kangaroo hunt? There's just hints, nothing more, and I want to know if I read them correctly.

I haven't read it, but I do have distinct memories of the 1971 movie version. (Director: Ted Kotcheff; script: Evan Jones; cast includes: Gary Bonds, Donald Pleasance, Chips Rafferty; U.S. title: "Outback").


I saw it during my "salad days," back when the world was younger and everyone -- myself included -- was prettier. At the time I thought the film heavy-handed and disgusting and quite quite horrible, but ... I wasn't above a bit of stray titillation at its hints of sodomitical activity.

What my Anno 2003 instinct tells me is that, if The Frolicks of Sodom were evident in the movie and were also apparent to my far-from-sophisticated eyes, chances are pretty good that they can be found in Cook's novel.

And then there's your comment about how "the ending cheated." If that means what I think it means, it might be useful to know that (according to the program notes of an Australian film festival) the title of both book and movie seems to have been drawn from a familiar curse: "May you dream of the Devil and wake in fright." The ending may be disappointing, then, but at least Cook seems to have been honest and clear about his strategy.


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