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Bargearse was an Australian comedy TV series. Made by the Late Show on the ABC from the 18th of July 1992 to the 30th of October 1993. 

Produced by Michael Hirsh, and directed by Santo Cilauro, Tony Martin and Mick Molloy. 

Bargearse was an overdubbed version of Bluey, a 1976 Crawford production police drama set in Melbourne, Australia.

The segment was originally to be an overdubbing of an Australian soap opera, The Young Doctors, titled “Medical Hospital”, but the rights to the footage were pulled at the last minute.

The ABC series Truckies was considered for overdubbing in a segment intended to be titled “Truck Wits”, before the writers settled on Bluey.

This change left the writers with very little time, and as a result the planned 20 short episodes was cut down to 10, which aired in the second half of series two.

Bargearse was named after its protagonist, Detective Sergeant Bargearse, an overweight, moustache-sporting “rough-and-tumble” cop.

The sketches exploited Bluey’s weight with plentiful fat jokes, as well as many fart noises.

Bargearse was voiced by Tony Martin, while his sidekicks, Ann Bourke (Judith Lucy) and Detective Glen Twenty (Rob Sitch), Natalie Thigh-Blaster (Jane Kennedy), Natalie Thigh-Blaster).Chromedome (Mick Molloy) and Poloneck (Santo Cilauro).

Lucky Grills, who played Bluey, appeared on The Late Show three times: as a guest in the mock press conference for the Biodome participants, as the character Bluey protesting the last episode of Bargearse and in the musical appearance as noted above.

On the 15th of August 2007 a Bargearse and The Olden Days double feature DVD was released.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Bad Eggs is an Australian comedy movie. Written and directed by Tony Martin and Producted by Macquarie Film Corporation with a budget of A$4.5 million. The film was released on the 25th of July 2003.

Ben Kinnear (Mick Molloy) and (Bob Franklin) Mike Paddock are detectives with the Melbourne Police force’s elite Zero Tolerance Unit.

When a freak accident involving a dead magistrate  named Poulgrain lands them on the front page of the local paper, Ben and Mike are busted and demoted down to uniformed duties.

Things get worse when they pay a visit to the Magistrate’s widow Eleanor (Robyn Nevin) and accidentally burn her house down.

Things become more complicated when Julie Bale (Judith Lucy), a journalist and a former police-officer and onetime partner of Kinnear’s, is arrested on a charge of blackmailing the Magistrate.

But when Ben discovers a strange link between the accident and the business affairs of a shady casino boss he and Mike have been investigating, the pair decide they can no longer turn a blind eye to the corruption rife amongst their own colleagues.  

Interesting filming fact about Bad Eggs, Peter Aanensen is playing “Arthur Ferris”, the same character he played in the classic Aussie police television drama Bluey (1976). Ferris, who was Bluey Hills’ superior in the third series, is in this film seen working as a security guard at Victoria’s Parliament House.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

All Together Now was an Australian sitcom that was broadcast on Nine Network between 1991 and 1993. 

The premise involved an aging rocker (Jon English) trying to maintain his music career while living with his son and daughter. For an undetermined number of initial episodes filmed prior to public broadcast, the show title was “Rhythm and Blues” and had a different theme song.

At the 1992 Logie Awards, the show and its actors were nominated for four awards:

The show (Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Program)

Rebecca Gibney (Most Popular Actress, and Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Female Performer)

Jon English (Most Popular Light Entertainment/Comedy Male Performer)

The show was also nominated at the 1993 Logie Awards, again for Most Popular Comedy Program, as was Jon English for Most Popular Comedy Personality.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

 

Any Questions for Ben? is a 2012 Australian comedy film created by Working Dog Productions, directed by Rob Sitch. It stars Josh Lawson, Rachael Taylor, Felicity Ward, Daniel Henshall, and Christian Clark. It was written by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner, and Rob Sitch.

The plot revolves around a high-flying Melbourne-based brand manager Ben (Josh Lawson) who returns to his old high school to talk to students about careers.

Ben reunites with former students, including international human rights lawyer Alexis (Rachael Taylor), now working with the United Nations in Yemen, and Olympic archery medallist Jim (Ed Kavalee).

Ben soon realises that compared to the other speakers, no one is interested in what a brand manager does, and when questions are asked for, all are directed at the other presenters, while Ben gets none. 

This causes Ben to begin to consider the meaning behind his current lifestyle, and commences a year-long reevaluation of his priorities, looking in all the wrong places, but ultimately involving the gradual pursuit of Alexis as a serious love interest for the first time in his life.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Angry Boys is a television mockumentary series written and starring Chris Lilley.

Filmed in a similar style to his previous series Summer Heights Hights and We Can Be Heroes. 

In Angry Boys, Lilley plays multiple characters: S.mouse, an American rapper; Jen, a manipulative Japanese mother; Blake Oakfield, a champion surfer; Ruth “Gran” Sims, a guard at a juvenile detention facility; and her teenage grandsons, twins Daniel and Nathan Sims.

The series was a co-production between the Australian ABC and US cable channel HBO, with a pre-sale to BBC Three in the United Kingdom.

Filmed in Victoria, South Australia, Los Angeles and Tokyo, Angry Boys premièred on the 11th of May 2011 at 9:00 pm on ABC1.

More than 3,500 people auditioned for roles, both actors and non-actors from Australia and overseas to find a wide range of looks, attitudes, races and ages for 89 main roles and 1,228 extras. 

Angry Boys was filmed over seven months in more than 70 locations across Australia, Los Angeles and Tokyo. 

The Sims family is the backbone of the series that incorporates Daniel and Nathan’s heroes, including S.mouse and Blake Oakfield, the characters who were inspired by Lilley’s conversations with teens across Australia. “I met with teens in country towns and they had hero worship-like posters of pop culture figures, skaters, surfers and sports people as well as naked girls and that gave me the idea to jump into the premise for the show,” he says.

The premiere episode of Angry Boys achieved an audience of 1,368,000, and was the most popular ABC program for 2011.  The show also aired in Germany, Sweden, U.K., USA, New Zealand, France, Belgium, Czech Republic.

The theme music for the show was written and produced by Lilley. Bryony Marks helped Lilley arrange the music and produced all the incidental music in it.

It was recorded over a number of sessions with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with Lilley on grand piano. Lilley also wrote and produced all the songs for the series, recording them in his home studio. 

Following the the last episode on the 27th of July 2011, the series’ soundtrack was released the next day. It featured seventeen of S.mouse’s songs, as well as the Angry Boys opening theme song, which made number 9 on the ARIA Urban Albums Chart.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Alvin Rides Again is a 1974 Australia sex-comedy film sequel to Alvin Purple. It was directed by David Bilcock and Robin Copping, who were regular collaborators with Tim Burstall. It was rated M unlike its predecessor which was rated R. Alvin Rides Again still features a lot of full frontal nudity. And like the prequel was written by Alan Hopgood, with a budget of $300,000 Australian dollars. 

The premise of the movie is that Alvin Purple (Graeme Blundell) is unable to hold down a job because of his appeal to women. He and his friend Spike Dooley (Alan Finney) help a team of women cricketers win a match by playing in drag, and decide to spend their share of the prize money in a casino. Alvin discovers he is identical in appearance to gangster Balls McGee. When Alvin Purple, is introduced to his doppelganger, Balls McGee, a gangster from America. The gangster wants to watch his favourite TV show – “Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo”, and sings along to the theme music.

Graeme Blundell plays both roles with surprising panache – all the more surprising considering that the screenwriters contrive to off the Balls McGee character almost immediately so that we can be subjected to some tedious switcheroo gags as police come looking for Balls, find Alvin, Alvin goes to get dressed up as Balls, returns. This is funny by default, apparently.

Supposedly there was less nudity this time around, which makes sense considering the intelligence that apparently went into the making of both films. The only reason anyone saw the original film was for the nudity, so why not include less nudity in this installment? 

There is also a bigger budget, though unless you pay close attention during the more boring moments, you might miss this. The original movie was a big success in Australia, so of course the sequel has to have something to show for it…

The answer is, a pointless car chase at the end of the movie, featuring a car with guns mounted to the side. I don’t know if the driver was ever introduced, or if reasons were ever given for why he wants to kill Alvin, but no matter. The chase scene is as tedious as it is pointless, and it features two explosions – so THAT’s where the money went! – and ends in the surprisingly violent death of an innocent bystander. Yes, this is the sort of comedy where men impersonate women without shaving moustaches and sideburns and yet fool everybody, people run in and out of rooms chasing each other in fast forward while zany music plays, dwarven actors have their voices dubbed to make them sound as high pitched as possible, and forklift operators are violently machine-gunned to death. One of these things is not like the other.

Some comedies are so witless that they approach surrealism. “Alvin Rides Again” doesn’t quite reach that level, for while the violence is bizarre and completely out of place, its presence as an afterthought simply suggests the writers had no idea what to do with the budget they had or the movie they had to make. It is also portrayed so unrealistically that you could miss it pretty easily. There is, after all, perhaps the least painful meat cleaver to the face shot I have ever seen in a movie.

Tim Burstall, Alan Hopgood and Graeme Blundell weren’t particularly interested in making a sequel to Alvin Purple but the film was so successful, Hexagon Productions wanted a follow up. Blundell wanted to avoid being typecast so a story was created which gave him a chance to play a double role. Burstall, who claims he wrote most of the script with Al Finney, says that: When it came to the crunch, Blundell failed to differentiate between paying Balls and playing Alvin pretending to be Balls. In my view, the film fails for precisely that reason, i.e. Alvin is lost.

Alvin Rides Again was the recipient of some more controversy when it was released but was only rated M. It did not perform as well as its predecessor but still grossed $600,000 by the end of 1977 and ended up taking $1,880,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $12,690,000 in 2009 dollars.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Alvin Purple is an 1973 Australian comedy film written by Alan Hopgood and directed by Tim Burstall for Hexagon Productions at a cost of $202,000 Australian dollars.   Filming and was shot on location in Melbourne over five and a half weeks in March and April of 1973.  

The film is a sex farce which follows the misadventures of a naïve young Melbourne man Alvin Purple, whom women find irresistible. Working in door to door sales, Alvin (unsuccessfully) tries to resist legions of women who want him.

Alvin is so worn-out he seeks psychiatric help to solve his problems. His psychiatrist is, of course, a woman. Alvin ultimately falls in love with the one girl who doesn’t throw herself at him. She becomes a nun, and Alvin ends up a gardener in the convent’s gardens.

Hopgood originally wrote Alvin Purple for the English production company Tigon Films, but they turned it down.  Hopgood’s story was originally half comic, half serious, and Burstall originally envisioned it as a 20-minute section of a multi story picture. However he then decided to make the story strictly comic and expand it to feature length. Burstall says he rewrote much of Hopgood’s script, adding many chases and the water bed sequence, and turning Dr McBurney (George Whaley)

figure into a sex maniac. The original script played more emphasis on the relationship between Alvin (Graeme Blundell) and his virginal girlfriend but this was cut in the final film.

The budget was provided by Hexagon, half from Roadshow, half from Burstall, Bilcock and Copping – apart from a short-term loan from the Australian Film Development Corporation, which was repaid before the film’s release. 

Tim Burstall remembers his choice of cast Graeme Blundell in the lead:

I remember Bourkie [Roadshow executive Graham Burke] saying, ‘You’ve got to cast somebody like Jack Thompson.’ I said, ‘Absolutely not. You’ve got to cast somebody who wouldn’t, on the surface, seem a stud or even particularly attractive’. I actually thought that Alvin wasn’t, that the comic element was connected with having a Woody Allen or a Dustin Hoffman figure who is not very obviously sexually attractive, and the girls rushing him. This becomes much funnier than if he was a stud figure.

The film was released on the 20th of December 1972 and received largely negative reviews from local film critics. Despite this it was a major hit with Australian audiences. Alvin Purple became the most commercially successful Australian film released to that time, breaking the box office record set by Michael Powell’s pioneering Anglo-Australian comedy feature They’re a Weird Mob (1966).  The film made $4,720,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $36,721,600 in 2009 dollars. This is 7th highest grossing Australian film of all time when adjusted for inflation.

A 1974 film sequel Alvin Rides Again toned-down the sex scenes and nudity, adding more camp comedy. This was followed by a 1976 ABC comedy television series titled Alvin Purple. Blundell reprised the title role in both, as well as in the 1984 movie Melvin, Son of Alvin.

The score and title theme were composed by iconic Australian singer-songwriter Brian Cadd.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

 

ABBA: The Movie is a documentary cult film about the Swedish pop group ABBA’s Australian tour in 1977. Directed by Lasse Hallström, who directed most of the group’s videos.  Its release coincided with the release of ABBA: The Album, the group’s fifth studio album, and features many songs from that album as well as many of their earlier hits, and one, “Get on the Carousel”, unavailable anywhere else.

The film has a very thin plot which is no more than a vehicle to link together the concert footage. Hallström indicated that the film’s script and plot concept was conceived on the plane on the way to Australia.

The plot centres around the adventures of Ashley Wallace (Robert Hughes), a DJ on a Sydney Radio station. Ashley normally presents a through-the-night country and western-themed show. In spite of this, he is sent by his boss (Bruce Barry) to get an interview with the ABBA.  Ashley, who has never done an interview before, singularly fails, mainly because he has forgotten to pack his press card, and is also unable to buy a concert tickets. Armed with his trusty reel to reel tape recorder, Ashley is forced to follow the group all over Australia.  From Sydney to Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne, Ashley experiencing repeated run-ins with the group’s bodyguard (Tom Oliver).

During filming, the members of ABBA were not told of the storyline involving a journalist Ashley (Robert Hughes) seeking an interview. ABBA believed that the reporter was a real newsman trying to get a scoop.

Eventually, Ashley has a lucky chance encounter with the group’s manager, in the foyer of The Old Melbourne Motor Inn, 17 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne, where ABBA was staying.

The manager agrees to arrange an interview. But Ashley sleeps in and misses the appointed interview time. Just as Ashley has given up, a miracle occurs: he steps into an elevator and finds himself face-to-face with ABBA. They agree to give him an interview there and then in room 604, and he leaves Melbourne just in time to meet the deadline for the radio show to go out on-air.

He puts together the final edit in the back of a taxi on the way back from the airport, as ABBA depart Australia for Europe. With only minutes to go, Ashley makes it back to the radio station where, having set the tape up on the studio’s playback machine, he relaxes at his control desk to listen as the interview is broadcast.

The production shoot went for six weeks and encompassed ABBA’s 1977 Australian tour and included their live concerts, press conferences, private downtime, public receptions, meeting fans and traveling time. Mostly filmed in Australia, however additional filming was done during the of Summer 1977 in ABBA’s home country of Sweden after their concert tour of Australia had been completed. This filming included “The Name Of The Game” dream sequence and filming on streets in Sweden, doubling, ironically, for the streets of Melbourne and Sydney. Actors Tom Oliver and Robert Hughes had to fly to Sweden for these shoot. Noticeably different from Australia are the street signs and the traffic flowing on the right hand side.

Most of the concert footage used for this film came from their five Perth concerts in Western Australia. This was because the concert venue there, the Perth Entertainment Centre, was the only indoors stadium on the tour, and the conditions there were best suited for acoustic recording and would not be affected by any bad weather elements.  In these screens Agnatha Fältskog was frequently filmed above the neck in close-ups due to disguise the fact that she was pregnant at the time.  There is a brief scene shot at the Parmelia Hotel in Perth where a photographer asks for a smile, ABBA at the time was surrounded by various International stars that happened to be in Perth at that time of filming. They include Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Dubliners, Alice Cooper, Stephane Grappelli and British actor Robin Nedwell.  

The film had three simultaneous World Premieres all held in Australia on 14 December 1977, in Paramatta and Sydney New South Wales and Melbourne, Victoria.  At the time of this film’s theatrical release, Stig Anderson said ABBA’s enormous popularity in Australia, where this concert movie was filmed: “Australia is still the biggest market in the world for ABBA. People in the music industry all over the world have been stunned with what has happened here.”  The film was also released Scandinavia and several Eastern Blotic Nations, including the Soviet Union where it was screened at two movie houses in Moscow.

In 2003, The Swedish Film Institute restored the film to its original soundtrack after the original stereo sound had been lost for years. The film was premiered in its new version on the 2nd of December 2003, at Stockholm’s Film House with Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson attending. Bjorn said of this film: “They wanted us to make a film in Australia, but quite honestly I don’t think that films with pop stars work very well. Of course The Beatles are an exception and Tommy (1975) was a big hit but there have been lots of other pop films that have sunk without trace. Seeing the film came as a bit of a shock. It’s hard to recognize yourself up there on a giant screen in Panavision. But then we’ve had many moments when it has been hard to accept the things that have been happening to us.”

A theatrical re-release of the film occurred across Europe during July and August 2008 in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Austria.

Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet was the filming location for the home of the Twist family. Round the Twist is an Australian children’s fantasy television series about three children and their widowed father who live in a lighthouse and become involved in many bizarre magical adventures. The show only ran for four series despite the show having an 11-year run. The first two series were based on fantasy stories written by author Paul Jennings; the latter two were based on a variety of authors’ work. Its first series was made in 1989. A second series, with many roles re-cast, was made in 1992. A third series, again re-cast, was made in 2000, followed by a fourth (with some roles again re-cast) in 2001. The show’s distinctive theme song, with the lyrics “have you ever… ever felt like this?” was sung by Tamsin West, who played the lead female role of Linda Twist in the first series. It borrowed lines from popular nursery rhymes such as “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, “Humpty Dumpty” and “Rain Rain Go Away”.

Labassa is an outstanding Victorian era mansion with opulent architectural features at 2 Manor Grove, Caulfield. Labassa was the filming location for the home of Squizzy Taylor and Lorna Kelly in the highly popular Underbelly series. Set between 1915–1927 in Melbourne and tells the story of one of the city’s most notorious criminals, Squizzy Taylor, who made an appearance in Underbelly: Razor, which was set in 1920s Sydney. Justin Rosniak did not reprise his role as Squizzy as Jared Daperis took over the role.

This beautiful 19th century Manson “Wardlow” at 114 Park Drive Parkville, is the filming location for the home of Miss Phryne Fishers (Essie Davis) from the popular ABC Drama Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. This traditional crime drama explores the fascinating and varied sub cultures of 1920s ‘between-the-wars’ in Melbourne. From the shadowy lanes of the city to the halls of academia, from high-class brothels to haute couture, she defends the innocent and juggles admirers with her usual panache, all the while keeping up her delicious dance around Detective Inspector Jack Robinson.

60 years of Australian TV

Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet was the filming location for the home of the Twist family. Round the Twist is an Australian children’s fantasy television series about three children and their widowed father who live in a lighthouse and become involved in many bizarre magical adventures. The show only ran for four series despite the show having an 11-year run. The first two series were based on fantasy stories written by author Paul Jennings; the latter two were based on a variety of authors’ work. Its first series was made in 1989. A second series, with many roles re-cast, was made in 1992. A third series, again re-cast, was made in 2000, followed by a fourth (with some roles again re-cast) in 2001. The show’s distinctive theme song, with the lyrics “have you ever… ever felt like this?” was sung by Tamsin West, who played the lead female role of Linda Twist in the first series. It borrowed lines from popular nursery rhymes such as “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, “Humpty Dumpty” and “Rain Rain Go Away”.