The Naked Bunyip
In 1970, censorship
in all of the arts was extreme in Australia, and their domestic film industry
was all but dead. John B. Murray decided to have a go at proving that there
was a market for Australian film, and came up with the idea of a sex
documentary, calculated to have wide prurient interest, and also to show the
censorship situation for what it was. He got Graeme Blundell to star as a
virginal market researcher assigned to the sex angle on a major study of
Australian mores. Blundell interviewed hookers, massage workers, photography
models, figure study models, transexuals from Les Girls, homosexuals (male and
female), and anyone else who had something to say about nudity, sex,
procreation, abortion, fashion trends, etc.
The censors responded as predicted, and demanded several cuts. Rather than
actually remove the footage, Murray left it in, but inserted
a picture of a bunyip (a mythical aboriginal demon)
over the objectionable videos, and the sound of a horn over
the censored audio segments. The censor was furious, but Murray had made
a strong point about censorship. In a few short years Australia became
one of the more liberal countries. The Naked Bunyip is thus a seminal work of
the modern Australian film industry.
The DVD includes the
censored footage and a 28 minute featurette about how the film came to be. The subject matter now is hardly shocking, and
even the uncensored version of the nude content is ho-hum by today's
standards, so the film is of interest primarily to those interested in
learning about the historical context. The complete package is
fascinating for those inclined to be interested in the subject matter.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:
Interesting specialty material for
a tiny audience.
- Mishka Buhler, as one of the figure models, does full frontal and rear.
- "Carlotta," from Les Girls, shows ... er ... breasts.
- Several other women show body parts, but could not be identified.