Sunday, March 19, 2017

Metal Skin (Geoffrey Wright, 1994)

This is what happens when you leave Australians unsupervised for a few minutes. Am I right? New Zealanders know what I'm talking about. Just kidding, the Aussies in Metal Skin wish they were as loopy as their Aussie movie brethren. No, the wonderfully long-haired fellas that populate this not quite lawless version of Australia are just plain annoying. Oh, in case you're wondering. The reason I called them "wonderfully long-haired," as supposed to just plain long-haired, is because I'm sick of seeing people with undercuts. Sure, I used to sport one for what seemed like forever, but the moment I saw a smallish child on the subway rocking an undercut was when I finally decided enough was enough. So... what was my point? Oh, yeah, I liked how the two main guys in this movie had longish hair on every part of their head. Meaning, it was the same length on top, on the sides and in the back. And I think I speak for everyone when I say, the fact that the two male leads didn't have undercuts was the film's strong suit. (Um, aren't you forgetting something?) Okay, the drag racing was pretty strong, too. (No, not that, silly. The goth chick.) Uh, she wasn't goth. For starters, I didn't see any goth band posters on her bedroom wall. And secondly, her footwear wasn't pointy... at all. Of course, these aren't hard and fast goth rules. But just because you're a woman with a thing for dark makeup and witchcraft doesn't make you goth. Seriously, though, does this chick even own a Sisters of Mercy album? I doubt it.

Way too busy trying to cast love-spells on douchebags with great skin and even greater hair, non-practicing Satanist and full-time nut-job Savina (Tara Morice) spends the bulk of the movie acting like a boy crazy nincompoop. I'm sorry for using such harsh language, but that's what she is. Think about it. No self-respecting goth would repeatedly demean themselves the way Savina does in this movie. And even if they did, I like to think they'd choose someone a little less... (Douchey?) Yeah, all right... a little less douchey as the object of their affection.

Granted, this particular douchebag, Dazey (Ben Mendelsohn), like I said, does have great skin and hair, and he drives a cool car. But still, there are so many less douchey options out there. Or are they? You would think the obvious choice would be Joe (Aden Young), a co-worker at the warehouse-style mega-supermarket they all work at. But she, for some reason, decides to put Joe in the dreaded friend-zone.

If you take away all the character's quirks, it's essentially Pretty in Pink crossed with The Fast and The Furious (the DVD artwork for this movie tries to capitalize on that franchises blockbuster success). Except replace the high school setting with the Aussie version of Costco. And while you're at it, switch out Vin Diesel and Ludacris for a couple of floppy-haired Aussie gits.

While I would date Dazey in a heartbeat (his skin is so smooth), I can't quite see what the appeal is for the women in this movie. Take Roselyn (Nadine Garner), for example. It's implied that Dazey's reckless driving is the reason Roselyn can't wear a bikini to the beach anymore (there was apparently a terrible traffic accident some years ago). So, why does she still allow him to hover around the way he does?

The film is basically a critique about the toxicity of male-based rejection. While most guys handle rejection with either whiny griping or a series of indifferent shrugs. A small number tend to act out in a destructive matter. Now, a "small amount" might not seem like a lot. But all it takes is five or six spurned men to destroy the earth. In other words, a man whose recently been rejected by a woman has the potential to be a danger to all those around them.

And Davey and Roselyn learn this the hard way, when Joe decides one day that their aloof brand of smugness needs to be altered in an extreme manner. And given that the film is Australian, it only makes sense that these alterations be legislated via vehicular violence.

However, it should be noted that there are only a handful of car chase/car race scenes in this movie. This, I'm sure, will irk some viewers. No, the majority of the film centers around the dating ups and downs of the  four main characters. So, if you were hoping this was going to be the Mad Max of the 1990s, you're going to be severely disappointed. Personally, I found their antics to be more irritating than anything else. That being said, if you love Aussie weirdness, illegal street racing, annoying non-goth chicks and guys with floppy-hair, Metal Skin is the film for you.

Special thanks to Ian Butt for recommending this movie.


  1. Tremendous blog! I'll be here reading for awhile today. I just reviewed the *ahem* cinematic masterpiece "Brain Twisters" on mine if you want to re-live that one, which is how I found yours. Great stuff here.

    1. Thanks. :)

      Ahhh, Brain Twisters! What a piece of... ugh.