Avid fan

July 1, 2009

Got a letter from a fan. Thought I’d repost it here. I get these every now and then. I’ll answer some of his questions in the comments column soon.

Dear Richard,

I’m emailing you completely out of the blue because I’ve just spent an afternoon away from uni reliving one of your films that I really loved as a young, snotty 90’s teenager – Bloodlust.

As I started to become more interested in film, one of the things that I began to notice as I became more seriously interested in the medium was the lack of anything familiar to me. My Australia wasn’t the one that the mainstream Australian film industry seemed particularly interested in depicting.

On the commentary track, you describe your intended audience as being ’15 year old boys eating pizza’ – that was absolutely who I was at the time, and as a young, horror-obsessed nascent pervert, Bloodlust was something I simply had to see. As I’m sure you remember, there was something intimidating about video shops at the time – they didn’t just stock whatever pablum Hollywood was shovelling at us, there were all kinds of weird little underground films that found their ways to the shelves. Out of this environment, I found David Lynch, Cronenberg, Troma, John Carpenter, Kenneth Anger, and a universe of films that defied description. Bloodlust’s cover was intimidating, and held the air of something naughty – something that I really shouldn’t be watching.

The thing that I got out of it, though, was that it was the first film I can remember watching that caused me to really identify with the surroundings. The film wasn’t simply shot in Melbourne – it WAS Melbourne, in some weird kind of way. It felt familiar, and had a truth to it regarding the environment that I grew up in. I’m 30 now, and I still can’t remember too many films that give me that feeling of regional identification.

It certainly sparked off my interest in underground cinema and deepened my obsession with horror cinema – for those reasons, you and Jon created something that was very important to me, so for that, I thank the pair of you.

Waxing nostalgia aside, I was curious to know if Bloodlust is ever going to receive a local DVD release. I’d love to get a proper, non-bootleg print of the film – are there any plans to reissue it?

Also, out of curiosity, whatever happened to Robert James O’Neill, Kelly Chapman, and Jane Stuart Wallace? I think I saw Robert O’Neill as an extra in ‘Proof’ – but I’ve never seen the other two in anything.

Anyway, this is just a gushy fan letter because I was having a bit of a moment. Best of luck with all your success with MUFF.

David Elliott
(A Fan)

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