by Lawrence Colin Eggleston
Long Weekend is an
Australian horror movie starring John Hargreaves and Briony Behets.
They play a married couple, Peter and Marcia, whose relationship is in
difficulty. Peter decides that he and Marcia need some time alone
together and sets his heart on a weekend camping trip to a deserted
beach, in the middle of nowhere. Marcia is not keen on the idea but
goes along anyway.
The couple don't talk a lot on their journey to the beach. The
atmosphere inside their Land Rover is strained and it is obvious that
they are not the happiest of campers. Neither are they the most
responsible and they manage to cause a certain amount of havoc without
even leaving their vehicle. First of all Peter throws a lighted
cigarette out of the window and, as he drives away, it ignites the
grass at the side of the road. Then a few minutes later he is so busy
fiddling with his next smoke that he runs over a kangaroo. The trip
seems doomed from the start, Peter is unable to find the beach and ends
up driving around in circles, in the dark, in the bush, and in a lot of
hot water with his wife.
When Peter stops the vehicle Marcia is keen to go back and find a
hotel, but Peter insists that they sleep in the Land Rover.
Peter is the first to wake up and by the time Marcia clambers from the
Land Rover he has got breakfast underway. Better still, he has
discovered that the beach is just over the hill so he has
already set up camp. He appears to be quite a capable camper, but is
obsessed with boy-toys like his brand new rifle and his harpoon gun.
For some strange reason his axe is not without its attractions either
and when Marcia asks him why he is chopping down a tree his only reason
is "Why not?" Actions like this, along with his litter-bug ways, give
an indication of how little respect he has for the environment.
The stretch of coast that Peter has brought them to is breathtaking and
for a while it looks like all that sun is and sand is beginning to melt
the ice between the couple. The thaw is a short one though, and as
everything goes wrong for them their relationship is falling apart
faster than ever. One of their first problems is just a little one.
Lots of little ones actually—ants—and Marcia murders the little
blighters with a can of insecticide. Then the frozen chicken spoils at
an impossible speed and when Peter takes it out of their portable
freezer it is covered in mould. This is very strange, but is not unduly
alarming. On more than one occasion, however, Peter is
attacked by the local wildlife and is particularly shaken after an
encounter with an eagle. Through all of this Marcia is quick to remind
her husband how bored she is and that she wants to leave. Peter is not
for budging though, even if their long weekend has become more of a
wrong weekend that is destroying more bridges than it is
Hargreaves and Behets are very well cast as the warring Peter and
Marcia, who sometimes seem to love each, but at other times to possibly
only need each other because they have nobody else. They paint a very
believable picture of a complicated relationship that is falling apart.
is an extremely good movie and the idea of nature striking back at
humanity is quite a scary one that is handled very well here
under the direction of Colin Eggleston. Long Weekend is
also an often underrated movie that is rarely aired here in the UK.
Because of this many people have never even heard of it and the movie
is not easy to find it on DVD either. Even on Amazon I could only find
a region 1 copy. Fortunately, I own a multi-region player, but not
everyone will be so lucky.
Producer Richard Brennen and Cinematographer Vincent Monton.
Featuring an Audio Interview with John Hargreaves.
Hargreaves ... Peter
... Truck Driver
... Old Man
Sue Kiss von Soly ...
& Rental Options~