The burning intensity of Russell Crowe (L.A. Confidential) first lit up screens as a hate-filled, Mein Kampf-spouting skinhead in this brutal Australian drama. Crowe glowers from under his deep-set eyes as Hando, the cree... more »py but charismatic leader of a racist gang who declares war on the Asian immigrants pouring into Melbourne. His rage erupts in violent attacks on the local Vietnamese community, but when his victims fight back his gang breaks up, and Hando flees the city with his best buddy Davey (Daniel Pollock) and redheaded hellion Gabe (Jacqueline McKenzie), a rich girl runaway who turns the dynamic duo into a splintered love triangle. Writer-director Geoffrey Wright's matter-of-fact treatment of this subculture eschews social commentary for visceral immediacy. His portrait of white supremacist punks living like squatters on the fringes of Australian society is powered by coiled anger and simmering frustration, which finds its outlet in brutal fights and murderous rampages (the intense violence earned the film an NC-17 rating). The lack of moral position may bother some people, especially in light of Wright's sympathetic treatment of particular members of Hando's racist army, and the cold, hate-driven violence is sometimes hard to watch, but his vivid characters and richly drawn world create a compelling drama for adventurous filmgoers. --Sean Axmaker« less
"An extremly intense film, Romper Stomper pulls no punches. Shot in a kind of artsy blue haze, the movie revolves around a group of Neo-Nazi skinheads who are attempting to fight off a flood of Vietnamese immigration into Melbourne, Australia. The group is lead by 'Hando' - A strong and charismatic leader played by Russell Crowe. Crowe is amazing as he manages to convey a sence vulnerability beneath his uncompromising anger. A scene in which Crowe qoutes parts of Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' is mesmerizing. Things begin to disolve, however, when a love triangle begins between Hando, his girlfriend Gabe (Jaqueline McKenzie) and Hando's best friend Davey who is portrayed very low-key by Daniel Pollock. The situation is compounded when an attack on some Vietnamese immigrants back fires and the Skins are forced to defend themselves against a raging mob of immigrants resulting in the loss of their home.Writer/Director Geoffry Wright came under attack by Leftist critics for not hitting everyone over the head, like American History X, with an anti-racist civics lesson - His position comes across as neutral. Indeed, one can almost sympathize with the group as they are convinced Australia's future depends on its racial and cultural purity.Without a doubt, this movie is worth owning."
God Sent Us
Christine MacDonald | Mt. Airy, MD United States | 07/27/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I hesistated for quite a while before viewing this film. I do not seek violent movies (I hated "A Clockwork Orange") but I am not afraid of violence (I love "Braveheart", "Gladiator). But I am also a film student of long ago, and recently I've become mesmerized by Russell Crowe and have sought out his work. If you know anything about Russell Crowe, you have to know that this film is considered by many to be the film that launched him on the career path that ultimately led to Maximus and the Academy Award. So, what did a good Crowe "student" like me do? I finally bought this DVD. And to my great surprise, I do not regret it for one moment. I actually like this film and as a student of film, was challenged and excited watching how Geoffrey Wright put this film together.This film is, quite frankly, compelling to watch. The music has a great "urban" quality that stands out and is perfect for this film. The performances are good and once again, I am floored by Russell Crowe's ability to command the screen, bring you into his character, and make you want to know him. His talent at finding the way to convey someone's inner soul -- a turn of the head, a stare, a small movement, and the eyes -- there's always something behind those eyes that just compells me to watch him even when someone else is on the screen. I should have hated Hando, and instead I pitied him. And isn't that what Geoffrey Wright wanted? Many have mentioned a lack of a "moral center" when in fact every member of Hando's group suffers a justified fate -- WHAT COULD BE MORE MORAL THAN THAT? Geoffrey Wright PUSHES us into Hando's (Crowe) violent, hate-filled world, but he also shows us the loneliness and the stupidity of that world. His characters are given to us, to think about as we will, and when he merely shows us what their hatred breeds, we're allowed to look down on them from the hills above and watch them as they die on the beach. No speeches, just their fate.If I had to criticize anyone, unfortunately, it would have to be Davey's character (not the actor). I thought Wright made him a little too sympathetic and he seems so opposite of Hando.I am still surprised at my reaction to this film (just so you know, I don't like EVERY Russell Crowe movie...). I will watch this movie again, and the violence of this film, while disturbing to watch, is not repulsive. P.S. The DVD Menu is just about the best menu I have ever seen. It moves in a 3-dimensional way that I just love to watch!"
The difference between the versions
FRAGGLE ROCKER | United States | 01/22/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I rented "Romper Stomper" a few years ago and recently this DVD edition has been available at Wal-Mart for under $8. It lacks all the extra features except the commentary and cuts out some of the more explicit sex scene shots by using a zoomed in pan-and-scan effect. Regardless of the content in this scene this is just a bad altering of the original film and I don't buy a film to get a broadcast TV look. Buy the other edition if you can find it."
GOD SENT US...
Eric White | Spring Hill, FL USA | 04/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ROMPER STOMPER, the debut film of former film critic Geoffrey Wringht, stars Russell Crowe, in his break-out role, Daniel Pollock, who died in post-production in a heroin induced train "accident", and Jacqueline McKenzie, in her feature film debut. ROMPER STOMPER is the story of Hando (Crowe) and his gang of Mein Kamf spouting, violent, thug, neo-nazi skinheads, including his best mate Davey (Pollock). The gang lives in deep poverty in an abandoned warehouse, eating pathetic meals and drinking like sailors (not to mention swearing like them as well). Hando soon becomes involved with a young drug addicted ecliptic girl, Gabe (McKenzie). When the gangs secondary hangout, a local bar, is purchased by a Vietnamese immigrant and his sons, the gang starts an intense turf war resulting in the most violent, realistic 20 minutes fight scene in cinematic history. Once the cops come onto the gangs tail Hando leads them in a quest for money and guns, to get revenge on the Vietnamese community. During this sequence of events, Davey and Gabe become friends and soon more then friends resulting in a distorted love triangle. Rated NC-17 when first released this is one of the most provocative, intense, powerful films of the 90's. A stunning directional debut from Wright and an equally stunning acting job by Crowe. The DVD's bonus feature's were so myriad that it took 2 discs to hold them all. Included is a talking track by Geoffrey Wright, in which he discusses about the filming of ROMPER STOMPER and interesting tid-bits about particular scenes as they appear on screen. Also included on the first disc is a music track where the nazi punk rock songs, excellently composed by Clifford White, can be heard alone.On the second disc their is the theatrical trailer for the film, which is in my humblest oppinion the best trailer I've seen (it actually made me want to see the film again that night). There are the written reviews of major publications promoting the film and discussing how amazing and powerful it is. Biographies of all involved with project are included as well as over 60 minutes of interviews from 1992 when the film was first released and over 30 minutes of interviews with Geoffrey Wright from 2000, reflecting on the film and it's impact on society. As well as all those features a demonstration of how the film was restored from the first American edition of the film, which had 1/4 of the film cut of from sight and had the look of a 1940's television program. Finally there is a track of photographs from the film displayed accompanied by interesting facts about the film, it's battle with censorship, and about the stars of the film. All in all a fabulous film, and a fabulous assortment of extras make this DVD a 5 star (if not 6 star) hit."
Greg Hamilton | Portland, OR United States | 11/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While I loved the digital widescreen transfer of this film (so much better than VHS), I do have a bone to pick with this DVDs' producers.This "Special Edition" DVD advertises on it's back cover a pair of documentaries...one about Skinheads and the other (it would seem) regarding the making of the film. On the surface this sounds like a great deal - something unexpected for such a small film. But after you've cracked the case - watched the feature you bought it for - you'll come to find out that the two "documetaries" that are listed to be on Disc 2 are actually interview topics with director Geoffery Wright. No documentaries. No lie. Well, that's unless you're talking about Fox, it's producer. It's sad when a sale closing device, like the DVD special feature is either abused or badly mishandled. While the movie is well-worth the price of the disc, it is a letdown when the cool stuff you've been looking forward to actually turns out to be bogus."