By Filmink Staff

STAR WARS (1977)

My parents took me to see it at the drive-in when I was very little, and it’s the first movie I can remember watching on the big screen. Star Wars introduced me to a strange and fantastical world where chess pieces body slam each other, swords are made of lasers, there are fighter jets in space, and space knights have magic powers. Star Wars is the movie that opened my eyes to the existence of imagined worlds through the movie screen. More than any other movie, Star Wars gave me my passion for fantastical story telling.

WIZARDS (1977)

A post-apocalyptic animated film by Ralph Bakshi, in which the powers of technology and magic (elves and tanks) battle for world supremacy. I saw this when I was 12 or 13 at the Valhalla cinema, back when they had couches up the back and you could smoke in there. I still quote lines from this movie in conversation. It features a fairy princess in a one piece thong, a wizard whose hat reaches to his feet, and a robot assassin who wears a red onesie with antennae on his head. It’s one of the funniest, most absurd, and bleakest films I have ever seen. It’s the ridiculous and sublime, and I think it started me thinking that all stories are about the eternal struggle between the good and evil in human (or alien, or fairy, or robot) nature. A struggle that never ends.

MAD MAX 2 (1981)

Everyone knows Mad Max 2, it’s simply the best Australian movie ever produced. This film was everything for me and my friends for a while. One of my friends had a Mad Max themed birthday party, we all dressed as punks, at frankfurters out of dog food cans, and quoted the movie at each other all day. This movie made me realise that good movies could actually be made in Australia. Prior to this I would have actively avoided anything with an Australian accent. Not otherworldly enough. So Mad Max made me realise Australia can be a fantastical place (even though they re-dubbed it all with American accents for release over there – but that’s not something I knew at the time).

ARMY OF DARKNESS (1992) (And Evil Dead 2… and The Evil Dead)

Hail to the King baby. I saw these in order on VHS one night with family friends I didn’t really like, so I was watching hard. The first one scared the be-jesus out of me, but didn’t disgust me the way most horror films did. Looking back I suspect it was the implicit good vs evil theme that held my interest. That theme has always stayed with me in storytelling. More impactful, though (in particular once you get to Army of Darkness), this was my introduction to what is now called action-horror, or horror-comedy, or splatsctick. This is more or less what I do in my films – not as well as Raimi & co., but I’m always striving.


Killer tomatoes are killing everybody. This film makes the list because it’s the film that made me think I could make films. I was conscious of sensing how much fun those guys were having doing this film. It’s a cheap looking movie so it also made me realise it might be possible to make a film myself that people like me would actually watch one day.

Sheborg Massacre is out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 19, courtesy of Monster Pictures.


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