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Images from the original 1986 Super 8 short




From 1976 to 1984, the endearing Mike & Mal Leyland had “travelled all over the country side”, making Australian TV documentaries about their expeditions with their droll no nonsense approach. Often the two brothers would bring their wives along for the journey, then in later years even their kids got into the act! Then sometime in the early 1980’s, a new AOTDM (Australian outback travel documentary maker) burst onto Australian TV screens & in cinemas. This bloke was everything the Leylands were not. He was dashing, more adventurous, he always had a gorgeous girl by his side & was never afraid to embellish the drama & danger for the camera. His name my friends, was Alby Mangles.

Alby was our hero. Our own Aussie superhero - a real life Indiana Jones! There wasn’t allot he could not do. He was a legend!!!

A few years later in 1986, when my Year 10 Drama teacher asked the class to write & perform a ten-minute play, Russell Friedrich & I immediately decided we’d make a ten-minute FILM instead. And naturally the subject we chose would be somewhat based & inspired by Alby Mangles!

Shot on Super 8 over two weekends, ALERGY MANGLED was jam packed with lame stunts, jerky stop motion animation & wooden acting! But most importantly, it poked fun at the sub-sub-sub-genre that always made us laugh – Australian outback travel documentary makers! To cut a longer story shorter, we ended up getting D’s for our little epic, due to the fact it was assessed on the drama & acting…and not on the dinosaur animation, make up FX & piss weak stunts. It was then I realised it’s probably best if I stay behind the camera on future productions.

Ten years later in 1996, Russell Friedrich suggested we remake the film. I thought why not. This version will have even more stunts, stop motion & elaborate visual FX. Bigger means better… right?

The original Super 8 version didn’t have an antagonist, so who could we possibly pit our hero – the quintessential Aussie 1980’s hero, against? Who would be worthy of such a challenge? Rather than looking to the 1980’s for inspiration, we looked to the 1950’s and found Ro-man; the villain from possibly the worst film ever made – ROBOT MONSTER.

As I was officially retired from screen acting, stepping into my role of Big Black Yul Brynner was fellow Krypto Justin Dix – fresh from playing the King of Old in our previous film EZRA POUND THE AXE KING. Then soon after, we recruited Renee Barrass to play our blonde bimbo Trudy.

To be continued…

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