This is an under rated and at times deliberately forgotten Australian classic. I watched Wake in Fright as a child and it scared the hell out of me.
But I loved it. The film was largely ignored, it always seemed a little out of step with the knock-about Aussie larrikin films that surrounded it back in 1971.
This is not a loving potrait of Australian life but a glimpse into a world of violence and male bonding that comes across more like a contagious psychosis.
The film is not for the faint hearted ; beware the kangaroo scene! Chips Rafferty gives a stand-out, subtle performance as a police officer all smiles and backslapping, with an under-current
of menace and intimidation. It is a must-see for any Australian film enthusiast. I cannot recommend it highly enough. “May you dream of the devil and wake in fright.”