B-Movie Corner: Here’s one ‘Long Weekend’ you don’t want to take
“Long Weekend” was originally released in 1979 in the film’s homeland of Australia. For many, the film was a box office disappointment that quickly faded into obscurity, but the film has slowly built an underground following.
The plot of “Long Weekend” follows a suburban couple, Peter and Marcia, as they embark on a trip to a secluded beach for a weekend of camping. The couple sets off, and it is immediately apparent that there is tension in the relationship.
As they travel to their destination, they meet some locals who have never heard of the area they are looking to visit. That gives Peter some pause, but they push on. Along the way, Peter hits and kills a kangaroo with their truck but does not stop, leaving the animal dead on the road.
Once they arrive in the isolated area, it’s dark, and there is no sense of the exact location of the shore. They drive through the thick forest and decide to wait for the morning while hearing inhuman screams from the woods.
In the morning they discover the beach is very nearby and decide to relax and enjoy the trip. However, their idea of relaxation is what leads to the central problem they will face.
The couple has no respect for nature and sets about dismantling it by chopping down trees, spraying insecticide everywhere, polluting the ocean, throwing lit cigarette butts in dry grass and killing an innocent animal.
The strain on the couple’s relationship escalates when Marcia wants to leave, but Peter won’t allow her. As tensions rise, nature seems to strike back.
Upon discovering an eagle’s egg, Peter decides to keep it but is soon attacked by an eagle. Marcia throws the egg. It smashes against a tree, and the unborn eaglet is killed.
Now, Mother Nature has decided to unleash her full fury in a variety of more insidious means than just an eagle attack. The film builds in suspense to its ultimate conclusion.
While the thought of nature attacking may sound corny to some, “Long Weekend” handles this in a much more thrilling manner and is a throwback to suspense films done by the master, Alfred Hitchcock.
The gore and violence are quite tame, but rest assured this is a horror film. The brooding atmosphere takes center stage as the film builds toward the climax.
“Long Weekend” is the definition of a forgotten classic despite a less than ideal remake in 2008. The film remained underground for a long time, but thankfully studios such as Synapse Films are giving these classics the respect they deserve and releasing them on DVD and Blu-ray.