Mad Dog Morgan

Year: 1976
Production Co: Mad Dog
Director: Phillipe Mora
Writer: Phillipe Mora
Cast: Dennis Hopper, David Gulpilil, Bill Hunter, Jack Thompson, Frank Thring, John Hargreaves, Graeme Blundell
Since Mark Hartley's triumphant Not Quite Hollywood came out last year, rights-holders left and right have been scrambling over themselves to get the many films mentioned in it out on DVD, and Mad Dog Morgan is one of them.

It looks like a half-serious dissertation on one of our lesser-known bushrangers, but for two aspects. One is Phillipe Mora behind the megaphone, a fixture in the Aussie exploitation scene because of his having directed two of the Howling sequels. The other is the urban legend (apparently quite true) that star Dennis Hopper was so drunk and drugged up for the whole shoot it's a wonder he got any of it done.

The premise is similar to that of Gregor Jordan's Ned Kelly, merely the origin story of Irish convict Dan Morgan who was imprisoned and brutalised to the point where he became a criminal half to take revenge on the polite 1800s British colonial society that's wronged him.

With a wily aboriginal friend and compatriot (David Gulpilil) and the tenacious Detective Mainwairing (Thompson) on his trail, Morgan turned into a legend that grew bigger than the man before his demise in a shootout near a house he'd been robbing but where he'd ended up staying the night to discuss politics with his captives.

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