Long Weekend (1978)

“Their Crime was Against Nature … And Nature Found Them Guilty!” In one of the better variations of the “nature runs amok” theme, an endlessly bickering Australian couple—“Peter” and “Marcia” (John Hargreaves and Briony Behets)—embarks on the weekend camping trip from hell. Things start off badly right from the beginning when Peter throws a lit cigarette butt out the car window (causing a small brush fire), runs over a kangaroo and gets hopelessly lost on the way to a remote beach camping site. It’s quite obvious that the dysfunctional couple has no respect for the natural environment, particularly Peter, who uses an ax to hack away at a tree for no obvious reason and blasts away at every living creature in sight (including a creepy sea creature that refuses to die). With increasing frequency, nature starts to strike back. By the way, the ending is truly horrifying. This offbeat, low-budget “Ozploitation” film was scripted by Everett De Roche and directed by Colin Eggleston, who was married to Behets at the time. Useless Trivia: Long Weekend was remade rather pointlessly in 2008 and released on video in the United States as Nature’s Grave. Directed by Jamie Blanks (Urban Legend), the film starred James Caviezel and Claudia Karvan.

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