Goodbye Pork Pie (1981, Runtime 103 mins) is probably the best comedy, action, drama film ever to come out of New Zealand. A country “down under” better known for lamb, Maoris, geothermal activity and stunning scenery rather than films, produced a very good “road movie” at the end of the 70s…
The premise is of a “teenage tearaway” Gerry Austin (played by Kelly Johnson) who finds a purse on the street. He tries to give it back to a woman called Leslie, but his demeanour frightens her and she drives away.
Gerry uses the paperwork in the purse to hire a Hertz Rent A Car “Austin Mini.”
After driving around the street, he inevitably gets pulled by the local constabulary.
Enter John, the second lead character (played by a very successful Aussie actor – Tony Barry).
Tony’s girlfriend has just split up with him and moved to Invercargil on the South Island and he’s decided to hitch his way there to patch things up.
Tony gets involved with Gerry and the policeman, who then let him off with a caution.
Gerry offers John a lift to where ever he’s going.
This is where the fun starts and the movie picks up a good pace…
The rest of the film is basically a car chase through both islands, with the Mini being stripped and the parts sold for “road cash”
The other notable character is Shirl (played by Claire Oberman) who turns out to be a bit of a cleptomaniac, and the love interest of Gerry.
The film has action, adventure and fun. You’re always rooting for “The Blondini Gang.”
The ending is a bit unexpected and a little sad (in the teary sense, not the pathetic sense, so tissues out girlies…) on one level, but has the “Yeah, he did it – Now I fancy doing that too!” on the other.
Being made in ’81, sure it’s going to be dated in man made scenery, style and filming techniques. However, if you look beyond that and have a liking for modern history of a little known land, check this film out. (I actually searched out some of the scenes in ‘93 while I was there trying to remember the film title. Apparently, the scrap yard still exisits.)
I saw this in the early 80s and was desperate to see it again, but never found it on VHS and eventually forgot it’s title.
I did a Google search a few years back using Movie+New Zealand+Rental+Yellow Mini+Road Movie and a link to a forum gave me the movie name.
Then Amazon came to the rescue with a DVD release from 2004 in 4:3 format.
Buy it, rent it, borrow it. Watch it and then go out and buy a yellow Mini. You’ll want to!