Romper Stomper (1992)

Crime, Drama
Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie, Alex Scott
A group of skinheads become alarmed at the way their neighbourhood is changing.
  • 12 Nov 1992 Released:
  • 21 Nov 2000 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Geoffrey Wright Writer:
  • Geoffrey Wright Director:
  • N/A Website:

Trailer:

An excellent film that is both interesting and disturbing.10/10

Every thing about this movie is unique, right down to the 16mm film that they used to shoot it. Even though it was filmed in 1992, it has the look a an early 80's film. I defy you not to think about A Clockwork Orange as you watch it.

Some people have said that the film glorifies skinheads. I would have to ask those people, WHAT FILM WERE YOU WATCHING? This film presents skinheads and their society and says this is the way it is. It does not glorify, nor does it jump on a soapbox. Not to tip anything off, but by the end of the film I don't think there are going to be too many people saying "being a skinhead is a wonderful life." In fact, I think that is why the film is so good. The subject matter is not black and white, it is very gray. Skinheads exist for a reason, they do things for a reason. The reasons might sound immoral to us, but the world is made up of different types. In fact, most of the movie deals with Hando (Russel Crowe) trying very hard to hold his skinhead bunch together. However, the destructive nature of the characters is bringing about the destruction of their lifestyle.

The performances in this film are great. In particular, Daniel Pollock is great as Davey. I was very saddened to hear that he died right after this movie. He is often silent during the film, but his facial expressions are very powerful. For anyone that is interested in examining some of the darker groups that wander around this world, Romper Stomper has a very interesting one for you to look at.
Fighting for Survival, Power5/10

I'm sure people may have dismissed this movie as a nazi tribute to white power. On the contrary, it gives an excellent picture of what happens when powerless people try to find some control over their lives. Nazi-ism itself is scapegoating and blame disguised as fascism, and this movie uses it to paint a picture of desolation and desperation.

White power and immigrant-hatred are not what this movie is about. It's about friendship and the need to belong to something. Russell Crowe's Hando is powerful - I couldn't take my eyes off of him. Hando uses that magnetism to draw people into his ideology, thus creating control and power for himself. Things begin to unravel when Gabe, the girl who comes between Hando and Davey, throws off the hold Hando has enjoyed over his little crowd. Remember what Orwell says: Absolute Power corrupts absolutely? Well, so does arrogance. Arrogance and the lack of respect for one's fellow man, regardless of race or creed, are key players in this plot.

I wish there had been more of Davey (Daniel Pollock) in this film, and I'm sorry to have learned of his real-life suicide in the weeks after it's completion. I recommend this film to people who are interested in how poverty, ignorance, and powerlessness change people into strange earthly demons capable of indiscriminate violence.
Definitely Worth Seeing9/10

Romper Stomper takes great pains for an accurate depiction of the skinhead culture; the dress is perfect (except for the roles of the females of the crew) as well as the music; the overall movie captures the culture very well on those factual bases, and on the artistic fronts and aspects of the film the portrayel is also enjoyable, accurate, and sparks great thought.

The film demonstrates some very well-done action sequences; the thuggish violence that is seen throughout the film is very well crafted, and done in a manner that I found to be pleasing to anyone who likes realism (nothing cartoonish or over the top -- just shear teeth-clenching violence).

On top of the action sequences is a relatively intriguing story; however, the plot is never fully developed and there are certain parts of the story that interest you very much, yet you do not get to find out more. The film is very much worth watching though it has its' flaws. A very good film, overall, that gives you good action and some things for you to think about.

Mostly this film ought to be lauded for its' graphic depictions and its' attempts at accuracy (which greatly supersede most films). It is a very beautiful demonstration of Australian cinema (and proudly so) that is greatly underrated and underviewed. I advise anyone to watch this film.
Brutal and bleak viewing9/10
Firstly, I'd like to start by saying that anyone who thinks this is somehow pro-racist or pro-skinhead has REALLY missed the point, thats if they've even seen it,that is. That would be like saying 'Saving Private Ryan' glorifies war, or 'Trainspotting' glorifies drugs.

It revolves around a bunch of lawless Australian skinheads, as they party to loud skrewdriver-esquire music, drink, fight (amongst each other as well as against the Vietnamese immigrants living nearby), cause mayhem..and so on so forth. They are living in a dilapidated old garage and scrounge off the system whilst hating it. They are portrayed as hopeless, angry lost kids held together by a psychopathic and violent leader;Hando Where to start with Hando, seriously, this is undoubtedly Russel Crowe's most unforgettable performance. Whether its his tattoo's, shaved head, unshaven face or cold eyed glare...you can't help but be drawn in by Hando. He is by far the most relentless and ruthless member of the gang, and during the film you wonder whether or not they'd even exist without him.

During the film, things take a turn for the worse, actually they take several turns for the worst...which has an increasingly negative effect on the gang.

I rated this film a 9, as it achieves what it sets out to do. Give the viewer a no-holds barred trip into the destructive lives of social outsiders, and the violence and hatred that follows. Not easy viewing, but I recommend this film to anyone who likes their movies gritty and upfront.
Russell Crowe at his best.10/10

This film will stay with you for quite awhile. It tells the story of Hando (Crowe) and his best mate Davey. Both are Skinheads in the Melbourne area, 1980's. Hando and Davey's lives revolve around collecting Nazi relics and attacking Orientals that have chosen to live in Australia. The two are very tight and big believers in the cause, keep Australia free of outsiders. However, when a girl enters the picture, one will start to see that life is more than just mindless violence and the other will go mad as he sees that his small group of Skins cannot change the fate of his country. This film is not preachy and does not come across as black and white. Both Hando and Davey have positive and negative traits. Instead, the picture tries to show what motivates Skins in doing what they do. The film has some violence, but only in attempt to show how pointless violence is. In my opinion, this is Crowe's finest performance. Moreover, the actor that played Davey is brilliant as well (sadly, he died shortly after the film was finished). If you want to see an excellent historical lesson about hate and how it destroys, see Romper Stomper.