• Goodbye Paradise (Umbrella Entertainment) DVD Review

    Released by: Umbrella Entertainment
    Released on: July 3rd, 2019.
    Director: Carl Schultz
    Cast: Ray Barrett, Robyn Nevin, Janet Scrivener, Kate Fitzpatrick, Tex Morton
    Year: 1983
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    Goodbye Paradise – Movie Review:

    At the beginning of Carl Schultz’s 1983 film, Goodbye Paradise, Police Commissioner Michael Stacy (Ray Barrett) quits his job at the cop shop and decides to throw caution to the wind by writing a book. This book will, more specifically, be a piece on how corrupt politicians and officials have tarnished the Gold Coast. It doesn’t go well. While Michael has done an admirable job of staying off the bottle these last few months, his publisher is pressured not to publish the book. Given that Michael’s been having trouble paying his bills since quitting the force, this does not bode well for our would-be author.

    When Senator Les McCredie (Don Pascoe) offers to pay Michael quite handsomely to find his missing daughter, Katy (Janet Scrivener), an eighteen-year-old runaway, he doesn’t really want to take the job but he does it because he needs the money. Michael gets to work, tracing Katy’s whereabouts through various locations on the Gold Coast, talking to people she’s been with platonically and romantically, eventually dodging an attempt on his life and winding up at compound run by a cult leader named Bill Todd (John Clayton), a man Michael served with back in the day. While all of this is going on, a cop named Curley (Paul Chubb) is hot on Michael’s tail and the only person he can go to for help is, of course, an ex-girlfiend named Kate (Robyn Nevin) and a screwy photographer named Con (Lex Marinos).

    Michael figures once he finds Katy McCredie his troubles will be over – but once he does just that, he learns they’ve only just begun.

    A uniquely Australian neo-noir, Goodbye Paradise is rock-solid entertainment. It’s appropriately gritty, surprisingly exploitative at times (there’s a lot more nudity in here than you might expect!), quick in its pacing and genuinely suspenseful. The cinematography from John Seale, who would win an Oscar in 1997 for his work on the English patient and who also shot Mad Max: Fury Road, does a fantastic job of capturing both the seediness of certain elements of the Gold Coast locations used in the shoot and, just as frequently, their natural beauty. It’s a handsomely lensed film complimented rather well by an appropriately vibrant score from Peter Best and overall, the production values are plenty strong across the board.

    As to the performances, the film also scores high marks. John Clayton, Paul Chubb and Robyn Nevin all deliver strong supporting work, Don Pascoe and Janet Scrivener as well. The real star of the film, however, is Ray Barrett. He’s perfect for the part, really embodying the surly, world weary character of Michael Stacy in every way you’d hope for. Fans of Australian cinema will recognize him from his part in The Chant Of Jimmie Blacksmith but he also did voice work on the popular (and inherently creepy) UK series Thunderbirds!

    Goodbye Paradise – Blu-ray Review:

    Goodbye Paradise arrives on DVD with a 1.33.1 fullframe transfer that does appear to have been cropped from what we can assume was its original widescreen framing. There is some minor print damage visible throughout, cigarette burns as well, but the colors look decent enough. Detail wavers and things do lean towards the soft side of things but this could be the case of making do with what was available.

    The only audio option for the feature is an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track but it’s problem free. Dialogue is clean, clear and nicely balanced and there aren’t any problems with any hiss, distortion or sibilance. There are no alternate language or subtitles of any kind provided.

    There’s no menu here, but after the feature finishes if you let the disc play, you’ll find a half hour long interview with director Carl Schultz in which he speaks about growing up in Hungary and then England before moving to Australia where he got work as a TV cameraman. From there he moved into making features and we learn about what went into creating Goodbye Paradise as he talks about working with Bob Ellis, Ray Barrett and John Seale as well as how the film did when it hit theaters. It’s a good interview and a welcome addition to the disc.
    Goodbye Paradise – The Final Word:

    Goodbye Paradise is a really solid slice of eighties-noir, done with a uniquely Australian bent to it. Ray Barrett is great in the lead and there are some nice supporting performances here as well. Umbrella’s DVD release isn’t perfect by any means but it does present this lesser seen ‘Ozploitation’ title in watchable enough shape and for now, appears to be the only game in town.