Last Wave (1977 film)

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Still from Last Wave (1977 film)...

Summary

In Sydney, a lawyer is is assigned to defend five aborigines [sic] accused of the murder of another tribesman. None of the lawyer's clients are willing to speak about what happened, even in their own defense, and the medical examiner on the case can't figure out how the victim died. But what's most troubling to the lawyer is the increasingly terrifying apocalyptic visions he's having, leading him to think Australia may soon be destroyed.

Details

  • Release Date: 1977
  • Country/Language: Australian, English
  • Genres/Technical: Science Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Drama, Disaster
  • Runtime: 1 hr 46 min
  • Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil
  • Director: Peter Weir
  • Writer: Peter Weir and Tony Morphett (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co: Australian Film Commission, Ayer Productions, Derek Power
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDB page: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG (mild Violence (mostly off-screen) and mild Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Not exactly a "Lovecraftian" film in the sense of being based on any of Lovecraft's work or containing references to his creations, though some viewers may find the location and atmosphere suggestive of Lovecraft's work (an "Eldritch Location" film). Fritz Leiber apparently felt this film was "very Lovecraftian".

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Mark Longden at International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics, (link) - "...It feels weird being so down on this movie, as it’s pretty well beloved... and Peter Weir is a really good director; but this just didn’t work.... We’re victims of our expectations. If I’d not heard anything about this being recommended to Lovecraft fans, I’d have had more of an open mind and may have enjoyed it more, but then again, I’d have probably never watched it in the first place if that was the case. Vaguely magic-realist race relation dramas aren’t usually my cup of tea..."
  • Jim Blanton at Fantasmo Cinema, (link) - "...Quite a few people have claimed it to be Lovecraftian. I’ve seen my share of filmic Lovecraft adaptations and tributes, and honestly I think this claim is stretching it just a bit. The film does make reference to an ancient power, and certainly Chamberlin’s character fits the mold of the hapless, accidental hero common in Lovecraft tales, but the connection is subtle at best. Truth is I wish I could count this one as a Lovecraft film because it’s such a great piece of film-making, whereas most straight Lovecraft adaptations are pretty awful...."
  • Y.Whateley - "I've seen this, but didn't get much out of it, thanks mainly to a collision of a hearing impairment, lack of closed captioning, bad sound quality, and accents I had trouble deciphering. I think a lot of the film's strength must have been lost with the dialogue under the circumstances, as I didn't really get any connection made to Lovecraft by other viewers, and the movie itself failed to resonate with me the way the same director's Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975 film) did, beyond a handful of admittedly beautiful scenes involving the native artwork and music, some bizarre weather phenomena, and what I took to be subtle dream sequences or visions."


Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

In Sydney, a business lawyer is given the pro bono assignment of defending five aborigines accused of the murder of another tribesman. None of his clients are willing to speak about what happened, even in their own defense, and the medical examiner on the case can't figure out how the victim died. But what's most troubling to the lawyer is the increasingly terrifying apocalyptic visions he's having, leading him to think Australia may soon be destroyed.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO

Keeper Notes

  • Strange weather phenomena, weird omens and visions, a prophecy about a wave that will destroy a continent, and ancient mysticism may be man's only chance for salvation: there's more than a little bit here to build a Call of Cthulhu scenario from....


See Also