Russell Crowe (before he became a gladiator and schizo) stars as the vicious and sociopath Hando. His right hand man is Davey, a Neo-Nazi skinhead with a soft and loving side. The actor who played Hando, Daniel Pollock, committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train before the theatrical release of Romper Stomper. He was also a heroin addict and romantically involved with co-star Jacqueline McKenzie. His break-up with McKenzie sparked his unfortunate death.
Romper Stomper features pulsating Oi! style skinhead music with naughty racial slurs. Apparently you have to kick someone if he’s yellow. Recently Australia publicly apologized for the wrongs done against the indigenous aborigines people. One might expect more racial tensions and Romper Stomper style skinheads on that glorified island.
A Hitler’s youth knife saves the day in Romper Stomper during the films climatic conclusion. A young and budding skinhead takes a bullet in the same area of his head where Charles Manson has his immortal swastika. Romper Stomper has enough brutal violence to satisfy the most sadistic of film fans. The film surpasses the curb stomping action found in the heavily edited American History X. The original American History X intended to feature Giuseppe Andrews (as a surfer skinhead) harassing a homeless black woman. I much prefer to see that than Edward Norton taking unwelcome darts in a cold shower.
Romper Stomper is a powerful and brutal film. A film that will stir you up with emotions that contact the most archaic of human instincts. Romper Stomper may not be most complex film (nor should it be), but it grabs you in it’s beginning and destroys you by it’s end. Few films have that kind of power. May Daniel Pollock rest in peace.