It's truly saddening to see such masterpieces of cinema sunk to such obscure depths. Haydn Keenan's Australian black comedy, Pandemonium (1988), is officially now one of the most bizarre excursions in silliness that I have ever been pleased to witness. The plot(s) develop as such - A girl thrown to the dingoes is instead raised by them only to return after all those years to Sydney in search for her betrayers. In case you're not up to speed with Australian news considered legend, this happenstance is based on Azaria Chamberlain's disappearance which inspired the phrase done to death by pop culture - "The dingoes ate my baby!" Upon finding the mansion of her parents, many crazy events begin to unfold including but not limited to: a four foot tall Hitler and his 2 dyke-Reich assistants, a mad doctor inspired by Frankenstein and his zombie henchman, and an end-of-the-world scenario. All this in what I would refer to as an incestuous affair between Saban's short lived Beetleborgs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show without lyrics. Starring David Argue with an accent permanently reflecting a sense of achievement and Playboy model Amanda Dole, who is topless for more than half the film, Pandemonium is criminally panned the world over for not making a lick of sense. But you see, that's just where the magic comes in.
Pandemonium earns its chips with its bizarro nature of religious and political satire, as sharp and esoteric as humor towards a non-Australian citizen can get. Pandemonium not only breaks every rule cinema ever set in stone but incites a riot in which to vandalize every standard with its crude and intelligent message. This atrocity can only be the work of some surreal, anarchic infection left behind by the assault of nonsensical hi-jinx. Once the gorgeous "Dingo girl" arrives at the place of residency, several characters bumble directly into her path, which ignites pagan sacrifices, forced surrogacy in order to create a new strain of Aryans, and a caveman with "animal magnetism". If I could compare the frenzied manner of Pandemonium to any sense of reality, it would be to compare the images projected on screen to having your brain inserted into a pinball machine. Maintaining its absurd composure is one thing Pandemonium does best. Only in the last 15 minutes of runtime does the film show any hints of slowing down. But for what it's worth, the endless barrage of the incredibly lovely Amanda Dole's breasts leaves a feeling of euphoria spread evenly over every hormone. You will never be able to take your eyes off them - the real stars of Pandemonium.
It's a damn shame that films as critically developed and ripe with insanity as Pandemonium remain impossible to find. Only through VSoM (Video Search of Miami) are you able to order a copy, that or rare video traders. DVD companies like Severin Films give me hope for Ozsploitation to appear in American markets though. The prime exploitation label currently, Severin has given sight to many genre classics such as Stone, another piece of Australian history. Director Haydn Keenan might be either a cinematic genius or an absolute loon. The effects of Pandemonium are exactly what the title implies. So many characters, juggling many horror legends, from vampires to mummies, are introduced throughout with little reason other than the further the adventures of the messianic Dingo girl and her obsessive would-be lover, Kales Leadingham. After consummating with God in the guise of a jazzy Negro, the Dingo girl is reborn in a true tale of Christian fiction, as believable as any other book of Christ. My current state renders me damn near a blubbering idiot. The psychotropic adventures of Pandemonium have overloaded my senses to the point of indistinguishable. I don't think I could ever tire of Pandemonium as a single scene features many deranged, madcap happenings all at once, leaving much lost during the initial viewing. You will observe the mania relapse to the point of coaxing you to rewatch the film, picking up on more maladjustments in a purely meta fashion. I have no idea what I had just watched but I assure you that like me, you will enjoy every panicked and blasphemous minute of it. If you're brave enough, you can purchase the film here.