On 12th November 1992 Australia saw the national release of Romper Stomper, a low budget movie shot and produced in Melbourne. While the country was still basking in the charm of Strictly Ballroom, Romper Stomper threw up a cast of violent, Neo-Nazi characters both criminal and vulnerable, and invited an unsuspecting audience to witness their rise and fall.
Film critics like David Stratton were alarmed, accusing the film of sympathizing with racism and violence, while newspapers committed full page spreads debating its danger.
But after the dust settled, the country realized what it actually had.
Romper Stomper was the first Australian film to combine breathless action with an unbridled exploration of taboo themes. It was also the launching pad for the iconic, Hollywood career of its star Russell Crowe.
There has not been a film quite like Romper Stomper before or since. It sprang from bolder, more daring times in the history of Australian cinema, and we may not see its like again.
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