Select to Enlarge

Metal Skin (1995)


  • Aden Young        ...Joe
  • Tara Morice       ...Savina
  • Nadine Garner     ...Roslyn
  • Ben Mendelsohn    ...Dazey
  • Chantal Contouri  ...Savina's Mother
  • Petru Gheorghiu   ...Pop
  • Arthur Angel      ...Paul Socchi
  • Anita Cerdic      ...Lisa
  • Tommy Dysart      ...Mr Graham
  • Mike Bishop       ...Dazey's Father
  • Vince D'Amico     ...Padre Pallini
  • Ed Mcshortall     ...Ted
  • Marcello D'Amico  ...Savina's Stepfather
  • Jane Borghesi     ...Amorina
  • Curtis Barnott    ...Dean


  • Geoffrey Wright


  • Geofrrey Wright


  • Elisa Argenzio     ...Line Producer
  • Daniel Scharf      ...Producer
  • Jonathan Shteinman ...Associate Producer


  • John Clifford White


  • Ron Hagen


  • Bill Murphy
  • Jane Usher


  • Gregory Apps


  • Steven Jones-Evans


  • Anna Borghesi


  • Chris Odgers   ...first assistant director
  • Monica Pearce  ...second assistant director
  • Tim Scott      ...third assistant director


  • Peter Burgess     ...dialogue editor
  • Ross Chambers     ...sound assitant
  • Frank Lipson      ...sound designer
  •                      supervising sound editor
  • Glen Newnham      ...sound editor 


  • Dean Hood       ...assistant accountant
  • Phil Jones      ...Production consultant
  • Iain Pirret     ...production runner


"Hot cars, psycho characters, Satanism and mayhem combined with brilliant filmaking; who could ask for anything more!" (Kay Armitage in her review at htt://

How about a happy ending Mr Wright? 

Another bunch of misfits, another set of disturbing and violent events, another dystopic, shocking ending.  He did it in Romper Stomper (1992) with skin-heads and Geoffrey Wright did it again with Metal Skin (1994).  A documentation of hopeless characters and thier descent into madness.  A story with no hope and no happy ending.  With these two films, Wright seems to have made a 'habit' of 'telling it' and offering no solutions.  He simply creates and documents a world and offers no solution or hope.  It was this very quality that led to such controversy among critics regarding Romper Stomper as many argued that it promoted racism.  Indeed, each of  these films offers a certain moral ambiguity with Wright leaving the viewer - after recovering -  to make their own moral judgements it seems.

There is in this way, no simple resolution in Metal Skin.  No 'all ends tied' for Wright.  Rather, the viewer is dragged along and dumped at the end to find their own way home.

Before we even see an image we are struck by a noise halfway between the screech of tires and a woman's scream.  A horrifying and disturbing sound which wrenches us into this bleak world, and from there we are carried along at 200km/h to Wright's wrenching dystopic 'conclusion'.  It is a scream that frames an entire narrative of screams repressed and expressed in a film full of madness.

Into Wright's backdrop of Melbourne, 1994, a bleak and colourless suburbia, are thrown Joe, a lonely loser, Dazey, a ladies man, Savina , a satanic witch, and Roslyn, a girl scarred both body and mind.  Each of the characters spiral out of control until at the end of the film all are insane.

Joe gets a job at a warehouse distribution centre where he meets Dazey and Savina.  Dazey is the town stud going from one girl to to next with Roslyn his long-time hairdresser girl-friend sitting at home nursing the physical and mental scars of a car accident care of Dazey.  Savina is a satan worshipper who attempts to use black magic to get Dazey to fall in love with her.  She is possessed by the idea of being with him.  Joe is an outsider who becomes involved with these two outsiders.  He lives on the out-scirts of town with his crazy Romanian father.  He becomes involved with Dazey through work and through a shared enthusiasm for hotted up cars.  He mistakenly believes that Savina is in love with him and is crushed when he finds her sleeping with Dazey.  It is just another instance of him losing.  He has no real friends, no job - after losing it stealing cat-food for Savina- he loses car races and eventually loses his mind.  The film documents his desperation to be accepted and to be loved and it is his failure to do so that leads to his madness. 

In fact, all principal characters in the film are mad or eventually go mad.  Savina breaks into a church and spends the night casting spells and drinking chicken's blood and eventually falls to her death from the roof of the church.  Throughout the film, Savina's mother constantly has a lint brush and is obsessed with brushing lint from people's clothes.  Her final loss of control is depicted when she attacks Joe with the brush when he comes to the house after Savina's death.  Similarly, Roslyn slowly goes crazy, first hacking off all her hair and finally walking mindlessly like a child through the shipping containers piled high along the dockside.  Also, Joes's father is mad and finally, Joe snaps.

It is Joes decent into madness that is most shocking.  While originally feeling sympathy for him and his quest for love, the audience finally feels shock at his actions. After losing everything and having found no one to love him he embarks on a set of actions which leave the audience reeling.  He begins by shooting his father dead, an action that the viewer never expects.  He then breaks into Dazey's father's garage and shoots a mechanic and steals the car being prepared for the races.  He drives to the house where Dazey and Roslyn are sleeping in one another's arms and attempts to kill Dazey, screaming that Dazey doesn't deserve to be loved.  Dazey and Roslyn manage to get away and take off in Dazey's car.  What follows is a violent car chase which eventuates in Joe dying and Roslyn wandering off, now quite mad into the midst of the shipping containers.  As he lies dying the last words Joe hears are Dazey's taunts that he beat him.  He has lost completely. 

Aden Young as Joe manages somehow to invoke both pity and disgust.  There is an understanding and a sympathy for his plight and yet one is sickened by his eventual actions.  The viewer understands his frustration and distress.  It is an emotion which carries the film.  A violence only just reined in thoughout and one which Wright, as he did with his previous film. allows to explode with devastating consequences.

It is not an enjoyable film by any means.  There is no humour, no glamour, no moralising.  Rather, Wright creates a colourless and dark environment.  Much of the film is set at night, and those scenes during the day are drained of colour and light.  There is only rain and grey skies.  The audience is never allowed to be comfortable.  Constant intrusive editing - jump-cuts and cross-cuts - unsettle the viewer.  The end of the is shown at the beginning and there are constant flashes throughout of later events, constant time-shifts.  The editing is very effective in disorienting and disrupting  the viewer

Metal Skin's  very nature, being by no means an enjoyable film, is perhaps why it gained so little broadcast when released.  The only evidence I could find of its box office position is that it screened for only one week in Brisbane.  It seems to fit into a genre of Australian film that includes such films as Romper Stomper and Idiot Box, (starring Ben Mendolsohn) that portray suburbia with little relief and offer no solutions.  Certainly, with two of his films, Geoffrey Wright, offers a rather dark perception of suburbia.  Wright creates no cardboard cut-out characters or moral relief but rather, tells it like it (God forbid) is.  It is the epitome of anti-Hollywood style.  It goes where many Hollywood directors refuse to go.  Rather than offering a nice glittering ending, Wright, and other Australian directors like him, are 'anti-Hollywood' in their depiction of Australian suburbia.  This seems to be a feature allowed Australian cinema.  It was Geoffrey Wright himself who said it best; "the main focus of the American Film Industry is the capacity to generate wealth wheras the self-perception of the Australian industry is craft for its own sake" (a:/geoffreywrightinterview.htm).  There is no 'bums on seats' happy ending offered here by Wright, only a film wrenching in its emotion and able to shatter the viewer.



General Release
Hot Rod
  The Top Car Movies Ever Made
  Hot Rod Hoodlums
  By Year Released
  Truckers Top Ten
James Bond
  James Bond Gadgets
  James Bond Vehicles

Other HRDU Sites

Hot Rod Events
Hot Rod History
Hot Rod Hall of Fame
Hot Rod Magazines
Hot Rod Books
Hot Rod Tech
Hot Rod Tours
Show Rods
Land Speed Australia
Land Speed America
LSR History
LSR Historians

More HRDU Sites

All About 1934 Chev's
48-53 Chev Pickup's
History of the Corvette
Car Spotters Guide
Monaro Shrine
Aussie Utes


Share |
About Hot Rods Down Under
Contact Us
Terms and Conditions
Site Map

Hot Rods Down Under