Snapshot (1979)

Sex :
Violence :
Director Simon Wincher
Writers Chris de Roche, Everett de Roche
Starring Chantal Contouri, Robert Bruning, Sigrid Thornton, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Denise Drysdale, Vincent Gil
Genre Thriller
Tagline They Thought It Was Over But The Real Horror Began... The Day After Halloween.
15 second cap Angela goes topless, survives nightclubs, meekily accepts her lot in life


“Why should I trust a man who photographs dead mice?” - Angela

Angela is a teenage hairdresser in the big city who lives at home with mom and who is pretty much put down on all sides and made to feel less than adequate in any fashion. Enter Madeline, a highly successful model, who wants Angela to grasp the day and realise her potential. After Madeline gets her a high paying modelling gig, Angela's old world falls apart. Her Mom locks her out of home, she loses her hairdressing gig, and her overly obsessive ex boyfriend wont take no for an answer.

On the bright side Angela falls in with the modelling crowd, expands her horizons, and meets a lot more interesting people. The shadow in Angela's life is a mysterious figure who drives a Mr Whippy van of horror. Can Angela escape those who want to control her, and find a new life with broader horizons.

Director Simon Wincher starts his movie in a pretty effective fashion. We get a couple of torchlights cutting the darkness of an unknown room, we gradually make out it's two firemen with respirators on searching for bodies in a smoke filled building. To reinforce the view we cut to outside where the fire brigade and police are doing their thing. A woman runs toward the building screaming “Angela”, but is restrained by the cops on the scene, which is well done by the cops considering the chick is hysterical is likely to break into "Stella" at any moment. We then cut to a Mr Whippy van for no apparent reason! Got to say one of the more surprising opening scenes you are likely to see. The opening scene is returned to full circle by movie's end, so the structure of the movie is pretty much how do we get to the burning building, and who is the person who we discover has been burnt to death in the fire?

During the rest of the movie Wincher is restricted to trying to make an ice cream van intimidating, just isn't going to happen, and introducing the varied and at times not that interesting characters. What Wincher does that is interesting for horror fans, is present Angela as the typical horror victim who never fights back regardless of her new found confidence. Ultimately Angela fighting back against her old life, as embodied by the confrontation with Daryl, proves to be of no importance as she meekly accepts the final twist the de Roches throw our way. I actually didn't pick the final twist in this one, or perhaps more to the point wasn't overly concerned by it, with the implications only becoming apparent post closing credits. Guess in some quarters, thinking Westboro Baptists here, Angela's ultimate fate as she jets off into the future is pretty horrifying. Hell I want a sequel right about now! For the rest of us the ending is more "oh that's what went down" than anything else.

There's a couple of oddities to Snapshot that will have viewers either consigning the flick to the waste bin of history or put on the pedestal of cult status. Firstly the nightclub singer that wont die, it's like a zombie happening going down, Director Simon Wincher keeps focusing on this weird clown make-up dude singing some irritating song. Just why we need a lot of coverage of this completely surplus character remains a complete mystery. But the real elephants in the room here, are the bare breasts that underline the ozploitation nature of Snapshot. You may need to take a seat here faithful reader, but ABC darling Sigrid Thornton gets the girls out in a prolonged topless shot. Simon Wincher goes for a tissue moment and just can't let the scene die, it goes on and on to ensure even those who popped out to get another brew get their money's worth. We even get an excruciatingly bad Sherbet song, okay that might be a tautology, to add some sort of meaning to the whole deal. From memory Sigrid hasn't repeated this golden topless moment, Sea Change fans might want to verify there. Notably I've included a still just to prove Sigrid went topless rather than me being on real bad drugs at the time. And our thanks go out to Tony G!

Other than the odd weird interlude, a photographer who believes there is art in shooting a dead micky rat for example, there's not a lot going for this movie. The plot is overly convoluted, the score by Brian May, no not that one, is overtly dramatic, and to be honest there's not a lot to be reported about the Director. By the end of the movie I honestly didn't care what was being thrown my way, the pacing is off and at no time did I really feel any empathy for our put upon Angelina. She is such a victim that you really don't care what the hell her fate might turn out to be, just that the movie may finish within the next hour or so. Yes it drags on like a rainy Sunday in Hobart.

Guess I was happy enough to cross out another Ozploitation flick from my required viewing list, but it sure was a chore getting through the movie. Snapshot, awesomely two words on the cover, is simply a poor thriller that doesn't raise much interest beyond Sigrid adding some perkiness to the occasion. I wouldn't recommend this one to casual movie viewers, even those getting their ozploitation on, but if you must round out your Australian horror collector cards then knock yourself out Bro. I grabbed a copy of the single disc release by Magna Pacific for the purpose of this review, but can't find an online store carrying it. Hey search for yourself folks.

ScaryMinds Rates this movie as ...

  Possibly older viewers might get more out of this than I did.