R.I.P. Everett De Roche

April 3, 2014 | By

Patrick_pic_1978A key player in Australia’s film industry during the 1970s and 1980s and best known for a series of clever and sometimes vicious Ozploitation films, prolific writer Everett De Roche passed away yesterday at the age of 67.

Starting in TV, De Roche maintained collaborations with directors Simon Wincer – Snapshot (1979), Harlequin (1980) – and Richard Franklin, within whom he wrote a string of classic Australian shockers including Patrick (1978) and Roadgames (1981), after which he penned several of Wincer’s Hollywood films (the decent Psycho II, and the tepid Cloak and Dagger, F/X2, Link, and the terrible TV movie Running Delilah) before returning to horror for the director’s final film, Visitors (2003).

De Roche also wrote the films Storm Warning (2007), which Jamie Blanks turned into a nasty, nihilistic film after the script remained unproduced for decades, and a 2008 remake of his 1978 oddball eco-horror The Long Weekend, which starred John Hargreaves (The Odd Angry Shot).

Although his horror work showed him in top form, I highly recommend Harlequin (also released as Dark Forces). It’s a highly underrated and very odd thriller with fine performances, and often poetic dialogue for such a subversive, dark little tale. One caveat: if you watch the old Elite release (under the Dark Forces moniker), avoid looking at the main menu because it’s the film’s last shot!

R.I.P., and thanks for proving strong characters, proper dialogue, and unusual concepts could work so well in carefully paced horror. A more detailed account of his life and credits is available at if.com.au.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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