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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Friday May 22, 2020 


Brad (Blaise Cooper) is on his way back from Bangkok, awful sick – the condoms in his tummy are leaking the heroin. This is bad news for Brad and perhaps even worse news for Chrisie (Blazey Best), who was waiting in Sydney depending on the deal to go through with the drugs in Brad. Or else. She badgers her ex, Jess (Nicholas Bishop), into taking Brad’s body to Hopewell, the country practice of Jess’ vet dad, to give Jess, a medical student, his first operation; removal of foreign matter in guts of Brad. But heavyweight crim, Dexter (Ian Bliss) is sending in his stormtroopers, in the shape of Lily (Olivia Pigeot) and the mute man-mountain, Joe (Rolando Ramos). Lily is not only after Chrisie for the sake of business; there’s Dexter’s heart involved, too, which makes Lily deadly. And with Detective Draper (Alan Lovell) now stumbling around, things are getting crowded. And vicious.

"It’s a real pleasure to see an Australian action thriller work so well, with its clearheaded objective to engage and entertain. Genre films are rare in Australia, but the debate about why belongs elsewhere. Stephen Prime proves we can make our own, with our own flavours, colours and identifiably Australian elements. There is no attempt to somehow manufacture an ‘international’ film – it just works on its own terms, precisely because it is bedded in the Australian ethos. Prime constantly gives us reasons to keep watching, and the film pivots on its strong female lead character, boldly portrayed by the well-named Blazey Best as Chrisie. Best is in good company with top notch supports, especially the exotic Olivia Pigeot as the other key female character, Lily. The cast work well together with a tight script and Prime directs with natural flair, occasionally adding stylistic editing touches (especially early in the film) which contribute to the overall edginess. Budgeted at over $1.3 million, Powder Burn was actually made on determination and deferrals (and a wise pay tv rights acquisition from Premium Movie Partnership, on Foxtel), plus $200,000 from private investors, which it ought to recoup. Prime and his team have made an enjoyable and watchable thriller; they should make some more."
Andrew L. Urban

"It's got pace, humour and a lot of heart. Stephen Prime's debut film goes a long way to show that Australian filmmaking is becoming more and more diverse, heralding a new era of local talent steaming into view. With complex, cinematically intriguing direction and characters that become more colourful with every scene, Powder Burn sizzles with understated black humour. (Not since Death in Brunswick has there been so much hilarity based on carting around a corpse.) Offbeat and funky, the script carves up a web of intrigue and surprises and introduces us to fascinating, horrifying characters who always engage. Blazey Best is riveting as Chrisie, a sort of Aussie-style Jennifer Annistone – sultry, sexy and down-to-earth. All the performances zing with a style that is dinky-di through and through while Martin Armiger's amazing score reverberates and compounds the complexities of the plot. Plus we get to see a bit of the country – from Sydney Harbour to the remote bush. Powder Burn is raw talent on show – an exciting peek at tomorrow's filmmakers at work – in a potboiler that scorches as harshly as the relentless Australian sun."
Louise Keller

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CAST: Blazey Best, Nicholas Bishop, Olivia Pigeot, Rolando Ramos, Ian Bliss, Blaise Cooper, Alan Lovell

DIRECTOR: Stephen Prime

PRODUCER: Stephen Prime, Tim Nicholls, Gregory Read

SCRIPT: Stephen Prime


EDITOR: James Roberts

MUSIC: Martin Armiger


RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: August 19, 1999 (Sydney only)


AUSTRALIAN VIDEO RELEASE DATE: September 23, 1999 (exclusive to Video Ezy)

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