Linda Stevens (Jacki Kerin) has just inherited the retirement home Montclare after her mother dies. Its located in the back of beyond, hidden among trees and a delightful pond. As she decides what to do with the place, she sifts through her mothers things. The place is overflowing with documents, reports and details on the deaths of the residents of the home. Inside all of this is a diary that reveals her mothers life and the homes day to day operation. As Linda digs deeper among the diaries entries, she finds out that strange things have been going on. Residents have been dying at an alarming rate, bodies have been found with odd marks and strange physical bruises. When it seems that the homes doctor has a hand in al of this, well its fight or flight for her life is on the line.
1982 saw many interesting films. ET, TRON, THE BLADE RUNNER and THE THING. Australia had a few entries into this but one that is often overlooked is this standout horror, thriller. The saddest thing about NEXT OF KIN is that the film was featured in that is being sold by its attachment to the documentary Not Quite Hollywood. This features on the disc and yes it was praised by Quentin Tarantino. However the film is far better than a mediocre film director, who has made three good films and a whole host of middle weight pictures under his belt claims. NEXT OF KIN has to be the best Australian thriller made in the Ozploitation period. It is Hitchcockian, with layers of giallo at its best. A complex visual and emotional feat that is stylish as well as paced strategically to build a narrative that suports the slow burn scares. The other facete of the film is worth considering is that it is infused with such a level of film craft, it becomes a masterclass it cinema.
Little can be ascertained from the packaging but the DVD was a passable transfer. This Blu Ray has a lot going for it frankly. The age of the film and the lighting issues at the start have been cleaned up and that clever colour hue (Giallo nod) has also landed. Making it tand out and stand up!
I would advise that the Director Tony Willams and Producer Tim White commentary is excellent. From serious and discussing the inspiration for the film, framing and the actors trials. Then moves to funny and anacdotal. All in all very much a quality listen. Deleted Scenes add little bits of tension and tone but are also a catlogue of solid editing and craft. This is to say, why it needed to be excluded. Tony Williams shorts from 1971 are actually really very good films by a very developed film maker. Both are a must watch for fans.
- Audio commentary with Director Tony Willams and Producer Tim White
- Audio commentary with cast members John Jarratt, Jackie Kerrin, Robert Ratti and Not Quite Hollywood Director, Mark Hartley.
- Return to Montclare: Next of Kin Shooting locations revisited
- Extended interviews from Not Quite Hollywood
- Deleted Scenes
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- VHS Trailer
- German Trailer
- German Opening Credits
- Before the Night is Out – Complete ballroom dancing footage from 1978
- Image Gallery
- Tony Williams shorts from 1971: Getting Together + The Day We Landed on the Most Perfect Planet in the Universe