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:: The Crop

This film is interesting, in so far as George Elliot, the writer of the script, financed The Crop and he has enabled this venture to come to fruition. George has come from a bricklayer to a NASCAR racing driver. He found inspiration for the film from being an occasional venue bouncer. Therefore, it is a new challenge for him and he meets it purposefully.

He also stars in the film as Ronnie ‘Blade’ Gillette, the owner of a strip club. He has the usual overheads associated with such a venue and is looking for quick dollars to eliminate the debts and to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Bar takings are down because people are worried of the presence of police in undertaking random breath tests.

This is the crux of the matter. The nightclub and adult entertainment industries took a hammering and Elliot’s observations are well specified. The story shows the means by which hoteliers and venue operators were forced to conjure up ideas for fast income. Blade and his mate Wack (Rhys Muldoon) decide to grow marijuana on a property owned by the father of Blade’s girlfriend, Geraldine (Holly Brisley).

Other dodgy operators that Blade and Wack confront, and the side issues of Wack’s girlfriend Jacki (Kelly Butler), who provides light relief, take the film on various tangents. It’s all pretty good fun. It may not reach the high performance levels expected, but the Aussie larrikin is well portrayed and there are some effective comic moments.

Some fine camera work shows the value of obtaining a solid crew and there is good music to boot. The pace of the film is suitable and it’s all kept low-key and real. Elliot, being the architect for the project, puts much into The Crop as an ordinary, unassuming character, though not having the polish to carry off the true leading man status. He gets good support from Holly Brisley and old pro Bruce Venables. Holly is a delight to watch, injecting some spunk into the story. She had to be a bit ditzy in her role. Holly looks set for bigger roles.

The Crop is not a world-beating film by any means, but it has an interesting look at social issues from yesterday and which still are relevant now.