5th October 2017 6.30pm at Hackney Picturehouse
6th October 2017 3.15pm at Vue West End
10th October 2017 3.15pm at empire
Opening with a burst of horrific violence, a bloody mess in a dark macho underworld, Stephen McCallum’s 1% is an Australian motorcycle gang movie that actually evolves into a compelling piece. Characters that initially appear to resemble mutant cartoon figures engage the viewer as the film progresses.
Involving group loyalties and betrayal, and criminal lawless behaviour, the narrative leads us through a rough and tumble struggle for dominance between biker syndicates and among rivals within the Copperheads Motorcycle Club. Paddo (Ryan Corr) is standing in for Knuck (Matthew Nable) as president of Copperheads while the latter is in prison. As the time comes for Knuck to be released, it is made clear that he struggles in secret with homosexuality and a predilection for savagely raping young men, which he tries to conceal from his wife Hayley (Simone Kessell).
Paddo is weary of their violent and dangerous lifestyle and reveals to his girlfriend Katrina (Abbey Lee) that he wants out, but she, however, is very ambitious and insists that he can’t give up the power he has already achieved in the organisation. Paddo’s brother, Skink (Josh McConville) is mentally disabled and inclined to unintentionally flout the club’s rules – when caught with a stash of heroin while hoping to seduce a hooker who mocks him, Knuck retaliates, putting Paddo in a difficult position when he tries to protect his brother. Since the drugs have been stolen from rival gang the Devils, leader Sugar (Aaron Pederson) makes demands on the Copperheads’ illegal earnings. It is thereafter that a series of unfortunate events cause mayhem and bloodshed.
The cinematography is striking with fantastic, dynamic visuals of the bikers riding – to intriguing music by Chris Cobilis – reminding of the Hell’s Angels. Many powerful close-ups create a strong dramatic edge. The action is well choreographed, exhibiting brutality as a way of life, such as the enduring of extreme beatings as a ritual for club initiation.
The acting is excellent, with good, solid performances all around, especially by Nable – who is also the film’s writer – and Kessell. The dialogue is slightly unclear at times, and Paddo’s girlfriend’s supermodel looks seem incongruent – although she is revealed to be far tougher than she looks.
With Shakespearean themes, behind the violence of 1% are interesting explorations of relationships and inner struggles, and the plot is thought-provoking and engaging.
1% does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for 1% here: