Oct 172012


Based on the (popular?) television series set in Sunnyvale, a derelict suburb in New South Wales where we follow three groups of people living in housing commission and their constant run ins with authority, poverty; and the continuous struggle of love, loss and friendship in a time of economical hardship. A triumph of the human spirit….Now if you think that’s what Housos VS. Authority is/could be about, then close this page right now and go see Argo! In Housos, jokes about farting, stealing and defacing public property ensue. Yet is any of it funny? Review after the jump.


This is where a plot synopsis comes in, yet we aren’t talking about a film that associates itself with this thing we call a plot… but here goes: Shazza’s (Elle Dawe) mum has died and her dying wish was to have her ashes spread over Uluru. Shazza decides to take the trip with her deadbeat husband Dazza (Jason Davies), his best mate Frankie (Paul Fenech, the film’s writer, director, producer and just about every other crew member in the credits), his best mate Kevo (Kevin Taumata) and his loud, terrifying wife, Vanessa (Vanessa Davis). During the road trip they destroy everything they touch and decide to make love in the most public and monumental of locations. It gets more and more ridiculous from this point onwards, but if I continue you’ll have to meet other characters whose names end in “azza”, you don’t want that, trust me.

So after reading that, tell me, why did I laugh a hell of a lot more than during Ted or The Campaign?

Now, before you say “because you’re an idiot” you have to consider, this is a “movie” that does everything in its power to offend you and make you laugh rather than pretending it cares for plot and three-dimensional characters (something the aforementioned comedies did). Housos Vs. Authority has no shame, no understanding of structure or decency – it just does everything it can to top itself every five minutes, with something more ridiculous and idiotic in hopes that you laugh. After you become accustomed something (if you don’t, get the hell out of there) it soon ups the “humour” again and gets better, or worse…if you really think about it.


Paul Fenech directs the film like one big episode of the Housos television series yet the timing of each gag strangely works. There are no inventive camera angles or amazingly shot set pieces – it all comes from the exaggerated performances and timing, and they work. If you’re wondering how the writing is, then you haven’t been reading this review carefully of haven’t seen the trailer for this film yet.

Did you find the show funny? If you haven’t seen the show, do you find poor Australian people throwing objects at police and politicians funny? If so, why haven’t you bought your ticket yet? It’s 107 minutes (Yeah, really) of gags and stupidity and you will laugh yet hate yourself for it the minute after.

To say Housos Vs. Authority is a bad film is easy, to say it made you laugh a decent amount to people you respect, now that’s the hard part.

By Chris Elena

The Facts

Director: Paul Fenech
Writer(s): Paul Fenech
Starring: Paul Fenech, Elle Dawe, Jason Davies, Kevin Taumata, Vanessa Davis
Runtime: 107 minutes
Release Date(s): Australia: November 1, 2012