MILESAGO - Media - Film


Feature film / documentary-drama / Southern Cross Films Pty Ltd / 16mm film, colour / 136 mins

Synopsis: A shy young man chosen by an ad agency to conduct a survey on sex in Australia


Director: John B. Murray
Script: John B. Murray / Ray Taylor
Producers: Phillip Adams / John B. Murray
Cinematographer: Bruce McNaughton

Graeme Blundell (The Interviewer)
Barry Humphries (as Edna Everage)
Harry M. Miller
Russell Morris
Malcolm Muggeridge
Jacki Weaver

A soundtrack EP and single were released to promote the film. Track listings are not known.
EP (stereo) Bunyip BUN-069 (1970)

45 (OP) MP496A


Basically, the film documents Australian attitudes to sex and censorship with a few light touches here and there to divorce it from pure documentary and hopefully to make it more entertaining. An actor, Graeme Blundell, plays a not-quite-with-it research operator who detachedly observes the scene like a cat watching telly. Our hero is water-proofed from the demands of mass media to become the ever-ready and lasting potent lover."
John B. Murray, "Naked Bunyip" in lumiere, no 2, july 1970, pp 24-27.

"A shy and introverted young man is chosen by an advertising agency to conduct a survey on sex in Australia. He is soon adrift in a sea of sexual experience as he investigates homosexuality, transvestites, prostitution, strip clubs, pack rape, permissive morality pornography-everything except 'normal' heterosexuality."
AndrewPike and Ross Cooper, 1980, Australian Films 1900-1977, Oxford University Press, Australia.

"The Naked Bunyip which used investigative figure of a market researcher to string together a series of interviews with Australian personalities, experts, drag queens and sex workers on the topic of alternative sexualities."
Deb Verhoeven, 1997, "The Sexual Terrain of the Australian Feature Film: Putting the Outback into the Ocker", in The Bent Lens, Australian Catalogue Company, Australia, p. 28

"The 1970 semi-documentary film The Naked Bunyip incorporates the kind of fictionalising of the "real" that had been a feature of tendencies within the French "new wave" and the American avant-garde. The fictional framework is that of a shy young man chosen by an ad agency to conduct a survey on sex in Australia who is soon adrift in a sea of sexual experiences as he investigates homosexuality, transvestites, prostitution, strip clubs, pack-rape, permissive morality, pornography - everything except' normal' heterosexuality. Celebrities, experts, pop stars, actors and actresses, abortion law reformers, moral guardians, prostitutes, female impersonators, etc were interviewed by the market researcher Graeme Blundell. While this mixing of fact in the guise of fiction was popularly targeted to maximise on the documentary interest in sex and sexuality, it nonetheless mixed fiction with documentary in an experimental fashion."
Tom O'Regan, "Australian Film in the 1970s: the Ocker and the Quality Film" (10 August 1998)

"The Naked Bunyip presents itself as a survey of sex in Australia, a sociological inquiry of sorts which is oriented towards asking what makes Australian society "tick". Much of its material is documentary, inserted into a fictional framework in which a fumbling and virginal young man is asked to carry out the necessary research. There is a wealth of detail in the film about the options and practices of a variety of people, few of them aspiring to any conventional standard of normality, and none providing any basis for generalisations about representative behaviour. With its interviews and commentaries, the documentary part of the film accords great importance to professional expertise and to evidence from personal experience In the fiction, however, Graeme has neither. The bewildering multiplicity of information he comes up with is unified only by a series of comic incidents and encounters in which he fails to get anywhere - either in solving the questions of the survey to his employer's satisfaction, or in gaining access to the sexual activity going on around him."
Meaghan Morris"Personal Relationships And Sexuality" in Scott Murray, 1980, The New Australian Cinema, Cinema Papers Pty Ltd, Australia, p. 137.

"The Naked Bunyip directed and produced by John B. Murray is often regarded aas the first film of the industry revival....Its openly commercial motives also anticipated the commercially oriented "(s)exploitation" productions of the mid seventies. Funded partially through the Experimental Film Fund but mainly through private financing, it was made with the express intention of breaking down local audiences' aversion to locally made feature films....The result was a semi-documentary in which a sexually naive market researcher sets out to investigate Australian sexual attitudes and practices. During the 136 minutes of the film a multitude of interviews, ranging from celebrities such as Dame Edna Everage, Jacki Weaver and Russell Morris,.....The Naked Bunyip was very much a part of the libertarian campaign of the late sixties to reform laws that restricted the personal freedoms of adults."
Gaye Naismith, 1997, The Soft-Core Sex Films of the Australian Film Industry revival, A dissertation, Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Monash University.

For more information, we recommend Dhav Naidu's The Naked Bunyip, a hypermedia essay on RMIT's bonza site. It's great resource on this overlooked film, and includes a commentary essay, a biography of John Murray and the text of Dhav's 1998 interview with him.


Australian Soundtracks

Dhav Naidu (1998) - The Naked Bunyip (hypertext essay) - Bonza RMIT film resources



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