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ZONE 39

SYNOPSIS:
Zone 39 is a psychological action thriller set in an isolated, hostile and decaying place in a future world where the advanced technologies of communications have enabled the unscrupulous to take power. When computer worker Anne (Bock) inadvertently unearths a secret, she is killed in mysterious circumstances, leaving a grieving husband, soldier Magaw (Phelps) who volunteers himself for duty at Zone 39. This is where two opposing sides face off each other across a desert, the outposts operated on high-tech devices. Only Alfie the lizard remains to provide living companionship for Magaw - other than a drug-enduced vision of his beloved departed Anne. In the end, Magaw faces up to the possibility that the man across the zone, his enemy, need not be his enemy.

"Zone 39 is an amazingly ambitious film, and while it falls a little short of its demanding objectives, it provides a hauntingly effective entertainment. The science fiction tag is a tad misleading, because the heart of the film is really highly personal and largely socio-political. Phelps’ Magaw is a likeable, recognisable man with a great love for his wife. They are victims of the power-play between the Federated Republics and New Territories Union. Deborah Parsons’ script gives us the sort of conflicting emotions in Magaw that sci fi films rarely bother with. We see him virtually throwing himself away at first, but as he comes to terms with Anne’s death, he realises he wants to live. In the meantime, he is doing his duty as a soldier, ready to kill the man across the zone, if necessary. But then this feeling also changes, as he sees the soldier as just another single, isolated, powerless man. The weakness of the film is in trying to cover too much ground, and being neither a political thriller, a sci fi action film, nor a romantic drama, but bits of each. The opposing powers are hazily sketched, without recognisable substance, which empties the backdrop of the film somewhat. Nevertheless, I liked it, for its stunning use of locations, its performances and for Dallwitz’s music, which I found both unexpected and exciting."
Andrew L. Urban

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ON LOCATION REPORT by Andrew L. Urban

ZONE 39 (MA) 15+
(Aus)

CAST: Peter Phelps, Caroline Bock, William Zappa, Brad Byquar, Alex Menglet, Jeff Kovski.

PRODUCER: Colin J. South, John Tatoulis

DIRECTOR: John Tatoulis

SCRIPT: Deborah Parsons (From an idea by Tatoulis)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Zakharov

EDITOR: Peter Burgess

MUSIC: Burkhard Dallwitz

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stan Antonaides, Philip Chambers

RUNNING TIME: 104 mins.

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: May 22, 1997 (Melbourne only)







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