Metal Skin

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Metal Skin
Metal Skin (1994) poster.jpg
Directed by Geoffrey Wright
Produced by Daniel Scharf
Written by Geoffrey Wright
Starring Aden Young
Tara Morice
Nadine Garner
Ben Mendelsohn
Music by John Clifford White
Cinematography Ron Hagen
Edited by Bill Murphy
Jane Usher
Distributed by Village Roadshow
Release date
  • 14 September 1994 (1994-09-14) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • 4 May 1995 (1995-05-04) (Australia)
Running time
115 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Metal Skin is a 1994 Australian film written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, starring Aden Young, Tara Morice, Nadine Garner and Ben Mendelsohn. The film follows the lives of four adolescents in and around the blue-collar Melbourne suburb of Altona.


Melbourne, 1994. Joe (Aden Young) lives with his mentally-ill father (Petru Gheorghiu) in working-class Altona. A shy misfit whose great love is hotted-up cars, Joe gets a job at a supermarket where he is befriended by fellow revhead Dazey (Ben Mendelsohn), a confident womaniser at the crossroads with his girlfriend, Roslyn (Nadine Garner). Savina (Tara Morice), a devil worshipper who works with Joe, feigns interest in him to get closer to Dazey. When Joe discovers Savina’s deceit he embarks on a violent and tragic rampage.[1]


Despite generally positive reviews and selection in the 1994 Venice Film Festival, Metal Skin proved a disappointment at the Australian box office when it was released on 4 May 1995 where it grossed $883,521.[1][2] Australian critic Andrew Howe praised it as "a dark, arresting ode to suburban hopelessness"[3] however Todd McCarthy writing in Variety described the film as "so overwrought and unrelievedly grim that it comes close to playing like a parody of teenage angst movies."[4]


It won AFI Awards in 1995 for Best Production Design (Steven Jones–Evans) and Best Sound (Frank Lipson, David Lee, Steve Burgess, Peter Burgess, Glenn Newnham) and received nominations for Best Actor (Aden Young), Supporting Actor (Ben Mendelsohn), Supporting Actress (Nadine Garner) and Costume Design (Anna Borghesi). Aden Young and Ben Mendelsohn shared the Film Critics Circle of Australia prize for Best Actor.


The novelisation of Metal Skin was written by Jocelyn Harewood and published by Text Publishing in 1995. Harewood follows the film closely however the book explores other sides of the characters: Joe’s inner rage at his brain-damaged father and his love for what his father has been; Savina’s destructive witchcraft; Dazey’s moments of self-awareness and higher motives. It was published as an e-book in November 2012 and made available on Harewood's website.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kuipers, Richard. "Metal Skin (1994): Curator's notes". Australian Screen Online. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Australian films at the Australian box office" (PDF). Film Victoria. 8 June 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Howe, Andrew (14 May 2001). "Metal Skin". Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  4. ^ McCarthy, Todd (19 September 1994). "Review: ‘Metal Skin’". Variety. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Harewood, Jocelyn. "Metal Skin". e-books by Jocelyn Harewood. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 

External links[edit]