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Directed byRobert Sarkies
Produced byLisa Chatfield
Written byDuncan Sarkies
Robert Sarkies
StarringWilla O'Neill
Neill Rea
Ashleigh Seagar
Taika Cohen
Charlie Bleakley
Jon Brazier
Mark Neilson
Edited byAnnie Collins
Budget$2 million

Scarfies (or Crime 101 in the US release) is a low-budget 1999 New Zealand film set in the southern university city of Dunedin. The film's original title comes from the local nickname for university students, scarfie, so called because of the traditional blue and gold scarves worn by students during the city's cool winters in support of the Otago Rugby Football Union.

Scarfies starts off as a light comedy centred on a group of five students who get together after moving into a flat that is seemingly abandoned, but still has the power on, making for free if filthy accommodation.

The film twists into something darker part way through, with elements of both black comedy and thriller. The discovery of a large crop of marijuana being grown in the basement leads firstly to euphoria, then paranoia and arguments amongst the flatmates about what will happen when the real owners come back to collect it. When Kevin, the crop's owner appears, the students, fearing for their lives, lock him in the basement. Events unfold against a backdrop of the city's biggest sporting event for years, the final of New Zealand's national rugby championship.

Despite the deliberate use of shots focusing on the city's dowdier and darker elements, much of the film's photography and soundtrack is an homage to the city, including the use of several Dunedin sound songs in the soundtrack (top local band The Clean even make a cameo appearance during the film).

The film initially had a small production budget of $250,000, but later received an additional $1.6 million in funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.[1]

Scarfies was well-received, described as "...the most outlandishly entertaining New Zealand film for years...",[2] and did well at the box-office.[3]


  1. Save My Life - Bike
  2. Outer Space - 3Ds
  3. George - Headless Chickens
  4. Doledrums - The Chills
  5. Let There Be Love - JPS Experience
  6. Tally Ho - The Clean
  7. Suck - Love's Ugly Children
  8. Cactus Cat - Look Blue Go Purple
  9. Gaze - Bike
  10. Randolph's Going Home - Shayne Carter and Peter Jefferies
  11. Death and the Maiden - The Verlaines
  12. She Speeds - Straitjacket Fits
  13. Grey Parade - JPS Experience


  1. ^ "Scarfies: The Film That Gave Taika Waititi His Big Break". Critic - Te Arohi. Retrieved 2018-03-29.
  2. ^ Baillie, Russell (31 July 1999). "Scarfies". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
  3. ^ Beston, Anne (26 February 2005). "Audiences spooked as film flops". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2011.

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