The Wog Boy
|The Wog Boy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Aleksi Vellis|
|Produced by||Nick Giannopoulos
|Written by||Nick Giannopoulos
Abi Tucker, John Barresi, Stephen Curry
Steve (Nick Giannopoulos) is a second-generation Greek Australian. Steve is unemployed, but manages to get by, helping out here and there. His pride and joy is his VF Valiant Pacer. Whilst helping out a compensation-oriented neighbour, Steve has a minor car accident involving the Minister for Employment, vampily played by Geraldine Turner. The net result of this encounter is twofold; Steve gets to meet Celia (Lucy Bell) whom he is instantly attracted to but who initially hates him, and Steve gets outed on national television by Derryn Hinch as the worst dole-bludger in Australia.
Steve manages to turn this around to his advantage, and becomes famous as The Wog Boy, spearheading a campaign to improve the employment status of the country. In the interim, he makes variable progress with Celia.
As well as being a comedy, the film offers a fairly subtle critique of capitalism, neoliberalism and the welfare state. The film talks about the issue of unemployment as experienced by everyday people in the 1990s. The film also examines racial profiling, media stereotypes and hysteria, and White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) privilege. It does this by placing the protagonist Steve in a situation where he is asked to do promotional work for a government department. Here we see a series of cultural conflicts where Steve's straightforward ethnic background and attitude meet the politically correct world of White Anglo-Saxon Australia. In the process Steve learns that government workers contribute little to no more effort in their work than those on the dole, and merely use better rhetoric to package their work as a meaningful contribution. While Steve works with the government department he is used as a ruse and media poster boy to convince the poor and unemployed that new social policies for work and welfare are good, when actually they benefit the rich and not the poor.
The film satirises deceptive political rhetoric used by political figureheads like Raelene to make it seem like the work and policies implemented for the unemployed are more noble, equitable and fair than they really are. At the end of the film Steve exposes a big business deal between Raelene's welfare program and the 'Big 7' companies seeking workers for the dole. Therefore, the film offers a strong sociological account of life for minorities and the working and lower classes. It also offers a prime example of the struggle between the working classes (Steve and his friends) and the ruling or bureaucratic classes (government minister Raelene and her colleagues). It is therefore very open to a Marxist reading when studied as a text.
Steve (Nick Giannopoulos) is seen driving a dark blue 1969 VF Valiant hardtop during the movie, which was allegedly given to him by his father. During the film, it is said that the car's original engine was a 245-cubic-inch (4.0 L) 6-cylinder hemi, which was later replaced with an 8-cylinder engine.
The Australian Chrysler Valiant range of cars were often and sometimes still referred to as "Wog Chariots" or "The Greek Mercedes."
The track "Get Tzatziki With It" was also in the film's promotional campaign, and is played in the actual movie itself. It was written by John Von Ahlen, Jaime Jimenez and Nick Giannopoulos and recorded at Subterrane Recording Studio.
- "Pull Up to the Bumper" - Deni Hines
- "Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" - Ilanda & Joanne
- "(She's got that) Vibe" - Redzone
- "Shine" - Vanessa Amorosi
- "Somebody Like You" - Jimmy Christo
- "Am I Sexy?" - The Lords of Acid
- "You Should Be Dancing" - Blockster
- "Born to Be Alive" - Patrick Hernandez
- "Love Lies Bleeding" - Sonic Animation
- "Bang-A-Boomerang" - The Mavis's
- "Love Theme From 'The Wog Boy' " - Cezary Skubiszewski
- "Get Tzatziki With It" - Planet J ft Nicky GiO
- "Pull Up To The Bumper (Club Mix)" - Deni Hines
The Wog Boy grossed $11,449,799 at the box office in Australia.
- Speed, Lesley (2005). In Life as a pizza : The comic traditions of wogsploitation films. Australian Teachers of Media - see also Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine Vol. 146/147, no. (2005), p. 136-144
- Casting light on the dark side of Wog Boy.(Local) The Australian (National, Australia), 2000 March 13, p.006
- (2010). In The wog boy. Paramount Pictures [distributor], [Australia] - see also http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/37511234?q=The+Wog+Boy&c=book
- The Wog Boy Soundtrack Imdb.com
- "'Wog Boys' return in Kings of Mykonos". Daily Mercury. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
- Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.