I sat gob-smacked watching the trailer for “Housos vs Authority” a few weeks ago. It consisted of a Bogan temptress named Shazza swearing at the audience followed by all manner of amateur hi-jinks performed by housing-estate types mostly involving harassment and belittling of the police. I hadn’t seen the TV series before so I was mystified. On one level it looked execrable. On another level it was fucking hilarious.
So yesterday I had a couple of hours to spare after seeing Dredd and thought why not? Why not indeed.
Housos vs Authority was born out of the Housos TV series from 2011 on SBS Television. “Housos” is an Australian term for Housing Commission residents. The TV show generated a degree of criticism from government and some actual Housos and I suspect the usual cavalcade of do-gooders and fun-police on their behalf. All to no avail – the series continued and has been pretty popular. The main driver is Paul Fenech who starred, wrote, produced and directed the film.
We start off with a gentle tour of Sunnyvale from Russell Gilbert a local down at the Sunnyvale local. Sunnyvale is a typical housing commission area – short on charm and long on abuse. He is Shazza’s uncle and thinks she’s a good sort – wouldn’t mind having a go himself – except he’s her uncle of course. So we see The Junkies, The Lebanese Assassins, The Bikies and The Maories. Shazza lives with her kids, her defacto, Dazza, his mum and her retarded husband (a centrelink scam). It turns out Shazza’s mum, who nows lives in Alice Springs, is dying and this leads to a road-trip for Shazza, Dazza, Franky (Fenech), Kevin and his girl-friend Vanessa to Ayres Rock (no Uluru here). Of course our mob defiles the sacred rock in several ways and become a political cause célèbre leading to a fully sick court case.
This goes for 103 minutes. At one joke every 3 seconds thats about 2,060 jokes supporting a plot that I can’t describe in a cohesive way without sounding like a knob.
The thing about Housos is its authenticity. Shazza’s household was very sharply observed. Apart from being very, very funny, its quite unique – you won’t see another film like this. I’m thinking of “The Simpsons” meets “Barry McKenzie” meets “The Castle” meets “Ali G” meets nothing else you’ve seen before. There’s some keen satire, social commentary here as well as broad and energetic comedy.
I’ve only got two problems.
1. It is too long – could have trimmed 10 − 15m and provided a much better punch.
2. There are no vomits and not nearly enough toilet humour (some good farts though)
So don’t be a Fuckwit – see Housos – 8 out of 10