Hayride to Hell
George Heygate (Richard Roxburgh) calls the police to report what happened when a mysterious woman (Kylie Minogue) appeared in front of his car and asked for help.
Summary by Kate Matthews
There is no backstory to shed light on these characters but other elements provide clues. Costume, dialogue and performance make Roxburgh’s George seem a straitlaced, nine-to-five kind of guy compared to Kylie’s hysterical mystery woman. Hayride to Hell’s production design and cinematography bring shades of an old-school film noir mystery, particularly the choice of the looming, older-style Sydney apartment block as a location. Kylie’s trashy glamour and erratic behaviour turn up the volume on the traditional role of the enigmatic femme fatale.
Hayride to Hell Synopsis
When George Heygate (Richard Roxburgh) stops his car for a mysterious woman in distress (Kylie Minogue) he soon finds himself on a hayride to hell.
Hayride to Hell Curator's Notes
Hayride to Hell shares its name with a Hoodoo Gurus song, which is no coincidence as the film’s director, Kimble Rendall, was one of the band’s founding members. Another band member, Dave Faulkner, composed the score. The music connection continues with the presence of pop icon Kylie Minogue in one of the lead roles.
The film is not about music but knowing this context makes it feel part rock’n'roll moment, part homage to the mysteries and mood of film noir. Kylie offers an unhinged, punk-ish take on the femme fatale, who looks like she’s spent a few days clubbing before appearing out of the night to hijack George’s life. Her character, motives and the reason for the day’s sudden transformation into chaos remain enigmatic – Rendall and his team seem to revel in mystery for mystery’s sake. According to an interview with David Stratton on The Movie Show, Rendall and co-writer Phillip Roope based the story on a friend’s anecdote. They filmed the project at a lightning pace.
In addition to his music projects, Rendall’s directing career has spanned music videos, commercials, film and television. He directed the Australian slasher film Cut (2000, also featuring Kylie Minogue), the sitcom The Jesters (2009) and worked as a second unit director on The Matrix sequels (2003), I Robot (2004), Ghost Rider (2007), Knowing (2009) and Killer Elite (2011).
Hayride to Hell screened at the 1995 Telluride and London film festivals.
Notes by Kate Matthews