Back of Beyond
Time Out saysBlaming himself for the death of his sister, a traumatised mechanic (Mercurio) has all but given up on the lonely outback petrol station where he lives, but when a trio of jewel thieves break down in the vicinity, he's enlisted in emergency repair work at gunpoint. Gangsters holed up in a desert outpost in the company of an honest man: the set-up's at least as old as The Petrified Forest (1936), and though director Robertson has a few tricks up his sleeve, these are so blatantly signposted you could see them coming with your eyes shut. Friels plays the key thug, his Aryan dye job and hairnet insufficient to prevent his girl (newcomer Smart) from drifting to Mercurio's side. It's easy to understand Friels' consternation - what does she see in this sullen, monosyllabic pretty boy? He looks cute in his overalls, perhaps, but corpses have more personality. The B-movie dialogue doesn't extend to irony ('You've gotta find your purpose,' we're earnestly informed), while the director's pseudo-mystic mumbo-jumbo is strictly skin deep.