Reviewed by: Trinity

Redball is the Australian police slang for a high-profile, important case. In this film it is the term given by Detective "JJ" Wilson to a tip-off on a notorious child-killer known as "The Creep". Wilson is a dedicated Homicide cop who's having problems keeping her mind and morals intact in the face of inhuman acts and rampant corruption.

She's backed up by her partner, Robbie Walsh, who's worried about her after witnessing her breakdown at an autopsy. Meanwhile Drug Squad detectives Rix and Maxie frame a minor con working for Chris Hill, a detective from the CIB causing inter-department friction. More evidence linking everything together is discovered by Hill's violent partner Lamz and Vice Squad pair Toni and Bingo. But can JJ piece it all together before it's too late for her?

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Director Jon Hewitt's first feature, Bloodlust, has gained some notoriety by being the only film banned in the UK. Redball is no stranger to controversy either, with media tycoon Richard Murdoch calling for its ban because of its bleak portrayal of police life. Drug taking, violence, laziness, corruption, framing, sexual harassment - it's all there up on the screen.

A feature of the film is that it's been shot entirely on Digital Video format to give it a gritty, documentary style, similar to Homicide: Life on the Street or NYPD Blue. Unfortunately, with the exception of Belinda McClory ("JJ") and John Brumpton (Robbie), the cast look like they've walked off the set of Sunset Beach or Neighbours so cheesy is their acting. Luckily McClory and Brumpton lend some gravitas and emotion to their characters. Best part of the film is the extremely stylish opening credits: don't arrive late.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Redball packshot
Two cops hunt a child-killer.
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Director: Jon Hewitt

Writer: Jon Hewitt

Starring: Belinda McClory, John Brumpton, Frank Magree, Peter Docker, Anthea Davis, Neil Pigot, Damien Richardson, James Young, Robert Morgan, Pauline Terry-Beitz, Daniel Wyllie, Chris Hatzis

Year: 1998

Runtime: 91 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Australia


EIFF 1999

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