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Film / Long Weekend

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"Their crime was against nature, and nature found them guilty."
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Long Weekend is an ecologically-themed 1978 Australian psychological horror film directed by Colin Eggleston and starring John Hargreaves and Briony Behets.

The story concerns a couple in a disintegrating marriage, Peter (Hargreaves) and Marcia (Behets), who, along with their dog, go for a weekend camping trip. The couple, especially Peter, take out their frustrations on the natural environment, committing such crimes against the environment as killing a dugong, throwing lit cigarette butts in dry bush, and spraying insecticide. As tensions between the couple escalate, nature is not pleased with their environmental wrongdoing and starts to strike back, first by an eagle and possum attacking Peter, and then through more insidious means.

A remake was released in 2008, directed by Jamie Blanks and starring Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan in the lead roles.

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This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Bad People Abuse Animals: In addition to their unwarranted killing of the dugong (albeit due to mistaking it for something more dangerous like a shark), Peter and Marcia run over a kangaroo without a second thought, while Peter fires willy-nilly shots at ducklings and other creatures.
  • Empathic Environment: As Peter and Marcia's efforts to salvage their marriage implode (leading them to take out their frustrations on nearby flora and fauna), their environmental surroundings become more hostile and inhospitable as well.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The premise is that two Jerkasses go camping and act like jerks to nature. Nature then proceeds to give them what they've got coming.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: A major source of the conflict between Marcia and Peter in their marriage stems from Marcia getting an abortion (possibly to conceal an affair she was having), and the former feeling lingering guilt about it.
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  • Groin Attack: Marcia delivers one to Peter when he tries to prevent her desperate rush to escape Lunda Beach.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is up for debate whether supernatural forces at Lunda Beach are responsible for the (ultimately fatal) adversities that Peter and Marcia are subjected to, or if a set of eerie coincidences simply converge with their poor judgment to make them meet an untimely end. Similarly, it is somewhat unclear whether the events toward the end of the film (such as the moving dugong corpse) are the product of their mad delusions or not, though the abandoned campsite and drowned woman they find would suggest that something really is amiss in the area.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Peter accuses Marcia of having an affair with a family friend.


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