Motorcycles, intimidation and sex feature in the new Australian biker movie 1%. In short, everything is about a power game.
1% is a modern-day Macbeth. It follows Paddo (Ryan Corr), 2IC of the Copperheads motorcycle gang. He assumes the mantle of club leader while Knuck (Matt Nable) does three years in prison. Paddo’s vision for the club’s future – and compromises he must make for his mentally disabled brother Adam (Josh McConville) – sets the stage for the ultimate power play. All the while, he is egged on by his ambitious girlfriend, Katrina (Abbey Lee).
Written by Matt Nable and helmed by Stephen McCallum in his feature directorial debut, the term 1% is used to describe notorious outlaw motorcycle clubs such as the Hells Angels and the Bandidos. The other 99% of riders are law-abiding citizens.
Let’s just say there’s a lot of testosterone flowing throughout the film. Plus a great deal of black gear, engines revving, fists flying and guns blazing. Interestingly, much of the tension is caused by the disabled Adam. His actions result in the ultimatum from the head of a rival gang, Sugar (Aaron Pedersen), that kicks off the film.
I thought McConville did an excellent job as Adam, imbuing his character with a disturbed quality; while Nable channelled menace and Lee, manipulation.
While predictable to a point, 1% has been well realised. The powerful sound track by Chris Cobilis and cinematography by Shelley Farthing-Dawe (Pawno) also make a strong impression.
Director: Stephen McCallum
Cast: Ryan Corr, Matt Nable, Josh McConville, Abbey Lee
Release Date: 18 October 2018
Rating: MA 15+
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David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television