Set in 1956 on an outback sheep station, the narrative explores the life of the old-time shearers: sweat-soaked days and rum-soaked nights, bloody two-fisted punch ups ... and the scab labour brought in during the shearers' strike of 1956. Central to the main storyline is Foley, a gun shearer who has been unbeaten in the tally for ten years, but who now arrives at the station aware that his days as the fastest shearer are now numbered.
'Popular Australian film comedy since the early 1970s has been dominated by reinventions of the national type. These reinventions involve transformations of the urban larrikin and the bush battler, first established in silent film classics such as The Sentimental Bloke (Raymond Longford 1919) and in Cinesound Studio's Rudd family comedies of the 1930s, directed by Ken G. Hall. These comic types continue to surface in popular film and television as the larrikin, ocker or decent Aussie bloke, exemplified in the 1970s by Bazza McKenzie, in the 1980s by Crocodile Dundee, in the 1990s by Darryl Kerrigan in The Castle, and most recently by cable TV showman Steve Irwin until his untimely death in 2006. Yet despite decades of multiculturalism, little attention has been paid to the impact of post-war, non -British immigration on Australian comic types. This chapter examines three popular comedies which champion ethnically marked characters as either 'New Australians' (They're a Weird Mob, Michael Powell 1966), 'wogboys' (The Wog Boy, Alexsi Vellis 2000) or `chockos' (Fat Pizza, Paul Fenech 2003). It asks whether 'wogboys' and 'chockos' - as diasporic, multicultural or new world comic types - have trumped the larrikins and ockers of Australian screen comedy, or whether 'wogsploitation' films are popular with Australian film and television audiences precisely because they tap into a long. standing national type without disturbing its key characteristics.' (Publication abstract)