Top billed Chantal Contouri (Thirst) lends a touch of class and sex appeal to this tale of a sudden rise to…well, relative “fame” and finance in the photo modeling industry.
Frumpy, pudgy faced Sigrid Thornton is her nervously downmarket schoolfriend, who’s wound up working for an abusive queen in the ever so glamorous world of the hairstylist.
Pushed around by a prudish, domineering and manipulative mother, a bitchy, wrong side of the tracks little sister, obnoxious, mincing employer and 50 year old Mr. Whippy ice cream truck driving boyfriend, she’s a real no-hoper until Contouri literally forces a break and finagles her friend’s way straight into the modeling world.
But even beyond all the seedy photogs of all ages, gender bending “50’s rockers”, bad theme songs (“Angela”, a sub-Firefall bit of 70’s soft rock schmaltz, needs to be heard to be believed) and disco haunters who promise a job as a pickup line, she finds she’s being stalked.
Is it one of the obvious red herrings closest to her? Or is it someone else entirely? Nah, it was the most obvious suspect all along…at least to more modern eyes than when this was released (“You mean it was the priest? Impossible!“)
Appropriating elements of the giallo without the style, perversity, violence or sex, this is ultimately a nicely shot proto-slasher of sorts, neither fish nor fowl and therefore something of an interesting Aussie exploitation oddity more than any of the more expected classifications it’s been attributed to fall under.
Scorpion’s earlier DVD (under the Day After Halloween name) runs a fairly crisp looking 1:32:24, with the bonus feature “international version” of Snapshot a rather muddy VHS transfer running 1:40:17 (this version comes with an optional commentary track between regular hostess Katarina Leigh Waters and producer Antony Ginnane).
Vinegar Syndrome presents the film under the former 1:32:49 running time, tightens the contrast and upgrades to a more hi-def 2k resolution, beefing up the sound considerably in the process. This one comes with a commentary track between Ginnane, director Simon Wincer, cinematographer Vincent Morton and Sigrid Thornton herself, for those so inclined.
There’s also a 28 minute on camera interview with Ginnane, 36 minutes of interviews on the film extracted from the “Not Quite Hollywood” documentary (with Thornton, Ginnane, Wincer, Monton, Lynda Stoner, AD Tom Burstall and screenwriter Everett DeRoche) and that same extended VHS transfer as a bonus feature (1:40:25).
Bottom line is, The Day After Halloween…er, “Snapshot” is a perfectly respectable instance of the sort of Ozsploitation Scorpion made one of its main stock in trade (if you take all the Aussie exploiters and British horror out of their line, you’d be left with a very skimpy assortment indeed!)
As with most of the sorta horror, sorta drama exploiters from the land down under, the film doesn’t fit comfortably into any of the expected Euro, domestic or even global film genres, being more prone to chattiness and Lifetime-ready suburban housewife-oriented daily schmutters than the more exploitable elements viewers are drawn to them for.
I guess if you have a taste for the less traveled corners of British exploitation cinema, you may be mellow enough to veer off into the practically lethargic pace and aesthetic of the Aussie film industry.
Personally, I enjoy these sort of films…but if you’re looking for the sex, gore, excitement, action or jaw dropping moments of sheer disbelief that draw viewers to exploitation, drive-in and indie film in the first place (particularly that of the wild and wooly 70’s, when there were truly no holds barred)…look elsewhere.