The Wog Boy

Special Edition

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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy Main Menu Intro
Main Menu Animation
Scene Selection Animation
Menu Audio
Music Video-Deni Heinz (sic)
Music Video-Ilanda featuring Joanne
Radio Spots (2)
TV Spots (2)
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-A Wog's Life: The Making Of The Wog Boy (10:29)
Year Released 1999
Running Time 88:04
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Aleksi Vellis
Australian Film Finance Corporation 
Fox Home Entertainment
Starring Nick Giannopoulos
Lucy Bell
Vince Colosimo
Abi Tucker
Geraldine Turner
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $36.95 Music Cezary Skubiszewski

Pan & Scan/Full Frame ?Full Frame English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Theatrical Aspect Ratio ?1.85:1
Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement Yes, slightly
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    The whole Wog phenomenon is a uniquely Australian thing, dating way back to the Wogs Out Of Work stage show, and probably reaching its peak with Acropolis Now, a sitcom which introduced the inimitable Effie to the world. A lot of what makes this humour work is its cultural specificity - let's be honest, if you don't call yourself a Wog, or are not closely associated with Wogs, then you aren't going to find this at all amusing. My wife and I, who both fall firmly into the Wog category, went to see Wogarama some time ago with a couple of our WASP friends. We had a riotous time, laughing ourselves silly and almost wetting ourselves several times. Our friends sat there stony-faced and unamused.

    The Wog Boy is a vehicle for one of the originators of the Wog concept - Nick Giannopoulos. To be honest, I thought the whole phenomenon had run its course before The Wog Boy came out, but judging by its success, it clearly has not. Its storyline is somewhat loose, but it is certainly more than simply a series of Wog sketches loosely tied together.

    Steve (Nick Giannopoulos) is a first generation Greek Australian male. Steve is unemployed, but manages to get by, helping out here and there. His pride and joy is his Valiant. Whilst helping out a compensation-oriented neighbour, Steve has a minor car accident involving the Minister for Employment, vampily played by Geraldine Turner. The nett result of this encounter is two-fold; Steve gets to meet Celia (Lucy Bell) whom he is instantly attracted to but who initially hates him, and Steve gets outed on national television by Derryn Hinch as the worst dole-bludger in Australia.

    Steve manages to turn this around to his advantage, and becomes famous as The Wog Boy, spearheading a campaign to improve the employment status of the country. In the interim, he makes variable progress with Celia.

    Throw in a series of other very colourful supporting characters, such as Steve's Italian stallion best mate Frank (Vince Colosimo), Annie (Abi Tucker), Celia's younger and much more amorous sister, the nerdy Nathan (Stephen Curry), the perverted Domenic (John Baressi) and the unforgettable Tony The Yugoslav (Costas Kilias) - "I'm half Serbian and half Croatian - every morning I wake up and want to kill myself" - and you have the mix that is The Wog Boy. A classic of modern cinema this is not, but as a comedy, this does very well indeed.

Transfer Quality


    This is the first locally-authored Fox DVD that I have seen, with the authoring being done by DVD Technologies.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. It appears to be a Full Frame transfer, based on the matted presentation of some of the scenes in the extras. This is the biggest let-down of this transfer, as it makes it feel like you are watching a TV programme rather than a movie, which is what I like to watch on DVD. It is truly a shame that Fox have chosen to go with this Full Frame only release instead of releasing a widescreen 16x9 enhanced version. Watching the extras, and seeing the small sections of the movie that are presented in their correct aspect ratio made me pine for the correct aspect ratio - the experience was simply that different between the two ratios. Even though a matted widescreen presentation would in fact show less image rather than more image in this case, the improvement in scene composition would have made it worthwhile.

    The image is surprisingly sharp and well-defined, with plenty of image detail on offer in both the foreground and the background of shots. A natural and expected exception to this is the deliberately processed footage of TV close-ups and the like which take on an indistinct, noisy and artefact-riddled appearance. Shadow detail is passable without being great and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are evenly and accurately rendered, with nothing in particular striking me as particularly good or particularly bad about this transfer. It is simply consistent throughout.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen, and neither were any film-to-video or film artefacts seen. The transfer is exceptionally clean and clear in this regard.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only the one audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue is generally very clear and easy to understand, despite the sometimes very strong accents. This is due mainly to the fact that the majority of this dialogue is looped, and this shows with the audio frequently slightly but significantly out of sync with the visuals, particularly in the longer shots. For me, this made this transfer quite hard to watch, as I kept seeing examples of this. I verified that this was not due to the DVD player I was using to review this DVD by trying selected sections on my reference DVD player, and the same audio sync problem was apparent, so it is inherent in the transfer. I did not personally see this movie theatrically, so I cannot comment on whether or not it was also out of sync theatrically. The most amusing example of sloppy ADR work is at 43:15, where Steve says "You're bull********" but mouthes "You're bull******** me".

    The music was composed by Cezary Skubiszewski. It is relatively hard to describe the original music composed for this movie, but it is certainly extremely apt, as are the other songs utilized by the soundtrack.

    The surround channels were remarkably aggressively used by this soundtrack. I was expecting an essentially monaural dialogue-based soundtrack, but this was far from the case, with extremely aggressive surround use the norm rather than the exception. Ambience was almost omnipresent, and the surrounds really kicked into gear whenever music was being played, such as during the nightclub scene towards the start of the movie. I am unaccustomed to this level of surround activity, and even wondered whether it was slightly over-the-top deliberately.

    The subwoofer was kept very busy during any music, particularly if the music was coming from a car stereo, which was totally appropriate for the movie. At times, it was a little overbearing, but was acceptable in the movie's context.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The packaging on this DVD proudly proclaims it to be a Special Edition. It isn't.

Main Menu Animation with Intro

    The main menu intro to this DVD is so apt that I won't describe it other than to say that it perfectly sets the mood for the movie. Once the main menu proper is presented, silent animation accompanies it, which is rather odd considering the full-on introduction leading up to it.

Menu Audio

    The Music Video menu has some audio enhancement.

Scene Selection Animation

Music Video - Deni Heinz (sic)

    I'm sure Deni Hines would have something to say about the spelling of her name, but the music video is otherwise unremarkable.

Music Video - Ilanda featuring Joanne

Radio Ads (2)

TV Ads (2)

Theatrical Trailer

Featurette - A Wog's Life: The Making Of The Wog Boy (10:29)

    Ostensibly an extended trailer, this is actually a decent Making-Of featurette with real, meaningful information to impart. Well worth watching. The clips from the film are presented in the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio and have considerably more impact than the Full Frame presentation of the main feature.

R4 vs R1

    Let's be honest about this; this DVD will most likely never see the light of day anywhere except in Region 4, so despite the fact that it is only a Full Frame presentation, our version will presumably be the version of choice forevermore.


    The Wog Boy is a very funny film. It's a pity that it is only presented Full Frame, but at least it's out on DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
16th November 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-535/Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using S-Video/RGB output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video/RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer