If you talk about movies filmed in New Zealand, Lord of the Rings inevitably comes up. The LOTR movies did amazing things for the NZ economy and made the country a more popular tourist destination. There are several other mainstream movies that were at least partially filmed in the country including Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Pete’s Dragon, X-Men Origins, The Legend of Zorro, and King Kong.
And then there are the movies that most people outside of New Zealand don’t know about. And if you’re like me, these are the kinds of movies that you like to watch before visiting a country. So I thought I’d spend a few days talking about some of those ‘not so well known’ movies of New Zealand.
In March of 2017, a new movie called ‘Pork Pie’ will hit the theaters of NZ. I rather doubt it will be shown in other countries but we’ll see. This movie is a remake of a 1979 movie called ‘Goodbye Pork Pie’ – a film credited with being the first really financially successful NZ movie. The term ‘pork pie’ is slang for a lie and the words are on the T-shirt worn by one of the main characters.
Two young men set out on a thousand-mile escapade in a tiny, yellow, stolen car. Goodbye Pork Pie is the exciting story of two very different young men – and of their incredible (and often very funny) thousand mile journey in a very small, stolen, yellow car.
Gerry is young and restless and unemployed. He lives in an isolated small town in the far north of New Zealand, so when the car gives him the chance to head to a big city, he moves fast and starts looking for excitement.
It is a crazy and bizarre movie but fun to watch and I’d say it captures the New Zealand sense of humor and anti-establishment. Wikipedia says that one book described it as Easy Rider meets the Keystone Kops. It tells the story of a guy who steals some money, rents a yellow Mini and decides to drive from Kaitaia (near the top of the North Island) to Invercargill (bottom of the South Island) – being chased by police and picking up a few passengers along the way.
Many of the locations used for filming the movie look a lot different now than they did in 1979, but I enjoyed seeing them in the movie and trying to match them to the modern day. The Mini travels through all of the major cities of New Zealand and much of the length of the North and South Islands.