Romper Stomper: Wikis


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Romper Stomper

Original cinema daybill for Romper Stomper
Directed by Geoffrey Wright
Written by Geoffrey Wright
Starring Russell Crowe
Daniel Pollock
Jacqueline McKenzie
Tony Lee
Music by John Clifford White
Distributed by Village Roadshow
Release date(s) Australia November 14, 1992 (premier at the Sydney Film Festival)
United States May 10, 1993 (premier at the Seattle International Film Festival)
Canada September 16, 1992 (premier at the Toronto Film Festival)
Running time 94 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Romper Stomper is a 1992 Australian film written and directed by Geoffrey Wright, starring Russell Crowe, Daniel Pollock, Jacqueline McKenzie and Tony Lee. The film follows the exploits and downfall of a neo-Nazi skinhead group in blue-collar suburban Melbourne.



The film opens with a gang of violent neo-Nazi skinheads from Footscray, Victoria, Australia attacking some Asian teenagers in a subway tunnel. The gang, which is led by Hando (Russell Crowe) and his friend Davey (Daniel Pollock), meets a rich drug addict Gabrielle (Jacqueline McKenzie), who falls in love with Hando after meeting him the day after her sexually abusive father, Martin (Alex Scott), has her junkie boyfriend beaten up.

A few skinheads visit from Canberra, one of which has joined the Royal Australian Navy and is home on leave. After a long night of drinking, fighting and sex, the gang go to their local pub. But unbeknown to them the owner has sold it to a Vietnamese business man. When Hando and his gang discover the new owner's two sons in the bar they begin to savagely beat them. A third Vietnamese youth phones for help, and several car-loads of armed Vietnamese men descend on the skinheads. The Vietnamese men outnumber the skinheads in both numbers and brutality; forcing them to retreat to their rented warehouse, in which the Vietnamese relentlessly attacked and destroyed everything inside the building, then finally setting it on fire.

The skinheads find a new base at a nearby warehouse after scaring off a pair of squatters, and plan their revenge against the Vietnamese. Gabrielle suggests that the gang burgle her father's mansion. They ransack the house, beating Martin up, smashing one of his cars and raiding his wine collection. Gabrielle tells Martin that the burglary is revenge for his years of abuse. Later she reveals to Davey her plan to take Hando away from his violent life. Martin eventually frees himself and uses a handgun to scare away the gang before they can take any of his property.

The next morning, Hando argues with Gabrielle and dumps her. As she storms off, Davey stops her and gives her the address of his grandmother, where he will be staying. She goes to a nearby phone booth and makes an anonymous call to the police, and then spends the night with Davey. Later the police raid the warehouse, killing the youngest skinhead when he waves a non-working gun at them. Hando, who is away from the rest of the group, watches from a distance and flees.

Arriving at Davey's flat, Hando finds his friend in bed with Gabrielle. Hando accuses her of selling them out, but Davey provides her with the alibi that they were together the whole time. Hando convinces Davey to stick by him, and the trio go on the run. During a service station robbery, Hando murders the attendant.

Driving all night, they stop near the Twelve Apostles. Gabrielle misinterprets a conversation between Hando and Davey to mean they are going to leave her behind, and sets their car on fire. She also admits to phoning the police. Hando attacks her, leading Davey to fight Hando and stab him in the neck with his Hitler Youth knife, killing him. The film ends with Davey cradling Gabrielle on the beach, watched by a busload of Japanese tourists.


Geoffrey Wright's script was inspired by the highly publicised crimes of leading Melbourne Neo-Nazi skinhead Dane Sweetman. Wright contacted Sweetman via mail in 1991. Sweetman was at that time in the process of serving a life sentence in Pentridge Prison for murder. Wright requested an interview with Sweetman which was unable to be arranged in a timely manner due to prison regulations, subsequently the two men commenced correspondence. Sweetman furnished Wright with a transcript of his murder trial, from which Wright drew influence. This influence is most clearly seen in the line delivered by Hando when scaring off squatters from the warehouse: "I'm going to chop your legs off". It is a direct reference to Sweetman having cut off the legs of his victim.

There are many aspects of the film that mirrored Sweetman's life, including the characters Gabrielle, Davey and the punk girls who were all based on associates of Sweetman. Swetman's name was conspicuously absent in the end credits, however the question was raised in the Australian media during the publicity phase of promoting the film. Russel Crowe acknowledged the origin of his character during an interview on Tonight Live with Steve Vizard in 1992. Wright also spoke of the influence during a radio interview in the same year.


The film's score was released by Picture This Records. It included the orchestral music and the energetic punk rock music similar to the Oi! genre (recorded by studio musicians).

  • 1. Prologue
  • 2. Romper Stomper Theme
  • 3. Pulling on the Boots
  • 4. Skinheads Go Shopping/Gabe Sees Swastika
  • 5. Mein Kampf
  • 6. Fuehrer Fuehrer
  • 7. Let's Break Some Fingers/Brawl Crawl
  • 8. Smack Song, The
  • 9. Tonguey for the Skins/Nightmare for the Hippies
  • 10. At the Mansion
  • 11. We Came to Wreck Everything
  • 12. Wild Animals 1
  • 13. Bubs Dead/Gabe Finds Davey
  • 14. Gabe and Davey
  • 15. Fourth Reich Fighting Men
  • 16. Night Drive
  • 17. On the Beach
  • 18. Wild Animals 2
  • 19. Fourth Reich Fighting Men (Reprise)
  • 20. The Dead Nazi March


The film was nominated for nine Australian Film Institute Awards. It won Best Achievement in Sound, Best Actor in a Lead Role and Best Original Music Score.


Daniel Pollock, who plays Davey in the film, committed suicide before the film's release by jumping in front of a train. He had been struggling with heroin addiction, as well as the breakup of his romantic relationship with co-star Jacqueline McKenzie. Crowe wrote a song about the suicide called "The Night That Davey Hit the Train", which he performed with his band 30 Odd Foot of Grunts.

External links

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