Carry Me Back

Carry Me Back - 1982

Kiwi Film Productions - 85 min.
DVD UPC/EAN # - 9418212014516

Cast: Grant Tilly, Kelly Johnson, Dorothy McKegg, Joanne Mildenhall, Derek Hardwick.
Screenplay: Keith Aberdein, Derek Morton, John Reid; Original Music: Tim Bridgewater, James Hall; Producer: Graeme Cowley; Director: John Reid.

Adult brothers Arthur (Grant Tilly) and Jimmy (Kelly Johnson) head off from their Marlborough farm to attend a shield rugby match in Wellington. Their wilful father decides to come with them, but succumbs to the excitement of the match and the night on the town, that follows. By morning he has expired, leaving the sons the problem of how to get his body back to the farm unnotice, since his will stipulates that he must be buried there if they are to inherit the property.

Censor Rating: PG - Review Rating: C+

Carry Me Back trailer
Official MP4 Trailer


Available in PAL or NTSC videos presented 1.36:1 with a 2.0 English soundtrack. New PAL VHS copies from Aro Video were last selling for $50nz, but as of January 2009, they were no longer available. Used NTSC copies will go for over $30us.
GREAT NEWS - Starting 01 February 2012, it was released to DVD presented 1.77:1 with a 2.0 stereo English soundtrack. There are no subtitles or extras. It is a remastered bare-bones PAL R0 and is selling for the low price of $10nz.

As of November 2016, it would seem that it is OOP for both VHS and DVD. However, Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available to any NZ address

Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses


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"There is a certain black humour in the New Zealand character. I mean a country that derives much of its income from the annual slaughter of 60 million animals has something of a morbid fascination with the dead" - (John Reid quoted in, Rob White, "Reid's latest bound to upset some", Christchurch Star, August 31, 1982)

"The script is excellent, with no shortage of wonderful lines - and it's beautifully filmed. Carry Me Back revels in Wellington at its grottiest, and its most breath- taking. And without any overt lingering on the beauty of rural New Zealand, it does justice to its Marlborough locations, and to the countryside on the way, in the road scenes. Reid has also conjured some wonderful characters - but he's too kind to many of them. What the film needed was some real New Zealand gargoyles" - (Jane Clifton, "Great fun but flawed", source unknown)

Very bad misfire. Generally unfunny attempt to combine gallows humour with raw backblocks characters. Grant Tilly's last desperate address to the corpse, and Dorothy McKegg's wonderful caricature of a grasping harridan ('Aunty Bird') are its only real assets (Nicholas Reid - 'A Decade of New Zealand Film').

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