Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers - 2003

Gaylene Preston/Huntaway Productions - 96 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 687797105899; 9321337040035; 9398520268033; 5060132910443; 9321337038148; 5022153185729

Cast: Sam Neill, Rachael Blake, Joel Tobeck, Robyn Malcolm, Madeleine Sami, Paul Glover, Jed Brophy.
Screenplay: Gaylene Preston; Photography: Alun Bollinger; Editor: John Gilbert; Music: Plan 9 (David Donaldson, Janet Roddick and Stephen Roche); Sound Designer: Tim Prebble; Production Designer: Joe Bleakley; Producer: Robin Laing, Gaylene Preston; Director: Gaylene Preston.

Filmed along the West coast of New Zealand's rugged and stormy South Island, this low budget thriller is unique and as such will not be accepted by all. Melanie (Rachael Blake) is lonely, living in a small town, working in a dead-end job and in need of male companionship. She meets a man (Sam Neill) at a local pub and agrees to go back to his boat, where she passes out from her drinking. When she awakes, she finds that the boat is headed out to sea. I defy anyone to figure out the ending to this many-layered, original story, even after viewing half way through. The film tone is definately tense and somewhat claustrophobic with a slow buildup of tension, helped by a great soundtrack and the moody landscape. Recommended.

Censor rating: M - Review rating: B+

Perfect Strangers
Official MP4 Trailer


New NTSC R1 DVDs are selling for about $10us. New R4 PAL DVDs are about $30nz. R2 versions are selling for about 10#.
The R1 NTSC DVD is a 1.80 (16x9 letterbox) presentation with audio options of 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround. There is a Spanish subtitle option. Special features include: a director's commentary option; a 'Making of Perfect Strangers' 22min. featurette; a 4.5 min. 'The Making of the Storm At Sea' featurette; a 'The Location' 4.5 min. featurette, 12.5 minutes of four deleted scenes and four un-related trailers.
The R4 version has all of the R1 listed extras plus a still photo gallery, the film's theatrical trailer and two short TV spots. The R4 version only has the 5.1 surround and has no Spanish subtitles, but it has English subtitles. However, the major difference with the R4 version is that the film is presented in the original anamorphic format of 2.35, instead of the R1 1.85. Its features and extras are much the same as the NTSC version except that it has English subtitles instead of Spanish.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses

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I have NEW DVD PAL R4 original copies available for sale at $16us. Check out at ebay


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Reviews at

Scary Minds Review

Cinema Aotearoa Review

SBS (AU) Video Review by David Stratton

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Moria Review

Urban Cinefile Review

Michaeldvd Region 4 Reviews

MovieReview Query - 14 articles

Four Word Film Review


Listener, v.192no.3325(Jan.31 2004), p.53
Metro, issue 272(Feb.2004), p.100
New Zealand herald, Jan.31, 2004, p.31
Sunday star-times. Sunday, Feb.1, 2004, p.19


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NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film Award

Gaylene Preston Website

Information at the New Zealand Film Commission Website

Information at IMDB

Internet Movie Poster Awards


2004 - Fantasporto - Best Actress - Rachael Blake.

2004 - Vladivostok Film Festival - Best Actress - Rachael Blake

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