The late eighteenth century in the penal colony of Australia. Elizabeth Harrington is the refined daughter of a judge-advocate. Confronted by the sight of twelve women convicts who are kept in appalling conditions and routinely raped by their guards, she decides to help them.
When nine of the women escape, Elizabeth goes with them, having helped in the killing of a vile rapist soldier, but the band of females have no food, no maps and no plans.
When they come across a distillery, the escape turns into a bout of drunkenness. Elizabeth is increasingly estranged from the group, and comes down with fever and malnutrition, even though a young Aboriginal girl Kameragul shows the women how to survive in the bush using traditional Aboriginal techniques.
Young Emily helps nurse Elizabeth to health, and the pair bond, so that when Emily is raped and murdered by two sly groggers, Elizabeth helps the women kill the men in revenge.
Captain McEwan, who is Emily’s former fiancé, leads a party of soldiers in an attempt to round up the now feral and cunning women, who are armed with bows and arrows, spears and a large axe.
Elizabeth is persuaded to go back to the colony, to help prevent a massacre, but on her return, she spurns McEwan. Now full of hatred for the women who have ruined his fiancé with their proto-feminist wiles, McEwan decides to return to the bush to kill the women.
But the women fight back, and McEwan is burnt to death in a bush conflagration. Elizabeth continues to sympathise with the wild women, while trying to adjust to her life back in the civilised colony.
- Jeune Pritchard - Elizabeth Harrington
Nell Campbell - Meg
Diana Fuller - Bess
Lisa Peers - Charlotte
Jude Kuring - Grace
Robyn Moase - Moira
Michelle Johnson - Bridget
Rose Lilley - Emily
Lillian Crombie - Kameragul
Therese Jack - Kate
Kay Self - Sheila
Helenka Link - Jane
Ralph Cotterill - Corporal Porteus
Martin Phelan - Captain Richard McEwan
Tim Elliot - Doctor Hargreaves
- Release dates
- 18 August 1977 - Australia
- Video/DVD release date
- 11 November 2009
- R18+ - Restricted
- Roy Ritchie
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