TJ is a mad bastard, a hard-edged, urban street warrior Aboriginal man who’s sick of scraping out an existence in the city. His estranged 13-year-old son Bullet is on the fast track to becoming one, too.
After being turned away from his mother’s house, TJ sets off across the country to the Kimberly region of northwestern Australia to make things right with his son. Trying to find him he travels to the tiny frontier town of Five Rivers where he is confronted by the equally tough local cop Texas who has lived a tough life, and now wants to change things for the men in his community.
Crosscutting between three generations, Mad Bastards is a raw look at the journey to becoming a man and the personal transformation one must make.
Developed with local Aboriginal communities and fueled by a local cast, Mad Bastards is about men with a brutal exterior and a very human interior, while drawing from the rich tradition of storytelling inherent in Indigenous life.
Using music from legendary Broome musicians the Pigram Brothers, writer/director Brendan Fletcher poetically fuses the harsh realities of violence, healing, and family.
There's not much fake in the film.—Greg Tait, actor in Mad Bastards
The film's sense of reality is its greatest asset.—Sydney Morning Herald
- Dean Daley-Jones - TJ
Greg Tait - police officer Texas, Bullet's grandpa
John Watson - Aboriginal bush man
Ngaire Pigram - Bullet's mother
Lucas Yeeda - Bullet (TJ's son)
Douglas Macale - Uncle Black
- Release dates
- 18 January 2011 - World premiere at the Sydney Festival
5 May 2011 - Australia
- MA 15+ - Mature accompanied
- Transmission Films
- The Pigram Brothers, Alex Lloyd, Casey Chambers
Mad Bastards is Brendan Fletcher’s debut feature film and took 9 years to make.
“A mad bastard was [the] name for the one who is dragging the net in the deep end where all the crocodiles are. They are brave to the point of being mad,” says musician Stephen Pigram.
The storyline was inspired by real-life stories of the lead actors, none of whom had any acting experience.
The film was shot in Wyndham, Kimberley, Western Australia (1,060 kms north-east of Broome).
Mad Bastards was the first Western Australian feature film to be selected for the Sundance competition.
Greg Tait was the local policeman at Halls Creek for nearly 17 years.
Find a copy of "Mad Bastards"
Other films by Brendan Fletcher
Explore more Aboriginal movies
Aboriginal movie timeline
Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.
Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?