ingle father Murray Whelan thinks the life of a parent and political operative is complicated enough. His ex is staking out the
moral high ground for a custody battle, and rumors of an early election are starting to fly in the upper echelons of Australia's
Labor party. When a Turk is found snap-frozen in a local meat plant, Murray cops the job to head off possible fallout for his boss,
Charlene Wills, a member of Parliament and the Minister for Industry. But the meat industry smells decidedly fishy when Murray
starts asking too many questions. Suddenly things are spinning fatally out of control as he finds himself the object of an elaborate
intimidation plot: drugs planted under the bed, fascist funeral rites, a killer car, and bloodsucking parasites. That's when red-hot
Ayisha, the Turkish Welfare League's answer to activism, knocks on his door.
Stiff brings back the wisecracking ace of reluctant detectives in a mystery that is fast, furious, and very, very funny.
In Stiff, Whelan is estranged from his high-flying wife, but takes some comfort in his young son, Red, during whose visits murder
ensues, houses collapse and everything is enveloped in drollery which nonetheless has time to encompass the celebration of the
marvellous Melbourne, which, as Shane Maloney once remarked, is the preordained capital in this country of white-collar crime.
Maloney is not insensitive to his luck in being adapted by his friend John Clarke. "John is a man who reinvents everything he
touches. He sends up politicians without ever impersonating them. He presents the organisation of the Games and makes it worse than
we could ever have expected. He's not someone who'll settle for the relentlessly plot-driven puzzle."
Certainly not. Clarke has directed Stiff with a deep empathy for Maloney's free association around the detective story form in a
style as minimalist as the style of his TV show The Games, and with Wenham's luminously poker-faced Murray Whelan as the centre of
the story's consciousness (as he must be).
Clarke was conscious that, in the absence of Murray Whelan's narrating voice, there was only the camera. "If he doesn't say it, the
camera must," he says. Clarke likes the "socio-archaeological" aspect of the Murray Whelan stories, the social observation and the
texture of society as he perceives it, and here he thinks David Wenham was his greatest asset.
DVD-R Region Free. Excellent Quality. No refunds but will replace any defective discs, should there be any. In paper sleeves. No Artwork