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Hogan movie stars Kingswood

‘Bloody Kingswood’ is about to return to the Australian lexicon thanks to Paul Hogan's new movie. Charlie & Boots hits the big screen on September 3 with Hogan starring alongside Kenny actor Shane Jacobson as father and son. However, the real star of the film is the iconic Holden Kingswood.

The story is about Charlie McFarland (Hogan), a man in his late 60s who has suffered a devastating loss, and his youngest son, "Boots" (Jacobson). Boots decides to cheer up his grieving father by taking him on a fishing trip _ nearly 5000km away at Cape York in a 30-odd-year-old Kingswood.

The road movie takes in beautiful locations and landscapes as well as young, beautiful hitchhiker, Jess, played by Morgan Griffin. But the sheer beauty of Australia's landscapes and young women are no match for the beauty of the old Kingswood.

Steve Lack, action vehicle co-ordinator for the film, had the job of finding three Kingswoods and modifying them. "Not the Premier; it had to be the standard Kingswood," he said. "I found three that we could use and made them all look exactly the same in colour and interior. They were all automatic and basically all we did was modify one from a T bar shift to a column shift."

One was used for wide shots, another for "drive-up" shots and the third was used on a "low loader" trailer. "The low loader car is all for the dialogue and the close-up stuff so the boys don't have to worry about steering and missing obstacles while they're acting," Lack said.

"We took out the engine, diff, suspension; the whole idea of that was to get the vehicle as close to the ground as is normal ride height. We hung cameras all over it and it looked like the real deal."

Lack said the Kingswood was a big hit with Jacobson who is a car fan and spent much of his down time during filming playing car racing games on his Playstation in his van. "Shane just keeps falling in love with it. It takes him back to his roots as a petrol head."

Jacobson has competed in several tarmac rallies and was so smitten by the Kingswood, he bought one of the cars when filming was finished. "He would have done some of the driving stunts too but we couldn't get the insurance," Lack said. "As far as driving goes, the boys weren't really happy with the car in 40-degree heat.

"The low leader car had a household airconditioning unit under the bonnet to cool the actors, but we couldn't get aircon into the others because of a lack of time and budget."

Lack said the cars went through a few stunts, but the biggest was called the ‘pig stunt’. "The boys are driving down the road and there is a woman jogger coming toward them and they eyeball her and she looks back and calls out `pig'," he said. "They think he's having a go at them but when they turn around there is a big pig right in the middle of the road, so they swerve and go through the bush and come back on the road through a group of letterboxes one of which is decorated as a pig."

He said the stunt was coordinated by Danny Baldwin from Queensland and used stunt driver Clint Dodd. "Shane did the bit through the letterboxes, though." Lack said working with Hogan, Jacobson and the Kingswood was "a hoot". "It was a lot of hard work but I probably would have done it for free."


‘Not the bloody Kingswood’ has become part of Australian culture as the reply when someone asks to borrow something you hold dear. The line comes from the Australian sitcom Kingswood Country which screened from 1980 to 1984 on the Seven Network and featured Ross Higgins as a bigoted buffoon who loved his Holden Kingswood.

Higgins didn't want anyone borrowing his car and would usually reply "You're not taking the bloody Kingswood" followed by an idiotic excuse such as "I've just glad-wrapped the aerial", "I've just polished the number-plate" or "I've just ducoed the tyres".

The Kingswood succeeded the HR and was produced from 1968 to 1984 as a sedan, ute, panel van and station wagon. In those years it was produced as HT, HK, HG, HQ, HJ, HX, HZ and WB models. A 1968 HT Kingswood cost $2326. They were also exported to New Zealand, South Africa, and Asia, where many became taxis and are still in use.