Russell Baillie writes about movies for the Herald

Goodbye Pork Pie: how the remake might fare against the original Kiwi favourite

Warning: Contains possible spoilers.

The first trailer for Pork Pie, the remake of 1981 Kiwi hit Goodbye Pork Pie is out and with it come some clues about what direction the new movie might be taking.

The film, directed by Matt Murphy - the son of Geoff Murphy, who made the original - is due out on February 2, 2017.

Here's how the new model of the north-to-south car-chase movie might shape up.

The car

Well it's a yellow Mini. And it has the same number plate as the 1981 one - IZ6393.

The British Leyland model in the original arrived in Invercargill having been liberated of its doors and pretty much everything else but its engine, chassis and remaining body work.

In the new one the BMW-made yellow mini looks as if it's hardly been run in by the time Dean O'Gorman pops through the sunroof to yell: "I'm taking this bloody car to Invercargill!" In the original, Tony Barry's same line ended with "boy".

The driver

In the original, Jerry Austin (played by Kelly Johnson) talked a lot. Couldn't shut him up. James Rolleston plays designated driver Luke Anahera in the new one.

Judging by the trailer - he has three lines in two-and-a-half minutes - it's O'Gorman's character Jon who does most of the talking. Much of it on his phone. Sometimes while he's driving. Tsk tsk.

Jerry Austin played by Kelly Johnson and James Rolleston as Luke Anahera in Goodbye Pork Pie remake.
Jerry Austin played by Kelly Johnson and James Rolleston as Luke Anahera in Goodbye Pork Pie remake.

The music

The first movie mixed songs by the Hammond Gamble-led blues-rockers Street Talk and a jazz score by John Charles which echoed inspiration for the movie's title - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat by jazz giant Charles Mingus which was a favourite of director Geoff Murphy.

The trailer comes with Hootenanny by Head Like a Hole, Runnin' by David Dallas and Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries (otherwise known as the helicopter attack music from Apocalypse Now).

The classical piece might just be for the trailer. The film-makers say the soundtrack will also include tracks by Fat Freddy's Drop, Scribe and Dave Dobbyn among others.

The film's score is being composed by jazz pianist Jonathan Crayford, whose previous soundtrack work includes Geoff Murphy's Spooked.


Most of the smoke coming out of the car in the original wasn't from the exhaust. There was a lot of marijuana in it. The original chase through downtown Wellington streets and railyards was started when Jerry Austin was stoned and paranoid about a police car behind him.

Judging by the trailer, the new one seems to Just Say No.

Kelly Johnson, Claire Oberman and Tony Barry in the original Goodbye Pork Pie.
Kelly Johnson, Claire Oberman and Tony Barry in the original Goodbye Pork Pie.


Yes, Luke and Keira (Ashleigh Cummings) get it on in the back of the Mini just as Kelly and Shirl did in the original. Whether she gets left behind in Christchurch too remains to be seen.

Stunts and chases

The original had a police car ending up in a lake. This one has a motorbike going into the drink, which seems to combine two chase scenes from the original into one.

Chase scene from the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.
Chase scene from the remake of Goodbye Pork Pie.

Who's that?

Matt Whelan appears in a scene looking worried about news coverage about the police chase of the Blondini gang.

O'Gorman's character is heard in conversation with a male character, possibly Whelan, while being chased through Wellington. Is he a mate? A brother? The boyfriend he's chasing all the way to Invercargill? That would be progressive.

No, Jon is straight. He is going to Invercargill to patch things up with Antonia Prebble. She's seen in the trailer looking stood up.

The costumes

The lead trio seem to play dress-ups once they and the Mini are aboard the freight train, just as their predecessors did.

But while O'Gorman's Jon gets the leather flying helmet his predecessor wore - which was handy when the old car had no windscreen - Rolleston's doesn't seem to get the Groucho Marx mask that defined the madcap Jerry Austin character of old.

Though Rolleston does acquire a pork pie hat.

A scene from the Goodbye Pork Pie remake.
A scene from the Goodbye Pork Pie remake.


Keira quits her job at a drive-through burger joint to clamber into the Mini. Later a coffin decked with anti-meat slogans is being carried on the roof of the car through the streets of Wellington. Might the new Pork Pie be heading for a bit tofu?

- NZ Herald

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