Desperate Remedies DVD

Desperate Remedies - 1993

James Wallace Productions - 1993
DVD UPC/EAN # 9330080001767; 097361532233

Cast: Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Kevin Smith, Lisa Chappel, Clifford Curtis, Michael Hurst, Kiri Mills.
Writers and Directors: Stewart Main and Peter Wells; Cinematography: Leon Narbey; Editor: David Coulson; Designer: Michael Kane; Music: Peter Scholes; Producer: James Wallace; Associate Producer: Trishia Downie.

A rather camp, theatrical-style production set in the 19th century New Zealand town of Hope. Elegant and attractive Dorothea has a sister, Rose, addicted to opium and her boyfiend/supplier. Dorothea hires a handsome immigrant, Lawrence, to lure Rose away from this relationship. But Dorothea and Lawrence grow attracted to each other. Dorothea already has a "suitor" in Anne, who sensing a rival, pushes her into a marriage of convenience.

Censor Rating: M - Review rating: C+

Desperate Remedies Trailer
Official MP4 Trailer


Used PAL VHS can occationally be found for about 10#. Used NTSC VHS can also be found for about $10us. The Australian R4 DVD, in addition to being presented 1.5:1 and 2.0 dolby digital, includes scene selections, plus trailer and optional director's commentary track, however as of November 2006, it is OOP.

As of February 2009, it is available on PAL R0 DVD selling for under $15nz, but only from New Zealand sources. There are no subtitles.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available to any New Zealand address

Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses

DVD-R copies from DVD Lady


NZFC OnDemand New Zealand Rental & Purchase

Aro Video OnDemand

WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog - Click to find the nearest Library that has this title.


Click for Desperate Remedies Soundtrack CD Details

SOUNDTRACKS VAULT - Link to MP3 samples of all titles


Paul Brenner Review at

Reviews at

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Wellington Film Society Review

Dennis Schwartz Review

Movie Review Query - 6 articles

IMDB User Reviews

"One of the elements of camp in Desperate Remedies is in the references to, and grateful acknowledgment of, and to certain extent a re-writing of the great women's films of the 1940s. I say grateful, because Desperate Remedies relates back to those signal moments as nascent homosexuals when Stewart and I were searching anywhere, in whatever cupboard and closet, for signs of gender roles which did not quite fit" - (Peter Wells, "Frock Attack! Wig Wars! Strategic camp in Desperate Remedies", Working Papers, No.1. Auckland: Centre for Film, Television and Media Studies, U of Auckland, 1997. pg.6)

"The corn is high but, the film is lots of fun, and, while probably primarily appealing to a gay crowd, it may also amuse straights seduced by the sheer fun of it all. Jennifer Ward-Lealand cuts an impressive figure as the imperious Dorothea, while Lisa Chappell suffers beautifully as the jealous Anne. Kevin Smith is a muscular and handsome Lawrence, while Cliff Curtis is suitably dastardly as Fraser. The technical credits are sumptuous, despite the obviously limited budget; all the money is up there on the screen, flaunting itself" - (David Stratton, Variety, June 7, 1993)


Dominion, Oct.4, 1993
Filmnews, Nov.1993 Illusions, no.30(winter 2000)
Listener, v.140no.2788(Sept.11 1993)
Metro, no.147(Sept. 1993)
New Zealand herald, Sept. 10, Oct.1, 1993
North & South Review by Brian McDonnell - September 1993 - For details or copies contact Kakapo Books
Sight and sound, v.4,issue2(Feb.1994)
Sunday times, Oct.3, 1993


VIDEO VAULT - Links to trailers and clips for all titles.

NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Peter Wells: Desperate Remedies and making queer films - Interview

Information at IMDB

Internet Movie Poster Awards


1993 - Catalonian International Film Festival, Spain - Best Costume Design.
1994 - New Zealand Film Awards - Best Supporting Actor: Cliff Curtis; Best Design; Best Cinematography.

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