As Tom O'Regan points out, the ocker films--notably The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) and Alvin Purple (Tim Burstall, 1973)--belonged to a broader cultural moment of ockerism
in film, television, theatre, advertising and even politics: ocker culture aggressively celebrated the hedonistic Australian 'in an inventive, usually male, anti-language for bodily functions, sex, drinking and women'.
Moorhouse, therefore, satirises a residual culture of Australian middle class ockerism
that has already lost the baffle of the sexes but, like good ANZACS, keeps on fighting.
Local reviewers were guarded in their praise, perhaps because the film seemed neither ocker comedy (it submits ockerism
to savage scrutiny) nor respectful adaptation and/or period piece of the kind that had brought prestige to the local industry.
In this film, female ockerism has ceased to be the deviant activity that Max Harris described in 1974, when the 'sheilah' was seen as the Coker's 'natural enemy' and female ockerism was associated with 'bingo and pokey [sic] players, the grating stridencies of the delicatessen lady, [and] the butch gaucheries of the sad ones who mimic the male'.
(31) Harry Oxley, 'Ockerism, the Cultural rabbit', in Peter Spearritt and David Walker (eds), Australian Popular Culture, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1979, p.192.
They concentrate on those meat-pie-and-sauce, beer-and-footy aspects of Australian society which are summed up in local parlance as 'ockerism
'; they combine a broad, vaudeville sort of titillation with indulgent satire on what 'ordinary" Australian lives and concerns are supposed to be about.