Bad Blood (1982 film)

Bad Blood

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mike Newell
Produced by Andrew Brown
Music by Richard Hartley
Cinematography Gary Hansen
Distributed by Umbrella Entertainment
Release dates
  • 25 May 1982 (1982-05-25) (Cannes)
  • 14 April 1983 (1983-04-14) (Australia)
Running time
105 minutes
Country New Zealand
United Kingdom
Language English

Bad Blood is a 1982 British-New Zealand thriller film set in the small West Coast town of Koiterangi (now Kowhitirangi), during World War II, and is based on the factual manhunt for mass-murderer Stanley Graham. The film was directed by English director Mike Newell, who went on to direct Four Weddings and a Funeral. Much of the film was shot at the original locations.[1] The script was based upon Manhunt: The Story of Stanley Graham, by H. A. Willis (Whitcoulls, 1979) and adapted by New Zealand-born Andrew Brown.[2][3][4][5]


In October 1941, Stan Graham, a Westland smallholder, develops a persecution complex and starts to threaten his neighbours. They put up with it for a while but things become intolerable. One day a party of four policemen arrive to confiscate his firearms. This causes a flashpoint for him - he loves his guns and is not going to hand them over. He shoots all the cops and, in the ensuing altercations, three more locals before heading to the hills. A manhunt composed of police, army and homeguard is organised and delivers Graham's come-uppance. Based upon a true event that happened around the present community of Kowhitirangi, out of Hokitika.



Bad Blood was originally made for TV and screened in Britain in 1981. It was released in New Zealand on the 12 November 1982. It was released on DVD in May 2006 and again on 16 September 2009. It was also released in the United Kingdom and in North America on 2 October 2007.


Bad Blood received rave reviews in Britain and later in New Zealand. Although considered risky when released, Bad Blood is now regarded as a New Zealand film classic.


  1. Willis, H. A. (Howard Alan) (1979), Manhunt : the story of Stanley Graham, Whitcoulls, ISBN 978-0-7233-0629-0
  2. Willis, H. A. (Howard Alan) (1981), Bad blood : the story of Stanley Graham, Fontana/Collins, ISBN 978-0-00-634925-9
  3. "Bad Blood". Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  4. "Bad Blood for the hero of Breaker.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982). 1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia. 4 March 1981. p. 150 Supplement: TV WORLD. Retrieved 21 September 2015.

External links

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