The Quest (1985) Script

G'day, Cody. Hi.

I think he's gonna go for it.

You reckon? Wanna tell the boys?

Who's going where?

Young Cody Walpole. He's on his way up to the station.


I think he's gonna go for it.

Hi, Cody!

Sergeant Ricketts?

He what?

Wow, you really gonna do it? Yeah!

It's a Railway Bike.


Where you going? Wait for us!

Cody, this is stupid.

They wont let you to do it for starters.

You got a hairpin?

You wanna borrow?


Is he gonna bust his face? Shut up!

Hey, Cody, the school in three minutes. can't do it in that time.

Are you ready?

Seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, go!

Mr. Heavy, can we come with you?

Come on, come on.

One minute, thirty.

He's got no hope!

30 seconds to go!

15 seconds to go!

Good going, Cody!

There's no brakes!

There's no brakes!

Come on, you can do it!

He made it!

There's no brakes!

Bloody hell!

Oh no!


Don't know where he is!

That was fantastic. Thanks.

Cody, you all right?


That was really dumb.

Wouldn't have been so dumb if the brakes hadn't packed up.

What are you trying to prove?

Do you think I enjoy seeing you just about get killed?

Oh no.

Son, every time that brain of yours starts punching out data, public property is in danger, women cry and dogs bark.

What do you try, stay up late at night trying to think up ways to make a peanut of yourself?

No. No.

He was just trying to get from the station to school in three minutes.

Does your father know you're here?

And where are they.

Where are who?

The people from the Guinness Book of Records.

There must be some kind of prize for raging idiocy.

He's not an idiot, he's the smartest kid I know.

And he was only trying to get to school a bit quicker.

A bit quicker, a bit faster, a bit higher, a bit deeper, where's it all gonna end?

A bit deader.

Listen, hotshot, you're gonna finish up compost if you don't hang up your sneakers and keep your nose clean.

Keep my nose clean?

Next time you're planning to do something, don't.

No more rocket bar roller skates, no more homemade hand grenades, there's no more parachuting off the war memorial, have you got it?

Yeah, I got it.

Dad's gonna freak.

You cake hole shut or I'll put mashed spiders on your toothbrush.

Yuck, that's sick, Wendy.

What were you doing?

About 100 miles an hour?

About half that.


The point is, is it's against the law, Gaz.

What, to do what you and I were doing when we were kids?

Aye, but you and I didn't make railway bikes and gyro copters.

Only because we weren't smart enough.

You know what I oughta do?


Oughta bolt on a two stroke.

Then I can make it back up the hill.


Motorcycle would be better.

Big Harley hog.

You wanna keep the kid, the kid wants to keep you, but if he gets killed, well, the welfare people aren't gonna give you permanent custody, are they?

So? Well, so talk to him!

We talk all the time.

Well, tell him...

Just tell him to be careful.

What you doing tomorrow?

I don't know, why, do you wanna knock around or something?

Don't know.

Hey, you wanna have a picnic or something?

Yeah, a picnic! Picnic?

You know, put some food in a bag and go out in the bush.

Ah, a hike.

We can go exploring.

I'll make Chicken sandwiches-

And I'll get some cigarettes.

I'll meet you here at eight o'clock, okay?

Yeah, all right.

See you then! All right, eight o'clock, see you!

I see.

Yes, for July the seventh.


Would you keep it down in there?

I'm on the phone.

Jane, , don't you ever, ever do that again, do you understand?

Where have you two been anyway?

We were at the train station and Cody--

Mum, where's the peanut butter?

Behind the kitchen on the bottom shelf.

I don't think children should be hanging around the railway yard.

It's how your Uncle Lester lost his leg.

Bindi, what are you doing?

Making sandwiches for tomorrow.

What did they do with it?

Do what, dear? Uncle Lester's leg.


I mean, did he get to keep it?



What is it, Lois?

It's that noise again.

It's a poltergeist.


Lois, it's just the wind.


There isn't any wind.

Well, it's just the not wind.

The not wind?

Yeah. Listen.

Hear that?


That's the not wind.

Gets pretty loud on a still night.

It's like the not light.

You mean, dark?



Is anyone home?

My name is Cody Walpole!

Wendy Cannon's a fox!

C'mon, Jane.


Sorry we're late,.

Where are we going?

How about Devil's Knob? Where's that?

Haven't been there since I was a kid.

Who cares where it is? Sounds ace!

How far? I don't know.

Hey, wait for me!

Hello, anybody there, hello!

Ah, you hear the river?

Yeah! - It's somewhere over there.

We'll race to the end, go!

Well, there it is, just down there.

Uh, Cody?

I just told mum we were going to the park.

Well, Devil's Knot's a national park.

There could be anything out there.

God, there could even be dinosaurs or a lost tribe of black fellas, or-- Or ticks.

No, no ticks.

Just leeches.

Look at it.

I'll bet we're the first people ever to come here.

Stupid, this is where all the black fellas used to live, right, Code?

No, blacks never come anywhere near Devil's Knob.

Why not?

Whole area's full of frog dreamings.

Frog droppings? Dreamings, frog dreamings.

Like sacred sites.

They call it the dummy ground.

Why don't they come near it?

I don't know, blacks got a lot of funny ways.

All I know is they'd go 50 miles off course to avoid a frog dreaming.

You mean it's like haunted, with black ghosts?

Don't know, never been here before.

Well now you tell us!

Let's go back.

Aww, come on, Wendy, I just wanna see what's down here.

Yeah, come on!

Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit!

80 cool then I go, you wouldn't know cool if it bit you on the--

So you wanna come to a dance?


Ah, this Friday at the church hall.

I don't know, I'll have to ask.

How will we get there?

Gaza said he'll take us.


I better meet you there, save a lot of hassle with mum and dad.

I got one!

Look, a Witchetty grub!

Aw, it's a nice one, you gonna eat him?

Ew, don't make me barf.

They're good, tastes like nuts.

You don't eat him, I'll eat him.

You will not, he's mine.

Let's go up this way.

Cody, what time do you have to go to bed at night?

My Gaza's a pretty cool guy.

Yeah, you're lucky.

Lets me do pretty much what I want.

How come you stayed with Gaza after your parents were killed? Jane!

You shut up?

Nobody to go back to in the states anyway.

And besides, he was my dad's best friend and all.

I'm sorry, we shouldn't have brought it up.

Look, a pond!

Somebody's been camping here.

Yuck, what's that smell?

Probably your breath blowing back into your face.



Who's Neville.

Old bloke I know.

Stay here, I'm gonna look around.



Wendy, look, fish, fish!

Yuck, they look like sex.

Those aren't fish, stupid, they're tadpoles, baby frogs.

You mean like those frogs that dream around here.


Hey, have you ever kissed Cody?

Whack off! Well, have you?

No! Would you?

I don't know.



Stupid girls.



Watcha doin' out here?

God, that was the coolest thing I've ever seen!

How we get back?

Have to swim.

Come on in, it's nice!

No way Jose.

Where there's tadpoles, there's frogs, and where there's frogs, there's snakes.

Ooh, snakes. You'll have to pull us in, Cody, please?


What's a matter?

Something down there.

Like Neville's bald head.

Holy shit!

You mean he's down there?

I don't know what it was.

Let's get out of here.

Hurry, Cody, faster, hurry up!

I'm hurrying!

This is one of them, isn't it?

One of what?

Frog dreaming.

Come on Cody, please, faster!

You know how to swim!

Come on, Cody!

Gee, this place is weird.

What's that noise?

What noise?

That noise.


Neville, is that you?

This track doesn't lead anywhere, chief.

There was a lot of mining up around here in the old days.

Yeah, just the other side of that hill.

What do you know about this fella, Neville?

He's from Sydney.

He spends his holidays up here, lives off the land.

Bit of a derelict, was he?

No, he said he was a dentist.

A dentist?

This wouldn't be your twisted idea of a bit of a giggle, would it?

No sir.

So you just happened to come all the way up here to a pond that nobody's ever heard of, not even on the map?

And low and behold, who do you bump into but your friend the dentist, dead, no less.

Hey Don!

You sure you don't have a pond up this way?

I've been over this district a dozen times in the chopper.

There's no ponds up here.

Funny, it's not on the map.

There's something in that bloody pond.

Jane, language.

What were you doing up there?

Just exploring.

You told me you were going for a picnic in the park>

We did, it's the Devil's Cock national park.

Knob! Yeah, Devil's Knob.

Is that your friend Cody's idea of a joke?

No, look, we didn't do anything wrong.

Wrong? You call lying to your mother and getting mixed up with the police nothing?

We didn't have these problems until Cody Walpole, did we?

You know where you two are going to spend the rest of your holidays, don't you?

No, where?


Anything in there?

Nothing with an address.

Couple of empty bottles of Steam.

Well, his ticker probably quit.

Alcohol really buggers the ticker.

Let's get outta here.

Hey, sarge, have a look at this.

See how there's been waves washed up?

What do you reckon, chief?

Wind comes down this valley like a freight train, kicks up a lot of chop.

Chop two foot high.

What's your explanation, son?

Don't know.

There were a bunch of big bubbles coming out of the centre of the pond, same direction Neville was facing.

Don, I want you to come out here tomorrow and post some keep out signs, I don't want people camping around here.

What's up, Don, you're a bunyip stew, eh?

You feel it? Yeah, I do, what is it?

Don't know, but I felt it once before.

While we were up in the high plane hunting pig.

Suddenly, it was like we walked into someplace we shouldn't have been.

We got out of there fast.

Turned out it was an old abo burial ground.

Weird. Yeah, if! never come up here again, it'll be about one day too soon.

Let's go, Cody!

It was horrible, his eye sockets were kind of fixed on the pond, like he'd seen something out there.

Well, I reckon something must have scared him real bad.

We felt it too, didn't we, mate?

Like we oughta get out of there real quick.

Yeah, and Lorry reckons he's been losing sheep up in the table land.

What's that gotta bloody do with anything, ya pillock?

Don't know, but it kinda makes you think though, eh?


Gee, that's bad luck about Neville.

Yeah, it was pretty horrible.

Looked like he'd been fishing, then, I don't know.

Sergeant Ricketts said his heart packed up or something.

Well, when you've gotta go, go fishing.

Hey, shut your.


Now, is that as flash as a rat with a gold tooth?

All right!

You and that pucker lady of yours stay out of the backseat, you here?

Geeze, I'm only 14.

Bit rich.

Yeah, that's why you and I are putting in a new carbie.

Gaza, what do you know about a pond five miles east of Devil's Knob?

You don't mean Donkegin hole.

What's that?

Gee, I haven't heard of Donkegin Hole since...

Since I was your age.

All the kids used to reckon there was a bottomless pit with a bunyip in it.

We could never find it.

You believe in bunyips, Gaz?

You can believe in one hand and spit in the other and all you got at the end of the day is--

Hand full of spit.

But the idea must have started somewhere.

Oh yeah.

Local Warralinga tribe's got legends about something they call Donkegin.

Supposed to breathe fire, and it was black, their spears couldn't hurt it, and it ate rocks.

It ate rocks?

Now come on, I've told you, you wanna know about anything, go straight to the source, so ask the blacks, respectfully.

You can bloody feel it.

Take a step forward, feel it?

Feel what?

Kind of dead feeling, like walking into a morgue.

And look at that old barb wire fence.

Now who'd put a fence around a pond?

That's funny.

My watch has stopped.


Still going.

Spooky. Yeah.

Mine's still going. Mine's still stopped.

Let's get outta here.

I was looking across the water and there was this terrific upsurge, and then this huge neck appeared.

Six feet at least above the water with a head that was turning nervously.

It true?

It's in National Geographic.

Sent divers and cameras and all sorts of stuff down but they still don't know what's in Loch Ness.

Just like they don't know what's down in Donkegin Hole.

Frog dreaming territory.


Yeah, any of your people still know about that sort of thing?

Charlie Pride.

Charlie Pride?

Yeah, Charlie Pride.

The country western singer?

See ya, Barney.


Okay, but you owe me one.

Mum? What dear?

Can you get herpes from French kissing?


_ Ma! Where?

Ma! Oh, sweetheart.

What time did you say you were going to meet Wendy tonight?

Eight o'clock sharp.


Anyone here?

Oh, Cody.

Dinner's ready, darling.

Hi, Cody.

Well, looks like we're both on the loose tonight, eh?

Couple of free spirits.

Hey, you know, us bachelors got like a community obligation.


What do you know about Donkegin?

Eats rocks.


Our fellas say in the dream time, a young fella couldn't be a warrior 'til he looked at Donkegin.

If a fella looks at Donkegin and doesn't die, he's a man.

You mean you can die just by looking at him?

Maybe, maybe not, anyhow, what's a white boy wanna know about Kurdaitcha?

What's Kurdaitcha?

Black fella magic.

Can't see him come, can't see him go.

Is Donkegin Kurdaitcha?

A lot of things the old fellas say is fair dinkum.

Some isn't, maybe.

You ever hear about a fella named Charlie Pride?


Well, if you did know about him, where would he be?

Supposed to lived down by the Cur, someplace.

Don't know anybody that's ever seen him for sure.

Some old fellas reckon they've seen him.

I don't know, why?


See ya.

Aren't you going to bed?


Plenty of time for sleep when school starts.


Excuse me, where can I find Charlie Pride?

Down at the boat.

Hi. Hi.

I'm looking for a fella named Charlie Pride.

I need to talk to him about Donkegin.

Ah, Donkegin.

Yeah, that's right, Donkegin.

Follow me.

Can you take a couple on board to Charlie Pride?


Hi, Wendy, there's a barbecue over at my house tonight, wanna come?

I can't, I'm grounded.

Oh, bad luck.

Geeze, everyone had a super time at the dance, especially Cody.

I reckon if you don't make your move, you better kiss him goodbye.

Thanks a lot, Becky.

Bye. Bye.

G'day, chief.


Just a word of neighbourly advice, sport.

Keep that kid of yours under control, eh?

Now what's all this about, sport?

Oh, I think you know what I'm talking about, bright bloke like yourself.

Now you wouldn't be referring to Cody's relationship with your daughter, would you?

There's no relationship and I wanna keep it that way.

Aw, now listen, sport, if I was inclined to control Cody, which I'm not, I'd hardly be telling a boy his age who he can knock around with and who he can't.

I don't give advice, sport, and I don't take it.


Where at?

Thanks a lot, see you.

Are you Mr. Pride?

My name's Cody Walpole, I wanted to talk to you about--


How'd you know that?

Man business.

Well, anyhow, everybody reckons that...

You wanna know about spirit business?

Like bunyips, sir? Like Donkegin?

Are you a man?

I'm a boy.

Maybe we'd find out, eh?


You like to dance?


You like to dance with the devil?

I don't understand.

First you dance with the devil.

Then you find out about Donkegin.

That devil, he's some good dancer, eh?


Is he real?

You go and see.

Thank you.

Cody, what's that? Aw, nothing.

Doesn't look like nothing to me.

It looks like something.

Here, hold this.

It's just a fishhook.

Must be a humongous bloody fish.

Hey, you're not gonna do what it looks like you're gonna do?

So what?

You're loopy.

Well, see you later.

I'm gonna tell Wendy you've lost your bloody marbles, mate.

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation.

Stopped his watch, dead as a hammer.

Now mine's okay 'cause it's antimagnetic, right?

So I reckon that proves that whatever it is, it's electromagnetic.

Yeah, but did you see anything in the water?

Are you kidding?

That water's so murky, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face if you were silly enough to stick your head under.

Be blacker than the bowels of hell down there.

Yeah, well, the abos knew what they were doing.

Black fellas sense these things and they know enough to keep out.

There ain't one thing we can do.

We can get the air force up here with a couple of them extra set missiles.

We'll nuke the shit out of the entire area.

Give those friggin' frogs something to dream about.


Come on, you slimy coward!

What, do you just pick on old men?


Well? Where are you?

Donkegin is a chicken, Donkegin is a chicken!

Buck, buck, buck!

When was the last time you saw young Cody?

Where was all he last night or all day yesterday, you know? Any day.

Come on, you know Cody comes and he goes.

You never worried about him before, what's going on, Rick?

Legally, he's still a ward of the state.

That's part of my job to consider his welfare.

Mine too, mate.

What's he do for food?

There's a three kilo leg of...

There was a three kilo leg of lamb in there this morning.

Oh yeah? Yeah.


Cody's been shooting his mouth off about some bunyip theory related to that stiff that we brought in the other day and he's got the Cannon kids so goosed that their folks can't control them.

And the eldest girl cries at the drop of a hat, the young one has gone downright morbid.

She talks about severed limbs and plays with dead chickens for god's sake, now she's started swearing and smoking and all because they've been knocking around with your Cody.

They were?

Now come on, what's really going on, Rick?

Cannon been leaning on you?

All I'm trying to do is give you a little helpful advice.

I'm sorry, okay, I'll pass it on.

Mr. Kauffman?

Cody Walpole!

The boy who wanted the formula for dry rocket fuel.

Did it work?

Not really.

Oh, I see!

I got another question for you though.

Why me?

Well, you write books, you know a lot of stuff.

So what is it this time?

It's about in here.

Devil's Knob, lake Torbid, Lake Sheridan, no, there are no ponds listed, not that it isn't there.

The whole area's honeycombed with underground streams.

Geologists reckon the lakes may all be connected.

I'll just take a look at something here.

Say there was a fish, a big fish, he could have the whole territory as his own, right?

Big fish, now you're talking, what is he?

Big bass?

Sort of.

Anything in there about Donkegin?

Donkegin? No, nothing, why?

It's just an aboriginal myth.

I tell you, why don't you borrow the book?

If you come up with a good story, perhaps I'll buy it from you.


Mr. Kauffman?

Do you believe in monsters?


Son, for 20 years, I was married to one.

What are you doing?

Just an experiment.

What kind of experiment?

Atmospheric pressure.

This wouldn't have anything to do with your bunyip theory, would it?

My theory?

Hey come on, where have you been the last few days?

Here and there.

Hey, what you do is your own business but there's a limit and the limit comes when it starts effecting other people.

Well, what are you on about?

Cody, I can see what you're up to with your bush pump and I don't like it.

Now I want you to promise me you'll stay away from that pond.


Because I'm your guardian and I bloody tell you to.

Geeze, Gaza. Oh, come on, Cody.

How often do I ask you to promise anything?

I want you to promise me.

I can't do that.

You can and you will.

When you were my age and you wanted to do something and your parents wouldn't let you because it was too dangerous, would you have promised them or would you have lied?

Hey, you and I never have to lie to one another.


We'll talk when you've calmed down.


What are you doing here?

I need your help.

I've been thinking about it all night but I just can't do it alone.

Daddy'd kill me if he knew you were here.

Well, maybe he'll see things differently from now on.

You any idea what they pay for a National Geographic cover?

National Geographic?

Look, Wendy, I really need your help.

You're going back to that place, aren't you?

I've got it all worked out.

There's nothing to be afraid of.

You wouldn't get me back there in a million years.

Jane's right, you're loopy.

No way!


Still don't get it, what is all this stuff?


For the National Geographic?

It's all gravity.

Water from this barrel runs down that hose, compresses the air inside and forces it underwater.

Why underwater?

You'll see.

Okay, let's test it, just open up that valve over there.

What do you think you're doing?

Hey, turn that off, don't waste my air.

Oh no you don't, no way, forget it!

Take it easy.

Yeah, sure, I'll take it easy

'cause you aren't gonna do it.

Cody, it's illegal for somebody to stand around and let somebody else commit suicide.

Well, can't ask you to break the law.

Thanks for your help, I can manage from here.

Cody, just hang on, this is going too far.

Look at this stupid bunch of hoses and stuff, you call this a diving suit?

You don't know what's down there!

I got a pretty fair idea! Yeah, so have I!

Look, if eats rocks and it isn't gonna have a lot of trouble with you and your silly spear gun!

Well, I guess if I knew for sure, I wouldn't have to find out.

My god, it's like talking to a tree!

Here's my watch.

I reckon I got about three minutes worth of air down there.

If I have to abort-- Abort?

I'll just slip out of the rig, so don't bother pulling me up.

Sure, wonderful.

Well, might as well get it behind me.

Cody, listen to me.

That thing could be 1000 feet deep, if there's a bottom at all.

I guess that's what we're here to find out.

Hey, don't worry.

Will you turn the air on, please?




Wendy, are you all right?

Are you all right?

She okay, take her hat off?

Move back, come on, come on, come on!

What's happening? Everybody back behind the bar.

He's drowned in that pond!



Take her home, take her home!

Who is, what happened?

Gaza! keep that kid none it would have happened!

Take care of him!

Come here, Gaz, listen.

The boy's drowned. Cody's gone.

Where? Where?

Hang on, Gaz-- Where?

Take it easy, come on, just take it easy.

Where is he?

He went diving in the pond and he hasn't come up.

Gaz, take it easy!

He's been down there nearly an hour, he's gone, mate!


We can't just leave him there.

No, no, no, we'll drain the bloody thing.

We'll bring him up.

Pulse is normal, she seems to be resting quit well.

Good night's sleep and I think she'll be fie.

I promised his dad I'd look after him.

Ah, let's face it, mate.

Nobody lives life like that boy did and expect to survive to a ripe old age.

He was a first class kid.


First Class kid -

Oh my god.

Here she is.

Wendy, just, just take it easy.

Look, it was the quarry, and the thing in the bottom is--

Come along with us now, dear.

The air seeps up from the bottom, you see, because it's granite!

My god, he could still be alive down there!

Come along with us--

Listen to me!

We're listening, now you just, just come along home with us--

We gotta get help!

Wendy! Come back!

Come back!

, around that away!

w' Tl

The hell, she's locked it Wendy!

Quickly, is there another way out?

Mr. Kauffman!


Please, Mr. Kauffman, you gotta listen to me!

Hey, hey, hey, there's a chance we may still save him!

Where's Wendy?

She's at the pond with Kauffman.

There's a chance he's still alive down there.

I've got divers coming.

What? I'll explain later.

Lights, we need more lights!

Please, god.

They're here.

C'mon, girly.

You wait here.


Oh please, god, let Cody be all right.

Jane, wait for your mother!

We heard some tapping so I think he must be trapped in an air pocket.

He's alive and responding.

Put a cable under it!

No, that's too dangerous.

Here's the trouble, it's a straight up!

That thing must weigh 20 tonnes, Rick!

Do something!

Here, get this tank down to him, quickly!

Pump some more air into him.

Wait, Lois, catch her up!

Jane, wait on!


Wonderful, that's all we need.

Hey, Kauffman, what's the news?

We don't know yet.

damn slippery down there.

Watch it, watch it!

Quickly now!

We've got something big down there.

Oh, yes he's down there, big as you please.

Get some jelly , blow the bejeeusus out of him!





Gaza! - Cody?

My foot's stuck, I can't get out!

My foot's stuck, Gaza! No!


I can't get out!

Come on, Cody, swim!

Come on, Cody! Come on, son.

Look what it is!


Looks like some old mining equipment.


Donkey Engine!

Hey, anybody get a photo of that?

Charlie Pride.

He is the Kadaitcha Man.

There is a Donkigen.

This is a frog dreaming.

There is a dream time.