Episode 8: Lincoln County Incident\Nutcase (1980)

Rather than our usual feature film, this week Never Repeats looks at two medium-length films: the high-school cowboy adventure Lincoln County Incident and zany kids flick Nutcase.

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Lincoln County Incident

Lincoln County IncidentDirector and technical producer: Tony Brittenden
Production assistant: Rosemary Barnett
Screenplay: Tony Brittenden
Director of photography: Bob Brittenden
Editor: Tony Brittenden

Steven Trail
Samson Peabody-Jones…Shane Simms
Bar girl…Cornelia Schaap
Bandit leader…Grant McPhie


NutcaseDirector: Roger Donaldson
Producer: John Barnett
Screenplay: Keith Aberdeen, Ian Mune
Director of Photography: Graeme Cowley
Editor: Mike Horton

Peter Shand
Nikki…Melissa Donaldson
Crunch…Aaron Donaldson
Chief Inspector Cobblestone…Jon Gadsby
Evil Eva…Nevan Rowe


  • Both films are quite difficult to find – the only existing home video releases are in VHS format. If you fancy trying to track them down, NZ Videos has plenty of useful info to get you started. Alternatively, if you happen to live in Wellington, both can be viewed at Ngā Taonga‘s media library.
  • As a general rule, we’re viewing films in the order they were released: Lincoln County Incident was shot in 1974, but not screened in New Zealand cinemas until 1980. This rule will become more important later in the ’80s, as a number of films sat on the shelf for several years before receiving a theatrical release.
  • Lincoln County Incident began life as a 10-minute short to accompany a rock opera that Tony Brittenden (the art teacher at Lincoln High School) was planning to stage. As the movie grew in scope, the rock opera was abandoned.
  • The fun, goofy special effects in Nutcase are the work of Geoff Murphy, following on from his FX work in Donaldson’s Sleeping Dogs.
  • We become briefly confused in this podcast over whether Nutcase was developed for TV or theatrical release – further reading seems to suggest that the answer is ‘both’.
  • Thanks to Charles at NZ Videos for helping source promotional material for this week’s movies.

2 thoughts on “Episode 8: Lincoln County Incident\Nutcase (1980)

  1. Good to find this site, good on you for doing it Just one niggle – it reads as though you are using my 1997 book New Zealand Film 1912 – 1996 as a reference and I would like you to credit it if you are. My Lincoln County Incident piece, for example, was the result of many hours’ research, including interviews with Tony Brittenden. It would be good to be acknowledged if the results on my research have made their way into your posts. Thanks.


    • Hi Helen,

      You’re absolutely correct – ‘New Zealand Film 1912-1996’ is one of our go-to references whenever we start researching a film. It’s a superb book, and was crucial in helping us map out our plan for the podcast. While we try to link to any websites we’ve mined for information we have been remiss in not crediting our primary reference texts. I apologise for the omission, and we’ll try to be diligent about attribution in the future.


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