Episode 21: Bad Blood (1982)

For our last episode of the year, we’re rounding off 1982 by taking a look at Mike Newell’s disturbing Bad Blood, a dramatisation of the infamous 12-day manhunt for Koiterangi farmer Stan Graham. Socially isolated, increasingly paranoid, and in serious financial trouble, Graham and his wife Dot react aggresively when their rifle is requisitioned by local authorities for the war effort. As their behaviour begins to threaten the wider community, an attempt by police to control the situation leads to a tragic outburst of violence.

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Bad Blood poster

Director: Mike Newell
Producer: Andrew Brown
Screenplay: Andrew Brown based on ‘Manhunt – The Story of Stanley Graham’ by Howard Willis
Director of photography:
Gary Hansen
Editor: Peter Hollywood

Stanley Graham…
Jack Thompson
Dorothy Graham…Carol Burns
Ted Best…Dennis Lill
Les North…Martyn Sanderson
Trev Bond…Marshall Napier
Inspector Creswell…Bruce Allpress
Jim Quirke…Kelly Johnson


  • The Australian DVD release of Bad Blood appears to be out of print – it is no longer listed on the Umbrella Entertainment website. It shouldn’t be too hard to track down though. Check out NZ Videos for more information, and if all else fails keep an eye on second-hand auction sites. A DVD is available from Simply Media in the UK, but we’re unable to vouch for the quality of it. It is most likely a port of the Australian transfer.
  • For more information on the real-life story Bad Blood is based on, there’s a great radio documentary from 1977 available to listen to on the Radio New Zealand website.
  • A memorial for Graham’s victims was finally constructed in 2004 and unveiled by one of the men present when Graham was fatally shot. This NZ Herald article has some good quotes.

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