The Plumber

The Plumber is a 1979 Australian psychological thriller film about a psychotic plumber who terrorizes a grad student. Written and directed by Peter Weir, The Plumber was originally made and broadcast as a television film in Australia in 1979 but was subsequently released to theatres in several countries beginning with the United States in 1981. The film was made shortly after Weir's critically acclaimed Picnic at Hanging Rock became one of the first Australian films to appeal to an international audience. The film stars Judy Morris, Ivar Kants, and Robert Coleby, all of them being most notable as actors in Australian soap operas.


The film opens as Dr. Brian Cowper (Robert Coleby) takes a shower in the flat he shares with his wife Jill (Judy Morris), who is a masters student in anthropology. As he exits the building's lift on his way to work, an ominous character is seen entering and randomly choosing the button for the ninth floor. He knocks on the Cowpers' door and announces himself as Max (Ivar Kants), the building's plumber. Jill insists that they did not call for a plumber, and Max assures her that he is simply doing a mandatory check of the building's pipes.