25 February, 2014

In Review: Wolf Creek 2

Saturday we headed into Southbank to catch the second instalment of the outback slasher, Wolf Creek 2. Having loved the first one, I couldn’t wait to check out the sequel and was quietly hoping that they wouldn’t ruin it with a second film that was lacking. The first movie was impressive, particularly given it was shot in chronological order in just 25 days! Rated R, the first movie was certainly much more graphic than this second instalment which was only rated MA, however what it lacked in gore it certainly made up for in bizarreness.

It’s been almost 10 years since we left Mick Taylor, homicidal bushman, in his hunting grounds of the Australian outback. Presumably continuing to add to his body count, this movie picks up with a couple of German backpackers who are exploring the vastly beautiful Australian outback carefree. That is, until one night after visiting the Wolfe Creek Crater, Mick stumbles onto their illegal campsite in a National Park. Explaining the pitfalls of illegal camping, he offers them a lift back into town and it’s here where things start to go wrong.
Mick Taylor (once again played brilliantly chillingly by John Jarratt) begins yet another murderous rampage through the isolated outback. Whilst her boyfriend Rutger isn’t so lucky, Katarina manages to escape and runs into British tourist Paul Hammersmith (Ryan Corr) bloody, hands bound and screaming for help. Bundling her up into his car, Paul and Katarina are then stalked by Mick in a high speed chase across the barren land. Paul becomes the focus of this life and death cat and mouse game as he tries to survive the night in the isolated killing fields Mick Taylor seems to know so well.

There are definite parallels between the Ivan Milat backpacker murders and the Peter Falconio murder which make this saga all the more chilling, particularly as it claims to be based on a true story. While the body count is lower and seemingly less gruesome in this second instalment it’s certainly no less brutal and is far more psychological than your typical slasher movie. John Jarratt once again puts in a brilliant performance as one of the creepiest killers to ever terrorise our screens and no doubt you’ll be hearing that trademark laugh in your nightmares.
I thought Ryan Corr was actually quite good as Paul Hammersmith also, putting in a gritty and believable performance not to mention a pretty good British accent as well. My favourite scene in the entire movie is a completely bizarre encounter between Paul and Mick in an underground torture chamber. Having finally captured Paul and brought him to his lair, Mick is ready to inflict some serious pain on the ‘vermin’ foreign tourist when his knowledge of Australian culture and history becomes the only thing between him and Mick grinding off his fingers one by one. Perhaps the most bizarre part of this entire scene which I absolutely loved is a rousing rendition of Rolf Harris’ Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport sung by the two as they slug down rum and get to know each other a little better.

Like most films of this genre there are plenty of laughs to be had along the way, despite the brutal on screen antics of old Uncle Mick. There are also some great tracks used in the soundtrack that put such a bizarre spin on the action happening on the screen. I love all that weird kind of stuff, so this was right up my alley, although The Man was a little disappointed in the lack of gore. I on the other hand thought it was great to see a movie that didn’t just rely on the shock of body parts and gallons of fake blood to give you the heebies.
Another aspect of the movie that I loved was the fact that you can’t help but kind of like Mick Taylor, despite his homicidal tendencies. When he’s not hacking people up, he’s actually a pretty funny guy who delivers some great one liners. The other thing I loved was the fact that so much of the cinematography of this film could be used as a tourism ad for Australia. Edit out all the parts where tourists are being hunted, tortured and brutally murdered and you’ve got yourself some spectacular shots of Australian landscapes. Add to that the footage of backpackers having a fantastic time in some unbelievable locations and you feel yourself wondering why you don’t just quit your job, pull on a swag and get out there and explore this amazing country of ours. Don’t worry, it’s not long until Mick shows up to remind you why you don’t.

Thoroughly enjoyable – I give this 7 severed fingers out of 10.

18 February, 2014

Off The Hook

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately, if you haven't noticed. Maybe you have, or maybe with nothing to stimulate you or remind you I've simply slipped by unnoticed. Either way that's ok. I'm letting us both off the hook. It's such a combination of life factors for me at the moment that I refuse to beat myself up about it or feel too guilty, unlike in the past. I'd hate to be posting drivel for the sake of filling the page so for now I've adopted the idea that silence is golden. That's not to say that I don't intend on posting. I want to post at least every week but I'd love to do even more. But things just haven't turned out that way.
It's funny really, it feels like everything's been happening and nothing at the same time. I'm in that weird space where life feels quite busy but I have nothing particularly exciting to report. As you know I'm headed back to the USA in August so I've been trying to cut back on my goings out to save money. It's lucky I've got some great friends with great pads where we can have lots of fun without needing to go out or spend lots of money. Aside from trying to save, the general business of things which aren't worth blogging has left me feeling a little uninspired to be honest. But working away I have been, behind the scenes, and I've achieved some great things in the past few weeks.

I'm very pleased to announce that I now have a regular column in the Big Beat of the 50s Magazine, who you may remember I've worked with once before. I will now be their Queensland correspondent on all things rockabilly, taking over from the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Lori Lee Cash. Those are some pretty big cowboy boots to fill but I'm certainly looking forward to giving it my best shot! I submitted my first column last week and I can't wait for the magazine to come out. It's a members only publication though, so if you want to be able to be able to have a flick though you can become a member here. I'll try to share my column with you when I can though.
My other big achievement is paying off my car loan - almost two months ahead of schedule! It may not seem like much, but I'm actually very proud of myself. I knew it would feel good once it was over and done with, but it actually feels a whole lot better than I was expecting. It feels great to know that I took on a commitment 5 years ago and was able to see it through and have something to show for it. Not to mention, it frees up a whole bunch of extra funds now which will go straight towards my holiday. Exciting stuff folks!
I just couldn't let another week go by without checking in with you guys and while I don't expect to make a habit out of this whole 'radio silence' thing, sometimes I think it's good to give yourself a little break, especially if you're feeling tired and a little overwhelmed. Often you only need a little respite to start feeling truly invigorated again. I have a feeling that will be the case for me. I'm already feeling better after a great weekend feeling loved up with The Man on Valentines Day and spending some really fun, relaxing times with friends. It's always the little things for me. I just needed some quiet time to let things flourish in my mind instead of my head being over-crowded with so many thoughts that it just sounded like white noise searching for a radio station.
Also, thanks to a lovely gift from The Man and as a little treat on my behalf for fishing paying off my car loan early I'm treating myself to a new tattoo. A pretty decent sized one, one I've been planning for ages and one I can't wait to get! So stay tuned for a new Tattoo Tuesday soon, exciting stuff folks!
Hope you've all been well. While we're on the subject, is there anything you'd like to get off your chest? Anything that's been overwhelming you lately? Or have you had a win we should all be celebrating with you? Do tell.

06 February, 2014

Rat Rods & Rockabilly

Last weekend the first annual Rat Rods and Rockabilly event was held at the Hamilton Hotel. Initially we weren’t going to go (we’re saving for the US so we’re trying to cut back on our social spending) but I was trying to organise a bit of a surprise photoshoot for The Man and the photographer was going to be at the event, so we decided to kill two birds with one stone. So to speak. As you may or may not know, The Man is selling his ’59 Ford Tank Fairlane 500 and I wanted to surprise him with the opportunity to get some nice shots of it and with it before it goes. 
Photo by Pix by Pete

We arrived around lunch time and things were already in full swing. Brightly coloured market stalls covered the car park and there were some kick ass rat rods and rides parked throughout. I tell you, those marshalls are operating on tetris level expert. It was a brutally hot and sunny day, but we managed to avoid getting sunburnt by hanging out in the shade of a lot of the stalls. The bands sweated it out on stage as we made the rounds catching up with new friends and familiar faces. We’d just booked our flights to America that morning so there was lots of talk of Tiki Oasis with tiki master Marcus Thorn of Tiki Beat and Tiki Dylan’s Idol Hands. Excitement!

When the heat got too much, we headed inside to the air conditioned comfort of the pub for a few beers and a bite to eat. It was a really relaxed, enjoyable day. I had a wonderful time and for once it felt like we could just float around and take it all in without having to run around doing things or seeing everyone. The show was small enough to be leisurely, although I can’t help but hope it’s a little bigger next year. I especially hope there’ll be more room for more cars. The festivities ran into the night but we weren’t staying. We wrapped up the afternoon with our photoshoot with Phill’s Kustom Photography.
Phill’s been involved in the automotive industry for a long time. In the last few years he’s expanded into photography and now does great work photographing events throughout the kustom culture community, pin up and the pride and joy of many hot rodders. You can see his work in Pin Up Skool Magazine and in the upcoming calendar he’s about to release. Or, scroll down and check out his shots of us.
Lots of fun and at least these pics will be something for The Man to look back on and reminisce all the work he put into the tank and all the years he loved it, once it’s been sold. On top of selling his tank, he’s also selling off a lot of his private collection of vintage and collectibles. He’s simplifying his existence and is looking for a new project car-wise to work on. Out with the old and in with the new. I better be on my best behaviour! HA.

If you’re interested in snapping up some bargains on an amazing collection of vintage, retro, kitsch and tiki type stuff the sale is on THIS SUNDAY 9 Feb. There’ll be kitchen tables and chairs, bars, click clack lounge, lounge chairs, suitcase BBQ, tin signs, display cabinets, complete dinner sets, pictures and so much more. Priced to clear so get on that! If you’re interested in coming to the sale, contact me for the address. Here’s a sneak peek of just some of the stuff available!