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.

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