A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
“Crocodile Dundee” established a stereotype that every single Australian male was a butch, tanned, blonde haired, beer drinking, knife carrying, crocodile poaching, well mannered bloke who hails from the deepest parts of the Aussie outback. Now after 2005’s “Wolf Creek”, the male Australian stereotype has become a fat, hairy, tanned, dark haired, beer drinking, knife carrying, backpacker poaching, ill mannered bloke who hails from the deepest parts of the Aussie outback. Thanks very much Mick Taylor.
Following the horror/slasher/gore-fest formula, “Wolf Creek” tells the story of there isolated backpackers in the vast Australian outback who are assisted by Mick Taylor, a passer-by who noticed the trio’s abandoned car and who offered to help them fix it. The three backpackers, an Australian and two English women have no choice but to accept Taylor’s generous offer and seek refuge at his place for the night. The three soon learn that Mick is one sick sadistic man; and witness first hand the reign of Taylor-terror!
Torture films are more or less the same, they try too hard to out-gore the others and that becomes their selling point. The strange thing about it is that people flock to see this. The “Saw” franchise made $245,925,225(US) profit from it’s 6 films which is both astonishing and deeply disturbing. “Wolf Creek” attempts to be “Saw”, however it adds the spooky ingredient of being ‘based on true events’, giving it that sense that it’s close to home, in a way.
John Jarrett is pretty great as Mick Taylor; his facial expressions, his laugh and his alter-ego (the ‘nice, friendly bloke’) make him the standout performer in the film, he wasn’t up against much though, looking at the ammeter supporting cast.
It’s disappointing that a whole third of the film is uninhabited by Taylor, instead it’s simply the backpackers driving and stopping once to get petrol. There is a lot of wasted time in “Wolf Creek”, but it would technically be classified as ‘build up’ or “content to build the suspense”. It would have had the same effect if it were 10 or even 20 minutes shorter at the beginning and 10 to 20 minutes longer at the end; audiences want build up, that’s a fact, yet they also want a tense and memorable finale and denouement that doesn’t end abruptly.
Ultimately, “Wolf Creek” was a fairly big plug for Australian cinema, but it’s hard to determine whether or not the plug is a good one. Australia being associated with a film such as “Wolf Creek” may be nothing, for America that is; however with Australia’s small worldly cinematic contributions by comparison, we would probably prefer to be associated with something else.