Sunday, 7 June 2015

No.216 : Wolf Creek 2

Wolf Creek 2 at the IMDb

One of our many readers was lucky enough to find a golden ticket wedged within a generous slice of Rowantree CafĂ© carrot cake and earned the privilege of nominating the next film to be reviewed. Being the sick type that she is, she requested ‘Wolf Creek’ which is sadly not allowed due to our ‘only see new films for the purpose of reviews’ rule. I was going to make an exception but then the lawyers got involved and I have plenty of lawsuits already, thanks very much. Happily Netflix offered up a compromise in the form of ‘Wolf Creek 2’ which I’m sure is just as good as the original which I’ve totally forgotten apart from the bit where someone loses some fingers.

I did look up the original and the same bad guy is in both so I think it will be more of the same - he’s hardly likely to don a dress and sing ABBA songs is he?

We open in the outback as two cops operate a speed trap whilst stuffing their faces. A truck goes by under the speed limit but the cops decided to ticket him anyway - Huge mistake. After handing over the ticket and laughing about the redneck they pulled over, one of the cops loses three quarters of his head to what must be the best moving gun shot in history. I’m not complaining though, this was a cracker. You often hear people say ‘I’ll take your head off’ (well in Paisley anyway) but here it actually happened.

The evil redneck, Mick, quickly takes care of the other cop and we’re all ready for the titles, two bloody kills to the good already.

The film moves to two German backpackers, Rutger and Katarina, who are doing the sights, such as the titular crater from where the film gets its name. The two bunk down for the night but are soon awoken by Mick who chides them for lighting a fire in a National Park before offering them a lift to town. Rutger smells a rat and refuses but frankly he’s getting it regardless - no way are they keeping subtitles going for the whole film.

After a beating, Katarina wakes up under a tarpaulin and pops her head out to see Mick grab himself some German sausage - don’t ask. She wanders off into the bush and manages to make it to a road where she encounters a jeep driven by Englishman Paul. The pair are quickly pursed by Mick and before long it’s is mano a mano as Paul tries to outwit his pursuer and ultimately escape his dungeon of horrors.

This was a horrible film but it was well done and if you like this kind of thing you won’t be disappointed. What’s strange is that it is produced by Screen Australia and there are lots of expensive looking shots showing the beauty of the outback and its wildlife. You’d think this would be to encourage people to visit, but I doubt a single soul has seen this and thought ‘You know this true story about an unchecked serial killer roaming the outback has really encouraged me to visit that crater’.

For the most part this is a two hander and both main actors do well with the sadistic material. I liked John Jarrett as Mick but he sometimes got a bit near to a Paul Hogan type caricature of a drunken xenophobic Aussie. When he was mad he was scary, but he turned it on and off so that it was more unconvincing than unsettling. Ryan Corr was good as Paul given the role mostly consisted of screaming and reacting to terrible sights. I thought he was going to have more back story than it turned out but in truth he’s only there as a canvas for the bad guy to mess up.

There are only seven onscreen kills but the mood is relentless, with Mick being an unstoppable force with seemingly no end of weapons and vehicles to throw at his victims - literally in some cases.

The pace slows somewhat once Paul enters Chez Mick and there is a long scene where he tries to keep his obviously mental jailer onside by playing Australian trivia with him. The cost of a wrong answer is having a finger ground off with an angle grinder so make sure you mug up on Dame Edna if you are planning a visit to Oz.

Overall this is a squalid film with no redemption offered. I’m not sure that the ending could be considered a happy one but I was glad when it was over and felt somewhat grubbier for having sat through it. Do hope they make a third one though!

‘W’ Score 18/23
Best Bit - People are dying to get in Mick’s place

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