Serial killer Mick Taylor is once again up to his sadistic shenanigans. This time around, his prey includes two naïve German backpackers hitchhiking to Wolf Creek. A Good Samaritan driving along, however, interrupts Mick’s revelries, breaking the number one rule of the Outback: “never, ever stop.”

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Bloody Rundown

Equally as grisly as the first installment, Greg McLean’s highly anticipated sequel is also inspired by the actual murders committed by Australian serial killers Bradley John Murdoch and Ivan Milat.ww24

McLean infuses more humor into this horror, but the shtick minimizes the unshakable ferocity evoked in its predecessor. Mick Taylor, the self-professed “pig shooter and general fucking Outback legend” delivers some hilarious lines with his trademark shit-grinning giggle. Still, with its unconventional narrative structure, the kills are shocking and there are unexpected surprises at every turn of the great Outback.

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The performances are brilliant; however, there is little time for character development in between the full-throttle action scenes. Both Shannon Ashlyn and Phillipe Klaus gave sympathetic portrayals as the idealistic German tourists, Katarina and Rutger. (I pitied their characters’ stupidity.)  Acting veterans Gerard Kennedy and Annie Byron also delivered empathetic performances in their roles as married couple, Jack and Lil. Ryan Corr duly conveys the sheer fear and shock that his role as Paul Hammersmith called for. ww8Of course, the incomparable John Jarratt once again breathes life into the notoriously vicious Mick Taylor, who vows “In this world, there’s people like me, there’s people like you. People like me eat people like you.”

ww11With a larger budget at nearly $6 million more than its predecessor, ironically, Wolf Creek 2 fails to capture the genuine horror of the first installment. Even so, I highly recommend the film for gore and action fans; and, the Aussie civics lesson in the concluding scenes will surely delight history buffs. I am quite hopeful there will be a third sequel, and with any luck, it won’t take another eight years.

 

 

Die-Anne’s Diatribe

After eagerly awaiting for eight years, it pains me to admit that Wolf Creek 2 didn’t quite live-up to the high-standards of its predecessor. This time around, Mick Taylor’s comedic antics diminish the unshakable grimness shown in the first go. Still, Wolf Creek 2 is worth a view.

Plot Mutilator

Like its predecessor, the film’s prologue reads, “30,000 people are reported missing every year in Australia. 90% are found within a month.  The rest are never seen alive again.” Clearly, Mick Taylor is maintaining his 10% quota.

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The film opens with Mick Taylor’s infamous blue pickup speeding by two bored cops who are parked on the side of the road. (Evidently, Mick recovered his truck after Kristy and Liz pushed it over a cliff in the first film.) The cops pull him over and cite him for speeding and driving a dilapidated car. They then depart, laughing about their overzealous reprimand. Mick speeds up behind them. How apropos that the “pig shooter” then shoots the driving pig, blowing off half his head. The car flips, and Mick stabs the other cop who begs for mercy. He then sets the car on fire.ww18

German couple Katarina Schmidt and Rutger Enqvist backpack their way through Western Australia, hitchhiking to the Wolf Creek Crater National Park. They hitch rides with trustworthy drivers, and at one point, Mick Taylor stops to pick them up, but as another truck appears, he speeds off. Another driver speeds past them, refusing to stop. This enrages Rutger as he naively cannot understand why anyone would not pick up two hitchhikers. (It is staggering how stupid the German backpackers are to hitchhike. The practice may be safe in Europe, but hitchhiking in the Outback seems akin to hitchhiking through 1970s California—murder or be murdered.) They finally reach their destination and set-up camp.

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Katarina endearingly yodels and is embarrassed when she sees fellow tourists returning to their car to depart. That night while tucked in their sleeping bags, Mick Taylor approaches the tent in his truck. He offers to drive them to another site as they will be ticketed for camping in the national park. Rutger declines the offer, but Mick persists. Finally, Rutger’s instincts kick-in and he whispers “police” to Katarina. But it is too late.

Mick stabs Rutger, and Katarina runs toward his collapsed body. Mick pounces on Katarina. Rutger who is still alive, manages to strike Mick. As the fight between them proceeds, Katarina recoils and does absolutely nothing. Her actions, or lack thereof, are beyond pathetic. Mick overtakes Rutger and decapitates him. Instead of running, Katarina faints. She awakens to find Mick dismembering Rutger’s body. In the most gruesome scene of the film, Mick castrates Rutger.

While Mick cuts away, Katarina awakens and sneaks off to the road where British surfer, Paul Hammersmith, stops to help. She gets in his jeep as Mick tails them. A car chase ensues and after coming to an abrupt halt, Mick points his shotgun at the jeep. Paul ducks and Katarina is shot in the face.  Paul manages to evade Mick, who’s blue truck has crashed. 

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After driving off through the bush, Paul buries Katarina and removes her brain matter from his jeep. He finally reaches a main road, but notices his gas tank is nearly empty.

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Paul sees a speeding semi-truck in the distance and soon realizes Mick is at the wheel. As another car chase ensues, kangaroo mobs hop in front of the speeding pursuit and are splattered, most horrifically, all over the road. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the famous song by The Tokens, reverberates throughout this sequence, creating a bit of a G-rated humorous ring. Paul drives his car off the road in an attempt to escape, but Mick realizes he survived the crash.

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As Paul searches for help, he passes out in the bush. When he wakes in a bed, he is greeted by an elderly couple Jack and Lil, who feed him and promise to take him into town. Mick arrives, demanding “the boy,” but Jack threatens him by firing off his shotgun. This does not deter Mick, who sneaks in the house and shoots both Jack and Lil. Paul flees, but Mick, in probably the most ridiculous scene, hops on a horse and rides off to capture him. Mick bludgeons Paul unconscious.

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Paul comes to, bound to a chair in Mick’s torture chamber. Mick is pissed; Paul, the “pommy” came “between a man and his meal.” Mick tells Paul, “Obviously you don’t know the first rule about the Outback, hero. You never, ever stop. You could have saved yourself a whole lot of trouble.”

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As Mick is about to kill the “pommy ponce,” Paul recites a limerick, deterring his impressed captor. Mick then offers him some moonshine, unleashing the straps on his right hand. The two sing “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport.”  As Mick pours more shots, he proposes a game. Mick will ask the “smart cunt” ten questions pertaining to Australian history and pop culture. If Paul correctly answers all ten questions, he will be set free. However, there is one caveat: for every incorrect answer, Mick will “grind off a finger.”

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Mick asks the year in which the Brits settled in Australia. Paul, a history major, correctly answers 1788. Mick then quizzes the “amusing fucking Einstein know-it-all bastard” what the name is of a famous surfing company that means “Aboriginal waterhole.” Paul correctly answers “billabong.” Paul correctly answers the next questions, yet Mick chops off two fingers anyway.

While Mick is not looking, Paul manages to grab a hammer. Mick’s next question is more subjective as he asks Paul to name the world’s greatest cricketer. Paul incorrectly answers as he is keener on football. Mick threatens it’s “not Shane fucking Warne,” but rather Donald Bradman.

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Paul is able to club Mick with the hidden hammer. He releases his restraints, and runs out of the room through an underground labyrinth of decomposed bodies, booby traps, and medieval torture devices. A dying woman, chained to a wall, begs for Paul’s help, but he is unable to unshackle her. Mick is following him, bellowing, “Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a stinking pom.” At every turn, Paul finds a dead end as Mick unleashes two vicious dogs.

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Paul accidentally triggers a trap door that impales one of the dogs. He then comes across a tarp covering a Punji stake pit. Paul hides next to the pit and waits for Mick. The half-dead woman crosses over the threshold, and Paul pushes her into the pit thinking that she is Mick. Mick appears and before head-butting Paul unconscious, he asserts that he is the “winner.”

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Paul regains consciousness, bloody and injured on a dirt path near two cops. A piece of paper is in his hand that reads, “Loser.”  

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The epilogue states that Paul was initially a suspect in the disappearance of several tourists. After suffering a breakdown, Paul was deported to England where he is a “permanent resident” at the high-security psychiatric asylum, Hospital Ashworth in Merseyside.

Moral of the story: Never ever hitchhike, and if you must trek through the Outback, stay in a hotel. 

Deadly Details

Director ∞ Greg Mclean  
Producers ∞ Helen Leake, Greg McLean, and Steve Topic
Screenwriters ∞ Greg Mclean and Aaron Sterns
Music ∞ Johnny Klimek
Cinematographer ∞ Toby Oliver
Editor ∞ Sean Lahiff
Makeup ∞ Sean Genders, Anna Gray, Zoe Saleeba, and Bianca Saras
Special Effects ∞ Murray Alford, Shane Bailey, Clint Ingram, Jake Ingram, Tim Johnson, and   
     Greg Tuckwell
Studio ∞ Duo Art Productions; Emu Creek Pictures
Distributor ∞ Image Entertainment
Release Date ∞ February 2014 (Australia)
Running time ∞ 105 minutes
Country ∞ Australia
Language ∞ English
 
Cast ∞
John Jarratt as Mick Taylor
Ryan Corr as Paul Hammersmith
Shannon Ashlyn as Katarina Schmidt
Phillipe Klaus as Rutger Enqvist
Gerard Kennedy as Jack  
Annie Byron as Lil
Shane Connor as Senior Sergeant Gary Bulmer Jr
Ben Gerrard as Cop #2
Chloé Boreham as Lucille
Ryan Clarke as English Backpacker
Jordan Cowan as Young Woman
Kate Englefield as Catherine
Daniela Ganter as hippy
Alexander McFadden as Trustee
Sarah Roberts as Rose
Marsha Vassilevskaia as American Girl