WOLF CREEK 2. (2013) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

WOLF CREEK 2. (2013) DIRECTED AND CO-WRITTEN BY GREG MCCLEAN. STARRING JOHN JARRATT.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I know that this film probably comes under the heading of torture porn, ie, a sub-genre of horror film that goes out of its way to show the viewers sickeningly graphic portrayals of gore and bloody violence against the human person, but I still love it.

And I find John Jarratt’s Mick Taylor an oddly compelling and sexually attractive serial killer, although that probably says more about me and my warped personality than anything else, lol. But lets’s have a closer look at him, anyway.

When he was a callow youth of twenty-three, John Jarratt played a fairly sizeable role as Albert Crundall in PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK, one of the best Australian horror movies ever made. He did it very well, as it happens.

Now, a mature, grizzly-looking John Jarratt plays Mick Taylor, a serial killer probably unequalled anywhere in film or literature in his zest for killing and the hatred against virtually all of society/humanity he harbours in his hairy breast, snigger.

He’s Australian, right, and an extreme example of the original Alpha male. Hunting, tracking, stalking, shooting, gutting, skinning, slicing, chopping, boiling, even sexually violating; is there anything he hasn’t done to the animal- or human- carcass? Mick’s done it all.

He loves the chase almost as much as the kill, and he’s usually pretty confident that he’ll bag his prey. He knows his territory, the deserted outbacks and lonely highways of Australia, like the back of his huge leathery hand, after all.

Dressed in his trademark lumberjack shirt, jeans, boots and a wide-brimmed hat to keep the hot Aussie sun off his widdle noggin, he trawls these largely empty roads looking for unsuspecting tourists and backpackers to lure back to his torture chamber of a home. And, once he gets you there, you’re better off dead…

Waking up in Mick’s torture chamber is the one thing you don’t want to do. And yet, it’s exactly what happens in WOLF CREEK 2 to poor Paul Hammersmith, an English tourist (played by an Australian actor) who unintentionally ‘deprives’ Mick of a beautiful German female captive whom he accidentally lets get away from him.

Mick is hopping mad. He can get months and months of fun and amusement out of a female prisoner, and this jumped-up little ‘pommie cunt’ has done him out of a guaranteed good time.

So, Mick’s determined to pay Paul back, and this is why Paul is cable-tied to the torture chair in Mick’s gracious establishment with Mick sitting opposite him, regarding him quizzically as if wondering which power tool to use on him first.

The astonishing level of knowledge possessed by Mick in regard to Australian culture and history is really quite shocking to witness. After all, he doesn’t strike one as a guy who did well in school and then went voluntarily on to further education.

Yet, the questions he sets Paul, who’s answering them in exchange for his life (and fingers!) here, are extremely in-depth and intelligent. Mick is proud to be an Australian, and he loves his country.

But there’s genuine love of country, and then there’s National Socialism, lol. Mick Taylor, possibly the world’s biggest xenophobe, is an equal opportunities racist. He hates everyone with the same level of contempt and disgust.

Every nationality, from the Germans to the English, is just another bunch of ‘foreign cunts’ to Mick Taylor. He refers to them as a plague of vermin, coming to ‘his’ country to f**k it up and destroy it. And we all know what you do with plagues, right? You wipe ’em out…

Paul’s ‘English wit’ and his pretty passable attempts to get Mick to join him in some buddy-buddy drinking songs is highly amusing to Mick, not unlike the way that King Kong is amused by Naomi Watts’s juggling tricks and acrobatics in the Jack Black/Peter Jackson version of KING KONG. (Both captives here are rather cleverly trying to use psychology to lull their captors into a false sense of security, but will it work?)

Unlike King Kong, however, Mick Taylor does still intend to kill poor unfortunate Paul Hammersmith. He simply doesn’t mind having a bit of craic and bonhomie with him first, a bit of man-banter. After all, the existence he leads is a pretty lonely one.

But Paul has at least some gumption, some balls; maybe he doesn’t want to be killed. Maybe, unlike the terrified females Mick is more used to, he intends to fight for his life, so that one day he can go back to England, as presumably he intends to do, and resume his job and/or his studies there. But, of course, Mick won’t go down without a fight, and Mick Taylor fights dirty…

I think this film is actually better than the 2005 original. The first film is excellent, and it’s fine that it’s just the relatively straightforward story of three young tourists who fall afoul of Mick on their wee driving holiday. It’s the perfect, easy-does-it introduction to the franchise. But WOLF CREEK 2 is so much more complex.

We get to see a whole lot more of Mick’s hate-filled, xenophobic personality, and the plot has a load of very satisfying twists and turns. I love the bit about the crooked, corrupt cops who try to give Mick a speeding ticket when he wasn’t even speeding (I don’t give much for their chances of survival, do you?), and the horror of the subterranean caves shows us that Mick’s evil has even more layers to it than we previously imagined. Roll on WOLF CREEK 3. Some of us need to know where our next Mick-Fix is coming from…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.

WRONG TURN. (2003) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

wrong turn

WRONG TURN. DIRECTED BY ROB SCHMIDT. WRITTEN BY ALAN MCELROY. STARRING DESMOND HARRINGTON AND ELIZA DUSHKU. MAKE-UP SPECIAL EFFECTS BY STAN WINSTON.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is an excellent ‘backwoods’ horror film, ‘backwoods’ meaning a film where a bunch of young American ‘normals’ are travelling to a certain place for – usually – vacationary purposes, but they accidentally take the titular ‘wrong turn’ and end up in a hellish nightmare from which there seems to be no escape. And, for the unlucky few, there may well be no escape.

You can always rely on at least three young ‘uns out of the party of five – two loved-up couples and a single guy, usually the joker or the stoner – not surviving till the end of the movie. The only survivors are, for the most part, the nicest of the couples or the girl who’s not the skank, lol. We already know by now how most of these things go, as you can see.

WRONG TURN follows the formula but that’s no bad thing, because at least they do it well. It’ll put you in mind of DELIVERANCE, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE HILLS HAVE EYES (both original and re-make), WOLF CREEK, MOTHER’S DAY and any other film you’ve ever seen where the young ‘uns have to battle ferociously with the indigenous natives of the seriously God-forsaken area in which they were misguided enough to get lost.

Chris Flynn is a handsome young clean-cut all-American medical student who seems to be travelling to a very important interview, maybe for an internship at a good hospital or something. An oil tanker spilling its load onto the main road causes Chris to unwisely take a back road he sees on a map at a gas station.

The gas station should have given him his first clue as to what kind of danger he’s letting himself in for. Rust-eaten and neglected with no working phones, it’s manned by a sneering, toothless native who delights in not warning Chris about the reason that Bear Mountain Road is not a popular choice with the local population…

On this self-same Bear Mountain Road, Chris’s car collides badly with another car. This is probably the most traffic Bear Mountain Road has seen in, like, forever. Both cars are totalled, and so Chris and the occupants of the other vehicle decide that they’re going to have to walk to the nearest house and telephone for help.

Francine and Evan, a loved-up couple from the second car, stay behind with their jalopy to smoke weed and have sex while the others go for help. We can feel that greedy, hungry eyes are watching the couple and suffice it to say that it’s the last sex-and-weed combo that these two poor unlucky kids are ever going to have. And their friends aren’t faring much better…

The remaining young ‘uns are Chris and a gorgeous, newly-unattached babe called Jess, played by Eliza Dushku from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, and a couple called Scott and Carly. Scott is lovely and Carly is whingy and annoying, and you just know that Carly will get killed – if there’s any justice in the world at all – and that Chris and Jess, both ridiculously easy on the eye, are going to end up together.

Together they trek through the deserted roads of the backwoods until they come to the one house in the whole entire region to which they really should have given a big fat wide berth. If their first clue was the creepy, run-down gas station, then their second should certainly have been the eerie automobile graveyard that surrounds this ill-fated house.

Methinks that inside this accursed dwelling, the kids will find all sorts of tragic souvenirs that once belonged to the owners of these trashed vehicles. And that’s not all they’ll find either, as I’m sure you’ve already guessed.

It’s literally the house from hell and poor Chris, Jess, Scott and Carly are about to meet its three inhabitants, three brothers horrifically mutated from centuries of in-breeding. These lads make the Orcs from THE LORD OF THE RINGS look like Dean Martin in his finest, suavest tux. I’m telling you, you’ll see them in your nightmares…

Highlights include the scene in the watch-tower in the middle of the spooky dense woods, and the brilliant scene where the kids are trying to escape from the house while the three horrors are sleeping, tired out from their most recent kill.

It’s like something out of a scary fairytale, like Jack and the Beanstalk maybe, because the three lads, Three Fingers, Saw-Tooth and One Eye, are just like the giant from the story, only considerably more hideous. Mind you, putting these three lads into a kid’s story would only lead to years and years of costly psychiatry in the long run and would not be advisable.

I also love the scene where a tied-up Jess, about to be raped maybe, chopped-up and cannibalised, although God knows in what order, tries to appeal to the least hideous of the brothers to let her go free.

He looks at her and she thinks he’s understanding her, but then comes that awful moment when she realises that her words are no more than pretty little noises to this overgrown imbecile.

A nice little sex scene between Chris and the delicious Jess in the cave behind the waterfall wouldn’t have gone amiss, but other than that one little omission the film is top-notch. Jess, however, should lay all the blame for this nightmarish weekend at the door of her four friends, who decided that such a foray into the outdoors would cheer her up after being dumped. I really wonder what jolly delights the friends were planning as an encore? A trip to the dentist…?

The First Policeman On The Scene is present and correct here too, and we all know what happens to these poor coppers, right? And surprisingly Chris, the posh affluent medical school student whom we assume is going to be a big pussy in the face of the mutants, actually comes into his own as he not only tries to escape the monsters – with Jess in tow, of course – but he’s not averse to getting a bit of his own back on them as well. The desire for vengeance is strong in this one. Let’s hope he gets it…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor