Wolf Creek 2 (2013): Australian Xenophobic Madness

Still from Wolf Creek 2 of star John Jarratt

In 2005 audiences were introduced to Mick Taylor an Australian backpacker serial killer in a film based very loosely on two real life serial killers in the Outback. Titled Wolf Creek, it was a grimly scary horror film with a killer who was terrifying. In Wolf Creek 2, the Australian xenophobe is back and his madness has intensified, along with his crazy sense of humor and off kilter patriotism.

Both Wolf Creek films were written and directed by Greg McClean, who also made the taut little horror thriller Rogue in 2007. This sequel is a great follow up to the original and perhaps the only complaint about the film is its ending. McClean exceeds in the horror genre and fans of Australian horror will count him as director capable of delivering.

John Jarratt as Taylor is getting to be as iconic as Robert England is for playing Freddy Kruger. The fact that Quentin Tarantino used the actor for a cameo in Django: Unchained proves it. “You’re a funny bugger,” says Jarratt’s character to Django in the remake and it is a variation on the line his Mick Taylor says to the captive pom he is torturing in Wolf Creek 2.

In this sequel to the 2005 original, Taylor is still working on his one man crusade to “cleanse” Australia of all that “foreign scum.” Not that Mick is too good to take out the odd fellow countryman as he proves when two highway patrol types decide to railroad the pig killer into a ticket and forcing him to take his truck off the road.

Taylor dispatches the two cops with little effort and then zooms in on German backpackers, Katarina and Rutger. Mick seems to be slipping a bit as when he knifes Rutger the backpacker recovers enough to attack Taylor as he is beginning to ravage Katarina. She then escapes while he is cutting up her finally defeated boyfriend.

She runs barefooted across the outback and stumbles into British tourist Paul Hammersmith (played by Ryan Corr) who tries to help her escape. There then ensues a Duel type chase between Taylor and Hammersmith where the pig farmer trades in his pickup truck for a semi, or lorry and the two vehicles do long distance battle for quite a while. Eventually Taylor wins and Paul flees on foot.

The tourist on the run comes to a house in the middle of the outback and passes out. He wakes to find himself in the care of two older Australians who are prepared to feed him and take him back to civilization. Mick has managed to track Hammersmith down and he retrieves his prey while taking out the old couple in the house.

Fans of Australian television soaps will recognize the old man as actor Gerard Kennedy who has worked mainly on TV in shows like Skyways, A Country Practice and The Flying Doctors to name but three and has had a long prolific career. At 80, when he filmed his role in Wolf Creek 2, Kennedy still has that stamp of authenticity and ruggedness that has been such a part of his long career.

After dispatching the old couple, Taylor chases the hapless tourist down via horseback. Mick takes Hammersmith back to his lair and begins to play with him. Apart from punishing him for interfering with his backpacker fun, the killer also starts a mad question and answer game with his captive where each wrong answer gets a finger ground off.

Out of the two films, the original was more shocking than this sequel and we did not learn about Taylor to the extent that ‘2’ allows. This first sequel, a Wolf Creek 3 is already in the works, is entertaining and affords Jarratt a chance to really work on the character of Mick Taylor. Streaming on Netflix, this is a 4 out of 5 star horror film that will entertain fans of the genre.

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