Tagged John Jarratt

Wolf Creek – Episode 6: “Wolf Creek”

Stan’s Wolf Creek
Episode 6: “Wolf Creek
Directed by Greg McLean
Written by Felicity Packard

* For a review of Episode 5 “Rome”, click here.
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Finally we’ve come to a fitting mini-series finale directed by the one and only Greg McLean! Very excited to see how Wolf Creek‘s 6-episode arc finishes, as Eve (Lucy Fry) is right on the verge of her showdown with slick Mick Taylor (John Jarratt), Australian serial killer extraordinaire.
We start with Benjamin, a.k.a Jesus. He’s busy chopping up ‘roos. He’s definitely some kind of avid reader. Though it’s not always a good thing depending on what you read. Plus the fact he clearly loves alcohol a bit too much. But y’know, could be worse. I guess.
Then Eve shows up to ask about where the place in all his drawings is, where she might find the crater – Wolf Creek, as we know. After pouring out some of Jesus’ precious liquor Eve gets answers. He gives up the name, and now she’s really got her sights set on the ole Mick.
Love how McLean’s title comes up right under the park sign for Wolf Creek. Nice little touch.
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So we’re ready for a showdown now between Mick and his one victim that will not quit, Ms. Kick Ass Eve. I’m betting she meets a tragic end. Because who can have such luck against this psychopathic bushman?
And along the trail already Eve finds a nasty treat. This may only push her harder in her quest to avenge those who’ve fallen at the hands of Mick Taylor. She sits with the book of Mick’s crimes and gets a glimpse into his world. A disturbing look at his inner psyche.
Hill is alive at least. But in rough shape and at the hands of a serial killer. So alive is only relative. Mick has plenty of plans I’m sure.
The memories of Eve’s parents infiltrate every moment of her existence now. As she hurtles toward her confrontation with Mick there’s no telling how well her mental state is going to remain. She’s been strong so far, just never know. In the bush, she feeds herself by catching a nice rabbit. Even in the violence to nourish herself those images of her family dying flash fast behind her eyes.
Eve gets to Wolf Creek, only a few miles from the old Taylor place. She makes her way out there and plans carefully the next steps. Mick’s childhood home is like a junkyard, things everywhere in no particular order. Run down cars, bits of scrap here or there. Inside it is worse. The darkness swallows Eve just about whole, as she explores its dilapidated hallways and bedrooms. She even hears the memories of the walls oozing out into the present.
Then Mick comes in, almost undetected completely. Afterwards, Eve confronts him with the fact she knows why he kills – because of his sister and the tragic situation which came out of it. Well, ole Mick talks about his dear dad and all that nice stuff.
But now the hunt has broken out. Fast and hard. Eve soon finds Hill, or what’s left of him.
Mr. Taylor ends up with the upper hand. Furthermore, he offers Eve the choice: kill Hill quick, or Mick kills him nice and slow.
We come to discover Mick watched his sister die after pushing her over a hill. Then he let his father murder that man. Then he skinned him. Vile, right? That’s how the Outback serial killer was born. We’ve been given an inroad to his black heart.

 


So now, is Eve going to make her choice?
Mick makes it for her after she lunges at him. A belly full of blade for Hill has him gasping for life. At the same time, Mick slashes at his latest victim, but Hill manages to rip down a beam in the ceiling, crashing some boards and debris onto Mick. Of course that hasn’t put the ole boy out. Not yet.
He puts a knife right through Eve, in the chest, preventing her from running any longer. It’s a bad wound, too. Her lungs squeak and she slowly starts passing out. And she summons the strength to pin Mick to the wall with a whip of her spear. Two bad asses, head to head. She even taunts him right to his face: “This ones for my family,” she says before stabbing him in the guts hard. The next one’s for Hill, right in the chest.
The tables have officially turned. Or that’s how it looks.
Eve rushes to Hill, who barely hangs on. They celebrate, even if things are still rough. And bloody. After a few moments he passes: “Im so glad I met you,” he tells her.
With Mick pinned to the wall, Hill gone, Eve lights a match to the old Taylor shack. She even lays to rest with it all the book of memories, that serial killer scrapbook. She stands to watch it burn a while. Have we truly seen the last of Mick Taylor? Seems that way.
Or does it?

 

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There’s no body left after the fire. Could he have burned away that fast? Possible, definitely. As for Hill, Eve leaves him under a tree, peaceful, beautiful, and gives him to the Outback’s wilderness.
Heading on the road again after all is said and done, Eve meets the woman who’d drove the perverts off back in the first episode or two. They ride off into the sunset, and everything moves on just fine.
Except on the wind you can still hear the slight echoes of Mick’s laugh rolling. And after some credits, his truck blows down the highway once more.

 

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An amazing series. Love how Eve survived and pushed through to the end instead of a cliched ending where Mick kills her and the cycle repeats. Still, Greg McLean and Co. leave it open for a Wolf Creek 3. I’d love to see Eve incorporated again because Lucy Fry was beyond impressive, a huge star on the rise now between this and her small role in 11.22.63. Also, I’d love more Mick, can’t lie. John Jarratt is incredible. This little series came off all around spectacular in my books.

Wolf Creek – Episode 5: “Rome”

Stan’s Wolf Creek
Episode 5: “Rome”
Directed by Tony Tilse
Written by Peter Gawler

* For a review of Episode 4 “Opalville”, click here.
* For a review of Episode 6 “Wolf Creek”, click here.
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Only two episodes left, including this one, as Eve (Lucy Fry) heads from the Australian town of Rome. All in search of the serial killer that took her family, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt).
Out on a back road, Johnny (Jake Ryan) the convict gets picked up by some blokes in an old beater truck. In Rome, he finds himself free. Meanwhile at a bar in town is a woman with a dragon tattooed on her back. She calls herself Angie. Except she has black hair, instead of the blonde Eve used to wear. At the bar arrives a man looking for her, and for a second we almost believe it’s Mick. But just another admirer, as there are a few. At the bar Eve recognizes a man by his arms; the scars he bears. His name is Benjamin Mitchell. She’s got a police file with his wounds in it. During ’99, he arrived at the hospital with terrible injuries. He claimed to have been “held prisoner and crucified.” Wow. But definitely reeks of Mr. Taylor. Turns out the whole thing gave Benjamin the nickname Jesus. Funny, yet kind of cruel, too.
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In the bush, Johnny’s tending to his rather nasty hand. He hacks the thing clean off like a hard fucking bastard. It actually blew me away. More gross than anything else we’ve seen yet, even from Mick.
And speak of the devil! He turns up at the bar where Eve a.k.a Angie works. She’s nice and disguised luckily. But immediately recognizes his voice, understandably so. She runs directly to the police, though decides against talking to them after getting looks for being dressed so sexy. So in the vehicle she goes, ready to follow him. Dangerous territory ahead, no? I’m starting to fear for Eve, rather than feel confidence in her like before. Mostly because she’s rushing off after him so brash. They almost have an encounter on the back roads, but she gets out from under him.
That is until he’s on down the road and she thinks it’s safe. He sees her take off the wig in his rifle’s scope. Oh shit.

 

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Detective Sergeant Sullivan Hill (Dustin Clare) gets a call from Eve about having tracked down their serial killer. Things are slowly in motion. Another big part of why this mini-series works is because it combines the gruesome elements of Greg McLean’s two films with the slow burn suspense of a one hour dramatic procedural. With the cop involved, there’s that element of the law coming into play instead of the typical slasher horror trope of the law frequently being incompetent, or at least lacking.
Meanwhile, Hill and his wife still aren’t exactly on great terms, either. At the same time, duty calls. Sullivan’s not the type of man to disregard his job. He heads out to a trailer-tent city where Eve lives. Of course finding the police file she nicked on him. Otherwise they get along, as well as can be expected with her technically being guilty of murder – even though it was absolutely self defence. Simultaneously, Hill and his wife break down further with the developing relationship between him and Eve.
Then the unimaginable happens: Hill sees Mick stroll right by his car. Too good to be true? Gun raised, Sullivan gets blind sided by Mick. And things only get worse from there: “Welcome to Micks world,” he proclaims heartily to the cop now bleeding at his feet.

 


Eve finds Ben – Jesus – at a little shack where he stays, filled with strange, unsettling drawings and little furniture. Lots of rambling from him, it’s clear the encounter he had with the man that crucified him did something awful to his mind. And you know who did that to him: the man in the blue truck. Mick fucking Taylor. All Ben really remembers, he says, is “nothing but nails.” He also warns the serial killer likes to play games; unfairly, at that.
Back at the trailer, Eve finds a horrifying gift: the clothes and badge of Dt. Sgt. Hill. Oh, god damn. Even the shot itself is ghastly, with all the neon lighting, the blood stained clothes. A truly eerie scene. Wilder still, the cop station’s been attacked, and the Sergeant on-duty has his throat cut open wide. Looks like Rome is Mick’s for a day. So Eve packs her life up to move out around the edge of town, somewhere that isn’t in the immediate vicinity. Before anything else, she gets herself a nice gun, some ammo, dog traps, all kinds of things to take care of the “vermin” giving her trouble.

 


This is an incredible few minutes, the overall sequence of Eve heading out to the cemetery and having her friend pass on to Mick the fact she’s staying out there. She stands guard like a sentinel, awaiting her encounter with the vicious murderer. Also, over top she narrates a letter to her father. And more trouble enters, as Ginger’s crew searches out information on the whereabouts of Eve. Add to that Johnny, who sits at the bar. So there’s an amazingly labyrinthine flow to the writing here which brings all these characters so close together.
Except there’s a lot of bad stuff headed Eve’s way at the cemetery. Although, she’s prepared. One man goes down with a dog trap, this alerts her and a gunfight flares up. I love that we’ve got this kick ass female protagonist and she’s constantly subverting our expectations about the typical slasher final girl we’d expect. Here, she fights hard and doesn’t lie down for anybody. And right before she’s about to be killed, Johnny arrives to kill Ginger. After an intense conversation he lets the man go; two fingers less.
And all the while Mick Taylor watches from out beyond reach, greasing about like a desert snake. Waiting for the perfect time to strike.
Off go Johnny and Eve, safe together. She tells him all about what Mick did to her family, making the distinction between a man like Ginger and a serial killing maniac like Taylor. Hiding out together Eve and Johnny briefly kiss, but nothing comes of it. Eve is really in a bad way. She ends up finally taking some pills. At the worst possible moment.
In the morning, she wakes up to find a finger outside in the dirt. Almost like a marker in the middle of a crater. The finger has a wedding band. Even more savage, Johnny’s body sits there bloody. Decapitated. The heat is truly on now.
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Amazingly, this show gets better. Too bad it’s just one mini-series, but then again if it were to go on too long perhaps it wouldn’t be as great. However, I’m still both excited (hugely) and (so) sad one episode is left, perfectly titled “Wolf Creek”, and ready to serve as the last chapter of the series. One that hopefully will either finish off Mick, or tee us up for a Wolf Creek 3. Far as I know the plan is for the latter. Even if that’s the case I’m still interested to see how the series will finish off. No doubt with a bang, and a slice, and a load of nasty blood and guts.

Wolf Creek – Episode 4: “Opalville”

Stan’s Wolf Creek
Episode 4: “Opalville”
Directed by Tony Tilse
Written by Felicity Packard

* For a review of Episode 3 “Salt Lake”, click here.
* For a review of Episode 5 “Rome”, click here.
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Every time I hear that the “Who Killed Cock Robyn?” song it just sends a shiver up my spine. Perhaps never more than at the start of this episode particularly, as last we saw of Eve (Lucy Fry) she was broken down in the van it seemed, as Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) approached from behind.
And here we start.
Except it’s not Eve.
Mick knocked off the wrong white van. Not like it matters to him, though. Nice little fake-out by the writers. He makes a little mistake, Mr. Taylor. Trying to cover his tracks, he drops a shell casing on the trail. Tsk, tsk.
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Of most interest to me is Sullivan Hill (Dustin Clare) and his wife. She tries to apologize for cheating on him, saying they need to try and make things work after everything’s been bad for so long. He momentarily agrees, but this is a massive blow to his ego, his marriage, his trust.
Meanwhile, Eve finally rolls through Opalville. Without getting her tires gunned down. In town, she tries tracking down her supposed “uncle” who shoots pigs in the area. No luck at first, though. So glad Eve hasn’t yet been caught by Mick, I thought it was torture time for her in this episode starting out. For the time being it’s just her and the dog, alone on the road trying to track Mick. All the scenery in this series has been unbelievable, getting to see so much more of the landscape in Australia amongst the Outback than what we were given in both the Wolf Creek films.
At a small home in the Outback, Eve finds a woman whose daughter went missing out there. She poses as a journalist researching Missing Persons cases out there. Rightfully, the mother is still distraught, as she’s the only person still concerned. What’s great here is that Eve isn’t actually deceiving this woman. Because she’s still trying to find justice for all the people killed. Just not by writing an article. Instead she wants to put an end to any further disappearances. In a bunker down below the woman’s house her husband stays submerged in a bunch of his own weirdness, obviously suffering from the loss of his daughter just doing it differently. He isn’t keen on talking about it any more. Reluctantly the talk comes out in bits, though we can also see how its all taken a toll on the married couple’s relationship.
The writing is spectacular overall in this mini-series. So many excellent aspects the writers are exploring which flow organically out of the whole original premise, Mick in the Outback killing people, those same people with families and loved ones left behind. The mini-series is capable, inherent in its length over the course of nearly six hours total, of expanding upon all types of stories. Lots of good choices by the writers so far.
And now even wilder, the man ends up beating his wife’s head off one of the walls in his bunker. Has he killed her? Either way, Eve runs off to try and get away. Nothing good will come of this. Seems there’s a lot of nasty business down in that bunker. Poor Eve, constantly having to run from psychopaths. A P.Y.T in the Outback with rednecks, never a good combination.Then there’s the snakes – one bites her. Tick, tock.
She manages to make it out and away from the bunker eventually, but that’s a couple tense minutes right there. Then she even slowly crashes the van into a dune.
This sequence is so well executed in directorial style. Stylized and tense and just downright creepy.

 


Lucky for Eve an older gentleman helped her out, patched her up and made sure she didn’t die from snake poison. She wakes at his camp to find him cooking. He sarcastically answers her when she asks how she got there. But this guy seems on the level, and for now she’s safe away from any of the mad bastards in the Outback. Later, the man even teaches her some bad ass shit like how to throw a javelin like a boss.
Hill gets closer to Eve all the time. He talks to Bernie, getting more information from the local source, and heads off in the direction of Eve’s last known destination: Opalville. I’m excited because the tension is drawn out in this mini-series quite well. All the plot threads are bound to converge at some point, and it’s anybody’s guess as to how that will actually happen. And what’ll come out of it. At the moment, that last bullet casing Mick left behind ends up in Hill’s hands.
When Eve gets back on the road she finds the woman from earlier still alive. Her husband’s dead now, thankfully. Best of all, Eve makes out with another vehicle and ditches off the white van. Gets her a bit of cover for a while.
Finally, Hill catches up with Eve at a roadside diner. He tries best he can to convince her into going with him. Then she gives chase, dog alongside. They head out into the desert wilderness. Soon she loses him by sneaking a ride in a bit of heavy equipment. Then gets out with her vehicle before Hill can do a damn thing. Clever, sneaky girl.
Eve plans to head to Rome, Australia, a place where Mick has hunted previously – “where all the animals come to drink,” she says.
Speaking of the Mick, he’s home drinking, beating on Bernie who’s found herself at the mercy of the terrifying serial killer. Sad to see a strong lady like her end up in his grasp, as so many others do. And heading right for Mick is Eve – in Rome, she gets a red dragon tattooed on her back, as perfect expression of her fiery power despite all odds.

 

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Each episode I’m impressed with how well this mini-series works its magic. Next episode is titled – you guessed it – “Rome” and I know there’ll be more terror ahead, especially after this episode’s events and revelations. Stay with me, folks. Mick and Eve each have a lot more in store for us in the final two episodes. I can almost taste it.