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YMMV / Wolf Creek

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  • Ass Pull: At the end of season 1 of the TV series, Mick somehow manages to survive being skewered with a fire poker and the broken pieces of a javelin and having his house burned down.
  • Awesome Moments:
    • Liz grabbing Mick's gun and ordering him to let Kristy go. As she was free and Mick was busy torturing Kristy, she could easily have run off and saved herself. But she wasn't about to let Mick do another thing to her friend.
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    • Kristy is able to get to momentary safety on the road despite all the trauma she's been through. She doesn't waste time waiting for Liz when she knows she's probably dead, and does her best.
    • Eve comes the closest that anyone's been to killing Mick. She impales him with a fire poker, then a broken piece of javelin, and is about to go to town on him with his own knife before he dozes off to make it look like he's died of blood loss. Finally, she burns his house down. Of course, his survival makes the awesomeness here downplayed, but it's the closest thing the franchise has had to a Catharsis Factor after watching him get away with all sorts of evil, despicable acts.
  • "Common Knowledge": The film is 'known' for being a Gorn-fest on the same level as Saw and Hostel. It got this reputation for coming out as Torture Porn was slowly becoming a subgenre. Despite this, it's not particularly bloody. Liz's death is horrifying but not explicitly graphic. What's more is that there are only three victims and the horror comes from what Mick has probably done to Kristy and could potentially do again.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Michael "Mick" Taylor is an Australian killer, rapist, and torturer who preys upon tourists visiting the Wolf Creek area, falsely befriending them before taking them back to his home and slowly torturing them to death. He has killed several dozen people including a little girl. One of his favorite methods is "head on a stick", where he severs their spine to turn them into a human vegetable. At the end of the second film, he frames one of his victims for his crimes, leading to the ruination of the victim’s life. In the prequel novels Origin and Desolation Game, he killed his mother who loved him dearly and killed a dog to force feed it to its owner before killing him too. While being pursued by four other serial killers, Mick tied up his girlfriend Rose and used her as rape bait to lure the killers into a trap, and killed one named Jerry by gutting him and force-feeding him his own intestines. During the Vietnam War, he committed more atrocities, and continued raping, torturing, and killing when he returned home. In the TV miniseries, he murders Eve Thorogood's family, and spends the rest of the series trying to kill her. He captures her Love Interest and tortures him before making her stab and kill her love interest herself. In the second season, he murders a man who had been his friend for decades to eliminate someone who could connect him to his crimes, and targets a large tour group because the guide said Mick wouldn't make a good tour guide due to how politically incorrect he was.
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    • Wolf Creek: Origin: In this prequel novel to the films, Jerry "The Fiddler" is one of four serial killers that Mick Taylor investigates while attempting to reclaim his knife. Jerry is an obese pedophile who rapes and kills children. Jerry lives in an abandoned mine that he has booby-trapped to kill intruders (we see the skeleton of one of his adult victims). When Mick enters Jerry's home, he sees Jerry raping a little girl, and finds trophies and corpses of three of his past victims, and also sees Jerry kill a dog. After Mick murders a touring couple, Jerry and the other killers decide to kill Mick out of revenge for allowing the bodies to be discovered, which brought police into the area and made it more likely for the killings of the other killers to be discovered. When the killers attack Mick’s home, Jerry tries to rape Mick's girlfriend Rose (who Mick had tied up to lure the killers into a trap). Just before Mick kills Jerry, he tells Mick that he should have killed the two truckers who discovered the couples bodies, stating "You never let anyone go."
    • Wolf Creek: Desolation Game: In this second prequel novel, Sergeant Atkin, Mick's superior during his time in the Vietnam War, trained Mick, helping him go from an "amateur" to a "professional" killer. Atkin cut a deal with the elder of a starving village, so they would get scraps of food in exchange for letting Atkin rape their women. Atkin introduced Mick to this practice and let him join in. Mick and Atkin were both sadistic, often torturing the women. One of Mick's rape victims ended up dying, but this did not stop Mick and Atkin. One night, two men stumble upon them during their rape session. Mick and Atkin shot the two men dead thinking they were enemy soldiers, showing no remorse when they learned they weren't. Atkin taught Mick the "head on a stick" technique, severing the spine of a terrified soldier cowering in his pajamas. Atkin let Mick stab the already paralyzed man in the back again, and saw off his head and mount it on a spike. When Mick and Atkin returned to the village, the elder scolded them for killing the two men earlier and wacked Atkin with her cane. Atkin snapped the cane, stabbed her in the throat with it, and raped and killed all the women he and Mick could. Atkin later tried to kill Mick out of fear that he would talk about what they did despite their Villainous Friendship.
  • Contested Sequel: The second film received mixed reviews. Variety said it wasn't as good as the first but was "still quite a ride". It also earned approximately $1 million more than the first worldwide.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Mick and the kangaroos. Animal cruelty aside, it's quite funny if you have that sense of humor.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The horrific violence inflicted on the protagonists is meant to make the viewers empathize with them, which works well with some viewers, but not with others. Many audience members just stop caring after all the violence they see. The fact that Mick Taylor constantly gets away with his crimes doesn't help.
    Roger Ebert: "I know, I know, my job as a critic is to praise the director for showing low budget filmmaking skills and creating a tense atmosphere and evoking emptiness and menace in the outback, blah, blah. But in telling a story like this, the better he is, the worse the experience. Perhaps his job as a director is to make a movie I can sit through without dismay."
  • First Installment Wins: The first film made a bigger impression on the general public and is more remembered than the second.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Early in the film Liz makes a joke "after last night, never drinking again" as an explanation for why they haven't brought booze. As she's killed during her trip, it turns out she never will drink again.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: An early scene has Liz and Kristy sending postcards back home. This will be the last thing their families ever hear from them.
  • Heartwarming Moments: The kiss between Ben and Liz is quite sweet. He isn't entirely sure she likes him back, so you can tell he's ecstatic that she reciprocates. And it is quite cute the way she giggles and says "I was wondering what that would be like."
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The last we see of Ben is him being loaded onto a plane to testify in a trial. Nathan Phillips later stars in Snakes on a Plane where he's boarding a plane to testify in another murder trial.
    • During the DVD special features, the car is shown to still be able to drive after being wrecked for the sake of a scene. If you're familiar with the film Death Proof - where a man murders people using a 'death proof' stunt car - you'll chuckle that this movie is referenced in that.
  • Intended Audience Reaction: It's been argued by some that the audience is supposed to feel disgust and horror at what the characters go through - which is why the first half of the film develops them.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Disturbingly enough, more than a few xenophobic Australians sing the praises of Mick Taylor, never mind that he's killed plenty of his fellow Aussies in his bigoted crusade to keep his country pure, and given his ancestry, isn't exactly pure himself.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Part of the funding for the movie came from the idea that it would have so much Scenery Porn, the Australian tourist agency would make more money off of all the people coming to Australia in order to see scenery like the movie. Um...
  • Narm: Mick taunting Eve in slow motion.
  • Narm Charm: The road trip montage over the credits in the first film. A little predictable and cheesy, but the friends are clearly having lots of fun and it feels realistic.
  • Nausea Fuel: Liz gets her fingers casually lopped off by Mick's hunting knife.
  • Never Live It Down: Liz will never live down not shooting Mick while he was down and thus getting herself killed.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The film was praised for being subversive at the time for killing off the obvious Final Girl first and having the male be spared. But when horror remakes started popping up in the late 2000s and subverting and deconstructing the genre even more - particularly Scream 4 and The Cabin in the Woods, this film's efforts don't look quite as daring. The film was also considered quite graphic - as Torture Porn was only just starting to emerge (the first Saw film was released just one year earlier, and Hostel came out the same year).
  • Tear Jerker: After Liz is killed, Kristy wakes up in the spot where she left her. She calls out for Liz a couple of times but then realises that her friend won't be coming back.
  • Unbuilt Trope: As one of the codifiers of the Torture Porn genre, the film instead relies on the suspense of what torture might happen to the protagonists. We never see what happened to Kristy, and the horror is only implied. The victims all escape the traps and have rather mundane deaths that aren't particularly gratuitous.
  • What an Idiot!: Liz shoots Mick and knocks him out with the gun. While he's at her mercy, she does not shoot him in the head or make sure he's definitely dead. Because she doesn't act in this vital moment, she and Kristy end up dead.
  • The Woobie: Kristy definitely, considering the amount of horror she has to put up with. Whereas Liz and Ben are just locked up, Kristy is implied to have been raped (her pants are down and there is blood on her legs) and personally tortured by Mick. Then when Liz is killed, Kristy has to run out onto the highway by herself.
  • Unfortunate Implications: As noted by Roger Ebert in his review, the film's voyeuristic emphasis on the female characters' suffering gives it an uncomfortably misogynist vibe.


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