Menu

user avatar

Review: WOLF CREEK 2

Exploitation films rarely look this awesome – Australians know their genre stuff – but Wolf Creek 2 is a sad throwback to the bad old days of torture porn.

I defy you to name a great horror film that features a severed penis. Well, aside from Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover. I have seen many weird films in my day, and I have seen my share of severed penises (what a strange thought), and I’m having trouble thinking of a film that the introduction of a severed penis drastically improved the movie. In Wolf Creek 2, the film’s villain butchers and cuts up an innocent German tourist in the back of this flatbed truck, and he briefly waves around the man’s manhood. It’s gross and unnerving in a gut-wrenching kind of way. If that scene seems appealing to you, then, by all means, have at Wolf Creek 2.

The original Wolf Creek, to remind readers, was released in 2005, right during the height of the unfortunate trend in horror known as torture porn. Thanks to the Saw movies, horror had taken a particularly painful edge, wherein protagonists would not face their fears, but would be prodded, eaten, and tortured for the entire length of the film, often being murdered. One can easily see now that torture porn movies were a reflection of a national anxiety about U.S. prison camps, but at the time, they seemed gratuitous and blunt. Aside from their immediate visceral ickiness, the genre offered little in the way of insight or even actual fear.

Wolf Creek 2 Mick

Greg McIean’s Wolf Creek 2 is far more graceful than its forebear, and is certainly more professional. Both films are Australian productions, and Aussies know their genre material better than almost anyone. They can shoot blood, car crashes, and monsters better than just about anyone (the Italians may have them barely beat). As such, the car chases, the car crashes, the practical gore effects, and the variety of horrors is rich, colorful, and awesome to behold. The film’s villain, Mick Taylor (played again by John Jarratt) is a gleefully sadistic supercriminal whose propensity for violence and joy in iniquity can rival some of the best movie slashers. He’s Freddy Krueger with stubble and a beer habit. He also has the slashers’ ability to teleport to where the story needs him, often appearing on the road many miles ahead of where he was mere minutes before.

The film follows Mick as he murders just about everyone who pisses him off, mostly non-Aussie foreigners. In the film’s most entertaining scene, he quizzes a victim on Australian history, offering to cut off a finger for every missed answer.

Wolf Creek 2 outback

But for all the appeal of the visuals and the entertaining sadism of the main character, Wolf Creek 2 still sadly comes up empty, mean-spirited, and even a little morally irresponsible. It’s a depiction of bloody horror without function, purpose, or even general dramatic thrust. The goal of the movie is not to explore fear or tell a story, but make you squirm in your seat. This kind of grindhouse appeal can be enough for some audiences, but I sometimes require more of a statement to be made other than “It hurts when outback psychopaths stab you a bunch.”

Rating: 2 Burritos
2 burritos

Tags , , , ,

5 comments

  • I really enjoyed this movie. I saw it opening day at event cinemas with about 10 people in the cinema.
     There was an old lady sitting behind me and she would be bouncing and gasping ‘Oh no’ everytime something bad was about to happen. It’s not often you get a film which has the power to create tension or genuine reactions.
    I just wanted to comment because I laughed a lot with the last sentence in your review, good job. :)
    May 17, 2014 at 3:51 pm

  • If people like the the guy that reviewed this movie don’t like it or are to thin skinned and it offends their female sensitivities to much then maybe they should stay at the bowls club with the rest of the wowsers that have lived sheltered lives, it’s a movie about a killer in the outback and serial killers are usually violent and John Jarrett played a great part, so in closing if you don’t like violence in movies don’t watch them and go boo fucking after watching them , stick to twilight with the rest of teenage girls.

    • I’m not sure what review you were reading.  Please enlighten me on how phrases like: “The variety of horrors is rich, colorful, and awesome to behold”, or “all the appeal of the visuals and the entertaining sadism” would come from a ‘thin-skinned’ reviewer who doesn’t like violence.  The reviewer clearly appreciates good horror, and even torture porn.  He simply didn’t find it to be _good_ torture porn, as there wasn’t anything deeper than just the torture itself to give it any substance.  You can disagree on the quality of the movie, but turn off your petty judgmental “Everyone who doesn’t like this are pussies!” nonsense.  Nobody wants to hear it.