Australia, where no one can hear you scream.
It would take you 40 hours of continuous driving to get from one side to the other, and the majority of the country is nature. A haven for tourists and backpackers and world adventurers. The people have a great sense of humour and enjoy a beer. It sounds like heaven on earth. Unless you run into one of the few more than unhinged inhabitants down under.
By now, you should all be familiar with Mick Taylor, the fictional serial killer based on Australia’s backpack murderer, Ivan Milat, who killed seven people between 1990 and 1996. Mick Taylor, you’ll recognise from Wolf Creek 1 & 2, played outstandingly by John Jarratt and again in the six part mini series of the same name, “Wolf Creek”, and that is what we will be discussing here.
Let’s get the best part of the show for me out of the way first. The theme tune. A creepy and hauntingly brilliant rendition of an old kids rhyme, “Who killed Cock Robin?”, by Lisa Salvo. It’s only 1 minute long but it creates such a lasting memory and I still sing it today. Now, to the show.
Episode one starts with a bang. We are introduced to our family. Mum, dad, son and daughter. The family is headed by two US cops traveling through Aus in an RV, experiencing the outback and taking a well earned break. The youngest child, the boy, is a typical pre adolescent, trying to show his dad he’s a man. The girl, is a stereotypical 17 year old. Moody and in a huff because she’s on vacation and not with her friends back home.
As they are enjoying a beer by the campfire, they are joined by Mick, who just happens to pass by. Just like in the original movie, this exchange begins innocently enough and then boom. The family are all dead. All except our moody teen who was sulking in the RV with the headphones in. She susses out the situation and makes a run for it, is shot in the back and when Mick can’t see her body, is left for dead.
I’ll keep the spoilers to minimum from now on. The teen, Eve, is our protagonist and we follow her transition through these six episodes, physically, literally and emotionally. This seventeen year old spoiled American girl really steps up the 1990s Barbara badass morph very quickly. She drops the headphones and picks up the guns. Cuts her hair and gets a dog. Upsets a lot of dangerous SOA / Crocodile Dundee types and also becomes an underwear waitress. All while looking for Mick.
Like I said, Australia is a big place, so looking for one person is a complete needle in the bush. Exactly how long Eve has spent down under on the hunt, but it is long enough to get a job, a flatmate and create a reputation among the locals.
Throughout the episodes, we follow Eve on a few adventures and some very unrealistic situations involving Australia’s biker gangs. However while far fetched, the outcome does make sense in the universe this series creates.
One thing, every outlaw we meet is a dead ringer for Tom Hardy in Mad Max and this can make it hard to tell them apart if you watch episodes one week at a time. Some of these Tom Hardys leave very quickly and it can feel like rushed or lazy writing.
Let’s head toward the culmination of the series, and the inevitable climax. We’ve been watching Eve stalk and hunt Mick for six hours, and if after all the trouble he gets the better of her, we would walk away disappointed and angry. However, if this young girl manages to over power Mick fahking Taylor, would you believe it?
The creators head somewhere down the middle and allow successful closure for Eve while keeping their eyes on the franchise. While this doesn’t make full sense, it sort of has to happen as there is a somewhat trailer for Wolf Creek 3 out in the Internet for anyone to view.
The acting in this series is fantastic. John Jarratt turns a brilliant performance in the character he has perfected over time. Lucy Fry, the Aussie actress plays a convincing American, and a very convincing girl on a mission. Eve’s transformation into the strong girl she becomes is the true reason for the show. While the movies are horrors, the show is a tense thriller. A character development within Mick’s world.
If you enjoyed the movies, like stunning visuals of vast Australian landscapes and love an accent then binge watch this show right now. I can’t end without saying, “that ain’t a knife….”