When 19-year old Eve (Lucy Fry) witnesses the slaughter of her family, she narrowly evades death at Mick Taylor’s hands. Hell bent on revenge she takes to the outback in search of the killer, but does she have what it takes to defeat him in his natural domain.
The first thing to notice about the television version of Wolf Creek is the fact that the horror has gone back to a serious tone. Mick Taylor is now the nemesis of seemingly every traveller he meets, and that means we get to see plenty of gore. The fact that Eve manages to survive sets up a revenge plot that works surprisingly well, even if it seemed at first a stretch to believe she could take him on.
What Wolf Creek: The Complete First Series does is to extend what could have been just another directo to market sequel, by taking Eve into the outback; into the world of the Ozploitation movie and a genre I am quite partial to. While this is an interesting move, it is also one that does show some of the weaknesses of the plot. I will say though this is down to my personal preference in movies though, which may be a little unfair.
The reason for this is that I’m a big fan of Wake in Fright, a movie about how the outback and a little community eat away at an outsider and blacken his soul. He barely comes out alive, and Gary Bond’s performance as well as Donald Pleasance’s, who steals the movie (as he always did in everything he was in) really makes it a harrowing experience for the audience. The reason I found myself comparing Wolf Creek to this classic movie is because Eve’s journey is similar to the one we see in Wake in Fright. It just lacks the intensity that we see in the classic film.
Instead what we find in Wolf Creek is that Eve’s transformation isn’t as dark, but is one where she must become Taylor to be able to defeat him. This is managed in the way she becomes a killer, and a good hunter, but we don’t feel the darker side of giving into that evil nature. She becomes tougher, and a hero, and one that will fight her boogie man but the Outback never truly consumes her as Mick Taylor has allowed it to do to him.
That fact that Wolf Creek: The Complete First Series does not live up to the standard of Wake in Fright though does not make it a bad series, far from it. What we are given is a glimpse into life in the outback, or at least a stylised version of it. We are allowed into the world of Taylor, and even see his origin tale. This can be a dangerous move when examining a horror film monster, but with Taylor it does work.
Ultimately, Wolf Creek is a series that holds up the legend of Mick Taylor and lets John Jarrett show off his credentials as a horror actor and total badass. Lucy Fry’s Eve is an opponent that manages to match the killer, making for a stand-off that is surprisingly enjoyable. If you liked the films then this series is definitely worth checking out.
Wolf Creek: The Complete First Series is out in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD from October 10th.