21 September 2005
I heard about Wolf Creek a few months back and hoped it would be in the EIFF but it wasn't. As we drew closer to the cinema release it is advertised on so many buses it's untrue (despite being an 18 cert and clearly labelled as a horror film). I was right to be suspicious. This is a well made (acting and script) and well shot film that follows the same basic principles and plot points of slasher films of the last 30 years. The gory that has been hyped up is non-existent - even a friend of mine who doesn't really like this type of movie was shocked at the *lack* of gore following the hype. Why they bothered putting "based on real events" when it's not is beyond me. There are vague similarities between the "backpacker murders" committed by Ivan Milat and the recent Peter Falconio case (where the survivor was arrested as the killer until later witnesses proved she wasn't) in the same way the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is "based" on real events (inspired by Charles Manson in truth). I guess the only reason is to encourage more people to go and see it where if it was marketed in a similar way to the superior Haute Tension, then a damn site less people would go to see it. Treating it as the fictional movie that it is there are a few huge plot holes (cars and belongings) and the story is very linear with no surprises. The opening act is about 45 minutes long and *nothing* happens. Conversely the end is incredibly short which just shocks you, it's as if they ran out of money! I heard about the "knife on a human spine" before hand and I conjured up very shocking ideas of slicing down someone's spine and peeling their skin opening, as if you were skinning a plucked chicken. The actual scene is very lame and doesn't even need anything more than basic SFX to pull off. I must stress though it's not all bad. The bad guy, uncle Mikey, gave a very good performance and there were a few clever scenes but even some of them were repeated too much (keys in cars). They should have spent a lot more time working on the tension and delivering something original in terms of scenes and images. 3 bloodied knives out of 5 - quite average but better than the usual rubbish that comes out of Hollywood labelled horror.
7 September 2005
In answer to your question, it's meant to sound like Alice Cooper's "School's Out". I've just heard that if there is not a cut in petrol duty in the next week all the UK refinerys are going to be blockaded by the Fuel Lobby group starting on the 14th September. Their basic grip is that for every £1 of petrol you put in your tank (and that may not even be a litre now), 74 pence of that goes straight to the government in tax. Five years ago they brought the country to a standstill (almost) and induced all sorts of panic buying because petrol was over 80p a litre, now the average is 94.6p! The big point they make about the taxation is that they get £36 billion a year from petrol and road tax, yet only £6 billion is spent on roads and local transport. You can be damn sure the remaining £30 billion isn't spent on the environment or researching greener fuels. The AA's website also highlights the cost of a litre of petrol in other countries which is quite shocking. Last month a litre of unleaded cost 85.2p in France, 74.22p in Ireland and 37.9p in the US!!! I think I might take the ferry over to Dublin and fill up my car...