I'm taking a course at the moment called Professional Writing & Editing and one of the classes is called Non-Fiction Project. By the end of the year we have to have written 10,000 words of a non-fiction book. My project is sort of a guide to Australian film. Like, i'll discuss the film itself, as well as the locations that it was filmed and stuff like that. Anyway, throughout the next however many months I may randomly post drafts of my write-ups. Feel free to comment (I'd encourage it) so I can sort of guage it. We workshop in class, but it's different coming from people who actually watch movies and enjoy reading about them as often as I do and such. Like, I could discuss it in class and people could be all "but do people really care about that?" well I'd have a much better opinion of what people care about coming from you sort of people...? So, yeah, you don't have you comment but if you want to then do so. The bit I'm posting now is a thing about Wolf Creek. So, ya know, enjoy or whatever.
The horror genre is famous for being infamous. ‘Video Nasties’ from the 1970s and 1980s litter the shelves of video stores. They brought audiences movies with exploitation titles such as I Spit on Your Grave and Let Them Die Slowly along with tonnes of blood and gore. They were popular at the time for being movies that couples would see at drive-in theatres, the girl would get scared and coil into the arms of her horny teenage boyfriend. However, these days the genre is right out there in the multiplex. Wolf Creek came along at a time when Australian cinema was in desperate need of energy. Sure, we had had a steady stream of arthouse hits, but no genre titles had made it big in several years.
Word of Wolf Creek started to spread. Early word suggested it was a throwback to the video nasties, with ample amounts of gore to go along with its pretty teenage stars (Nathan Phillips, Kestie Morassi and Cassandra Magrath). Inspiration came from the trials of Ivan Milat and the Peter Falconio/Joanne Lees mystery of the late 1990s. It received an R18+ rating before then debuted at the number one position at the Australian box-office. It didn’t get a Northern Territory release, however, until after the completion of the Falconio case several weeks later.
Wolf Creek signalled the arrival of a new directorial force in the form of Greg McLean who wrote and directed the film so he could get financial backing for a more expensive film. But in the process he made what will surely go down as one of the definable moments in Australian film history. A moment when audience and industry members alike realised Australia really could make ‘em just as good – if not better – than the rest of the world and that our industry was on the verge of a revival.