Wolf Creek is finding new life on television screens a decade after its release, but what are its stars up to these days?
By Caris Bizzaca
It’s hard to believe it’s been a decade since Wolf Creek first hit cinema screens, earning fans like Quentin Tarantino and leaving audiences (and many tourists) quaking in their seats.
Here’s a look at what those three stranded backpackers, director Greg McLean and Mick Taylor himself have been up to in the years since.
The cult status of Wolf Creek is so enormous, that actor John Jarratt is almost daily recognised as the man who played serial killer Mick Taylor. Even more so at the moment, with Jarratt sporting the muttonchops and tattoos again for filming on a new Wolf Creek TV series, commissioned by SVOD service Stan. In the six-part series, Mick Taylor targets an American tourist family, but the tables are turned when 19-year-old Eve (Lucy Fry) survives the massacre and embarks on a mission of revenge.
It’s not the first time Jarratt’s revisited the iconic character – the sequel Wolf Creek 2 was released back in 2013.
Jarratt has been keeping busy in the past decade, appearing in everything from croc-horror flick Rogue, to gory comedy 100 Bloody Acres (sending up his Mick Taylor stereotype), to Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and his mate Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Jarratt also turned his hand to directing this year with the comedy thriller StalkHer, in which he also starred in.
Writer/director Greg McLean followed up the success of Wolf Creek, with another nail-biter, the killer croc flick Rogue, before getting back into the fray with Wolf Creek 2. Tonally different, the sequel he claimed was more of a chase flick than the all-out horror of the first film.
Fans also got more of a glimpse into Mick Taylor’s backstory when McLean co-wrote two novels Wolf Creek: Origin and Wolf Creek: Desolation Game.
As well as work on the upcoming Wolf Creek series for Stan, McLean has directed a supernatural horror thriller in the US called 6 Miranda Drive.
Since playing the doomed backpacker Liz, Cassandra Magrath has appeared in guest roles on a wealth of Australian television series, including Neighbours, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, House Husbands, Winners & Losers and Utopia.
Most recently, audiences would have seen Magrath as Hayley on TV series Wentworth Prison and as Jackie on Footballer Wants a Wife. Next up is a role in upcoming horror movie Scare Campaign, by the filmmakers of 100 Bloody Acres, Colin and Cameron Cairns.
The face on the chilling and iconic poster of Wolf Creek, Kestie Morassi followed up her performance in the horror flick with a role in the first series of Underbelly. She played Zarah Garde-Wilson, an Australian solicitor who represented some of Victoria’s most prominent underworld figures including Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel.
Morassi also starred in TV series Satisfaction, film The Wedding Party with Josh Lucas and Isabel Lucas, and has had guest roles in Offspring season one as well as popular ABC series The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
A self-confessed scaredy-cat when it comes to horror movies, Nathan Phillips has mainly appeared in movie roles since playing backpacker Ben Mitchell. Most recently, he appeared in Australian flick These Final Hours, which screened at Cannes Film Festival as well as US series The Bridge.
His credits also include Chernobyl Diaries, Aussie films Summer Coda and Balibo as well as Snakes on a Plane.
** Wolf Creek the TV series is currently in production for Stan, funded by Screen Australia.
With Halloween just around the corner, here are some of the most terrifying Aussie films to have come out over the past 30 years…
Bad Boy Bubby (1993)
Bubby has been locked in an apartment in Adelaide for all of his 35-years, believing the air outside to be poisonous… Until he makes his escape, going on a shocking journey of self-discovery.
Watch it on DVD
It’s been two decades since The Castle soared onto screens, but it’s still not unusual to find some of its iconic one-liners dropped into everyday conversation.
The beloved 1997 comedy introduced us not only to the blue-collar Kerrigans, but their profound words of wisdom, including “tell ’em to get stuffed” and “how’s the serenity?”.
Here are our top ten quotes from the movie.
“Tell him he’s dreamin'”
Translation: What to tell the bloke from the Trading Post asking way too much for jousting sticks or ergonomic chairs.
“We’re going to Bonnie Doon. We’re going to Bonnie Doon”
Translation: The repetitive song you should sing when driving to Bonnie Doon.
“How’s the serenity? So much serenity”
Translation: What to say when you’re feeling calm and content. Or you just like saying the word serenity.
“Go on tell ’em! Dale dug a hole.”
Translation: Dale dug a hole. His dad was pretty proud.
“Suffer in your jocks!”
Translation: A scornful phrase to tell another person after victory. E.g. Perfect for saying to the opposing counsel after winning a court case.
“It’s not a house. It’s a home”
Translation: When a property is built with more than bricks and mortar – it’s built with memories and love.
“It’s the vibe of it. It’s the Constitution. It’s Mabo. It’s justice. It’s law. It’s the vibe and ah, no that’s it. It’s the vibe. I rest my case.”
Translation: How not to win a court case.
“What do you call this?” “Chicken.”
Translation: The excited phrase to say at the start of every meal, regardless of what’s in front of you.
“Dad reckoned that fishing was 10% brain and 95% muscle. And the rest was just good luck”
Translation: Pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t get it, maybe you’re missing out on the 10% brains part.
“This is going straight to the pool room”
Translation: I’m so chuffed with this thoughtful present, I’m putting it on display for all to see.
You might have seen these talented actors in your favourite US TV shows without realising that they are in fact, home-grown. We’re taking a look at some of the Aussies popping up in US drama all over the place.
Sydney-born Yael graduated from NIDA and starred in a number of Australian TV shows like All Saints and Spirited, before taking on the role of perennially red-lipped, hopeless romantic Lorna Morello in the cult Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Much like Margot Robbie did in The Wolf of Wall Street, Yael nailed the Brooklyn/Boston hybrid accent so convincingly, many are surprised to find out that she is in fact Australian. Stone has been a series regular on the first three seasons, with the fourth set for release in 2016.
Serbia-born Bojana moved to Australia as a child and also graduated from NIDA. You might have seen her in local films Burning Man, Not Suitable For Children, Charlie’s Country and The Little Death, or ABC series Rake. Novakovic has also been working the US and recently starred on the hit Showtime drama Shameless, a remake of the original UK show, where she played the main character Will Gallagher’s love interest, Bianca in season 5.
Speaking of The Little Death, its writer and director, Queensland-born Josh Lawson is himself a well-known actor who has starred in all four seasons of the Showtime drama House of Lies as Doug Guggenheim. You would already know Lawson from his prolific acting career in Aussie TV shows like Home and Away, Blue Heelers, Sea Patrol and The Librarians, as well as films Any Questions for Ben?, The Campaign and Anchorman 2: the Legend Continues.
The Little Death is on Quickflix and Google Play. Catch Sea Patrol on iTunes. Watch Any Questions for Ben? on iTunes. The Campaign is on Stan, iTunes ad Google Play. Anchorman 2 is on iTunes and Google Play.
Clare Bowen grew up in and around the Sydney and Wollongong region, making a foray into the acting world with small roles in local productions like Home and Away, All Saints and Not Suitable For Children before scoring one of the lead roles in ABC country drama Nashville as the talented but shy singer/songwriter Scarlett O’Connor.
Queensland-born Matthew Passmore started out in Aussie TV shows like Blue Heelers, McLeod’s Daughters and Underbelly before finding success in the US TV industry. He played the lead role of Jim Longworth in all four season of crime drama The Glades and is currently gracing US TV screens in the title role of Neil Truman in Satisfaction.
Talented singer and actress Maia Mitchell was born in Lismore, NSW and made her TV debut in Australian TV series Mortified where she played lead Brittany Flune and even won an AFI award for Best Children’s TV Series. She followed this up with roles in local teen series Trapped and Castaway and Disney comedy Jessie, before taking on the role of Callie Jacob in ABC family drama The Fosters.
Mortified can be found on Netflix.