As far as psychos go, Mick Taylor is right up there with the most frightening. It’s not because he’s some mastermind playing catch-me-if-you-can with the local police. It’s not that he’s sending a message through his selection of victims or trying to tech some greater lesson to humanity. He’s not a psycho trying to take over the world and everybody else be damned. The scariest thing about Mick Taylor is that he comes across as normal when inside he’s a deeply sadistic human being who kills for the sport of it.
Wolf Creek is an Australian film that’s supposedly based on real events. It’s not a film that many would be able to stomach who do not love the genre. I’m placing this in the Grindhouse subgenre of horror because it has some of those elements that are characteristic. But first a little about what Grindhouse means…
Grindhosue comes from the days of burlesque when theaters that had strippers (bump and grind) were nicknamed Grindhouses. In the 1950s, television came along and hit the theater business pretty hard, so theaters had to offer what people couldn’t get on TV – thus the birth of the exploitation film genre. These films often included Chinese martial arts filmed horribly dubbed, slasher horror movies, and adult porn. They could run the gamut from campy to horrifying and a good Grindhouse film had several of these elements of exploitation at the same time, whether they were gender, racially, or sexually based. If not pornographic, they definitely had the sleaze. The 1980s rolled around and video and cable dealt these Grindhouse cinemas another blow and they have all but disappeared today.
Some may argue that Wolf Creek is not nearly gory enough to fall into the Grindhouse category, but the sheer sadism of its antagonist qualifies it. The violence to these females definitely taps in to gender exploitation. And though there’s no porn for pleasure, there’s an attempted rape scene that is horrifying to watch. It’s very realistic, to the point that in some reviews I read that people didn’t like the three main characters and thus had no sympathy for them. That’s Realism, not everyone is likable. People feel they need to root for the protagonists in horror movies or what’s the point. This film raises the bar on that way of thinking to... “you, the viewer, are powerless to root anyone on – after all, this is based on true events and our psycho is good with a gun!”
Here are some other traditionally characteristic Grindhouse films for you to enjoy.