DVD Review: Wolf Creek (Season One)

Movies have always been a steady source for TV series, but rarely did things work out. For decades the only times this direction really worked was Naked City, The Odd Couple and M*A*S*H*. Now that TV shows are no longer required to crank out 24 episodes a season, producers are more excited in turning their hit properties into the next TV hit instead of another remake. Hannibal and Westworld gained followings this way. When done right, the characters can expand and details explored. When done wrong like From Dusk Til Dawn, the plot feels like filler pumped into the original script to expand a 90 minute movie into 10 episodes. Wolf Creek was a startling slasher film from the Australian Outback in 2005. The movie was adapted into a six episode series that aired last Fall on the Pop Channel (formerly the TV Guide Channel) takes the audience on a six hour journey into a dark territory.

The Thorogood is on vacation in the Australian outback. They’re living the Crocodile Dundee dream next to a billabong. However things go incredibly bad when local color Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) pops by to see if they’ve got enough shrimp of the barbee. They learn pretty quick that Mick isn’t just a colorful local. He’s a homicidal maniac who hates tourists. While he thinks he’s done a through job with the Thorogoods, he doesn’t quite kill daughter Eve Thorogood (11.22.63‘s Lucy Fry). She’s rescued by nicer folks who take her to a hospital. While recovering from her wounds, Police detective Sullivan Hill pays a visit. Turns out that there’s a lot of people who are murdered in that area. The police have no clue who could be destroying the tourism industry. Instead of heading back to America, Eve wants revenge on Mick. She steals the police folder on the killings and hits the road. Her path isn’t too direct and includes robbing a crime family that wants a bit of revenge on Eve.

In the world of movies turned into TV shows, Wolf Creek ranks up there with Ash Vs. Evil Dead in being able to bring what made the movies special to the TV screen. John Jarratt is back as Mick. He brings the folksy nightmare back. He’s also allows a bit more time to give a true feeling of what makes his killer tick. Like Breaking Bad, this is a show that you need to watch on a large screen TV to absorb the exteriors. Your eyes will be filled with the rugged and unforgiving beauty of the Outback. The violence level in the film is enough to scare the squeamish and please the devoted. This isn’t PG-rated TV. The fact that it’s a six episode miniseries helps keep a pace that feels like a movie yet plays like a TV show. The sixth episode is a third act and not merely a set up for season 2. Wolf Creek works better on DVD because you don’t have the action and tone slaughtered by commercial breaks. This time saver will allow you to watch all the episodes in one binge sitting.

The videos is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfers brings out the landscapes that hide Mick’s murdering ways. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1. The mix will have you jump now and then. English subtitles in case you have an issue with the accents.

Cinema to Series: The Legacy of Wolf Creek (5:16) discusses how the original films were made and the impact around the world.

Making A Television Series (2:55) discusses changing the flow of the project so the episodes work.

Meet the Stars (3:52) introduces us to all the actors in the mini-series. They explore the character of Mick Taylor and why he kills.

Discovering the Outback (3:06) talks about the poetic and dangerous look of the Outback.

Visual Effects (3:25) deals with how they kept the original feeling of the films in the series. There’s insight on how they choose Mick’s shirt.

Meet the Supporting Cast (4:04) is a chance to hear from the smaller roles.

Lionsgate presents Wolf Creek. Starring: John Jarratt, Lucy Fry & Dustin Clare. Boxset Contents: 6 episodes on 2 DVDs. Released: March 21, 2017.

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