After low budget Aussie chiller Wolf Creek became a worldwide hit shocker in 2005, it was inevitable that the not so jolly swagman Mick Taylor would one day return to terrorise the Australian Outback.
The fact that it’s taken almost a decade for a sequel to come to fruition is all down to crafting a story worthy of a follow-up, assures the actor behind the sinister bushman. “It’s a brilliant script,” says John Jarratt during rehearsals on the set of Wolf Creek 2 in South Australia. “[Director] Greg Mclean didn’t want to do a follow up until his script was as good as the original. Well I think it’s better!”
Although an Australian (Where The Wild Things Are actor Ryan Corr) will once again play a British tourist who unsuspectingly falls prey to the crazed serial killer, it seems the knife in Wolf Creek 2 will be twisted slightly differently this time.
“It’s a road movie and more of a chase movie this time,” reveals Jarratt. “I have a cave hideout and they’ll be a lot more action. There’s some real frightening stuff going on and more of the same too.”
The original was a relentlessly raw and visceral experience that ensured many queasy cinemagoers quickly swiped off ‘take a backpacking trip to the Australian Outback’ from their bucket lists. Not that it was any easier for the actor who played the iconic boogieman.
“After I’d finished on the first one I thought to myself I don’t think I can put myself through that again!” admits Jarratt. “[It was] such a psychedelic place to be…such a deep place I had to go in order to deliver that nasty bit of goods.”
Surprisingly Jarratt was unsure how the character would originally be received by audiences.
“During the first I had that funny laugh and silly voice and I was unsure whether that was going to work,” he admits, concluding that time has eased any self doubts. “It’s been a few years now and I can just turn him on like a tap,” he says “I won’t have to go as deep or as macabre anymore as the character sits on my shoulder and has been living with me for a while now.”
Here’s hoping he’s not sitting too comfortably this time around. Jarratt famously stayed in character during the entire shoot of Wolf Creek, understandably freaking out some of the cast and crew. And even though Jarratt, at 61, is officially a senior it seems an older Mick won’t necessarily mean a less physical one either.
“I get to ride a horse in this one which I’m looking forward to,” he says, adding patriotically: “Well this is an iconic Australian character so I feel he should ride a horse!”