Columns and Blogs - Day and Date Down Under


Adelaide cops sniff out ‘Wolf Creek’ body parts

March 17, 2014

-By David Pearce


filmjournal/photos/stylus/64439-Pearce_Md.jpg
Special-effects artist Rick Connelly was surprised when disturbed by a posse of five police officers banging on the door of his North Adelaide home. The police were responding to a call from a concerned neighbor who viewed Connelly taking what seemed like body parts into his house. Connelly invited the police in and showed them the dismembered body limbs that his company had created and had been used the day before in the filming of Wolf Creek II. The impressed cops even took some photos with the bloody pieces and left. Wolf Creek II is the sequel to the 1975 original, which is the highest-grossing Australian-made horror thriller at the local box office.

Wolf Creek II, with star John Jarratt reprising his role as an outback killer preying on tourists in the desert, opened in Australian cinemas the last week of February at the number-one spot with A$2.2 million for the week and a very nice screen average of A$11,073. It came in ahead of the other wide opener, Lone Survivor.

Despite Wolf Creek II being one of the major Australian films for the year, Australia's only 30-minute film-review TV program, “The Movie Show,” did not review it, creating a minor storm with protests in newspapers, on Twitter and in other social media. Critics David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz have been reviewing films on “The Movie Show” for over 25 years and ended their most recent program with the comment, "We have chosen not to review Wolf Creek II.” Both have championed the Australian industry over the years and the decision not to review the film is seen by some as them having abrogated their responsibility as critics.

Dimension Films released the original in the U.S., grossing US$16 million. Image Entertainment has U.S. rights for the sequel. Greg McLean, director of both Wolf Creek movies, has just landed his first directing job in the U.S. He will make the supernatural thriller 6 Miranda Drive with Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell, in which a family returns from a holiday to the Grand Canyon and find they have brought back an evil supernatural force with them. McLean said that he would have liked “The Movie Show” to review his film, even if they did not like it.

Hoyts Cinemas appointed Damian Keogh as the new CEO of the group, succeeding Delfin Fernandez, who has headed the cinema chain for the past nine years. Fernandez has overseen strong growth in cinema advertising for the chain, with a 20% increase in the past two years. Keogh says one of the areas he will focus on is improving the food and beverage offerings in the cinemas.

The Australian-Singaporean World War II thriller Canopy has been gaining sales in several international markets including the U.S. (Monterey Media), the U.K. (Kaleidoscope) and Canada (Kingsmith) after screenings in Toronto, Rotterdam and Berlin. In this drama, an Australian fighter pilot is shot down during the Japanese invasion of Singapore during World War II. He joins up with a Singapore-Chinese resistance fighter as they try to evade the Japanese and reach safety. The film will be released locally in the second quarter of the year.


Adelaide cops sniff out ‘Wolf Creek’ body parts

March 17, 2014

-By David Pearce


filmjournal/photos/stylus/64439-Pearce_Md.jpg

Special-effects artist Rick Connelly was surprised when disturbed by a posse of five police officers banging on the door of his North Adelaide home. The police were responding to a call from a concerned neighbor who viewed Connelly taking what seemed like body parts into his house. Connelly invited the police in and showed them the dismembered body limbs that his company had created and had been used the day before in the filming of Wolf Creek II. The impressed cops even took some photos with the bloody pieces and left. Wolf Creek II is the sequel to the 1975 original, which is the highest-grossing Australian-made horror thriller at the local box office.

Wolf Creek II, with star John Jarratt reprising his role as an outback killer preying on tourists in the desert, opened in Australian cinemas the last week of February at the number-one spot with A$2.2 million for the week and a very nice screen average of A$11,073. It came in ahead of the other wide opener, Lone Survivor.

Despite Wolf Creek II being one of the major Australian films for the year, Australia's only 30-minute film-review TV program, “The Movie Show,” did not review it, creating a minor storm with protests in newspapers, on Twitter and in other social media. Critics David Stratton and Margaret Pomeranz have been reviewing films on “The Movie Show” for over 25 years and ended their most recent program with the comment, "We have chosen not to review Wolf Creek II.” Both have championed the Australian industry over the years and the decision not to review the film is seen by some as them having abrogated their responsibility as critics.

Dimension Films released the original in the U.S., grossing US$16 million. Image Entertainment has U.S. rights for the sequel. Greg McLean, director of both Wolf Creek movies, has just landed his first directing job in the U.S. He will make the supernatural thriller 6 Miranda Drive with Kevin Bacon and Radha Mitchell, in which a family returns from a holiday to the Grand Canyon and find they have brought back an evil supernatural force with them. McLean said that he would have liked “The Movie Show” to review his film, even if they did not like it.

Hoyts Cinemas appointed Damian Keogh as the new CEO of the group, succeeding Delfin Fernandez, who has headed the cinema chain for the past nine years. Fernandez has overseen strong growth in cinema advertising for the chain, with a 20% increase in the past two years. Keogh says one of the areas he will focus on is improving the food and beverage offerings in the cinemas.

The Australian-Singaporean World War II thriller Canopy has been gaining sales in several international markets including the U.S. (Monterey Media), the U.K. (Kaleidoscope) and Canada (Kingsmith) after screenings in Toronto, Rotterdam and Berlin. In this drama, an Australian fighter pilot is shot down during the Japanese invasion of Singapore during World War II. He joins up with a Singapore-Chinese resistance fighter as they try to evade the Japanese and reach safety. The film will be released locally in the second quarter of the year.

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