Event re­vis­its Wolf Creek

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A blood-spat­ted sign for a turnoff to “Wolf Creek” on a de­serted coun­try high­way would nor­mally prompt peo­ple to keep driv­ing — as fast as pos­si­ble.

But it marked the des­ti­na­tion for a re­laxed night out rather than nightmare on Satur­day, when the Whim Creek Ho­tel tem­po­rar­ily re­named it­self for its in­au­gu­ral hor­ror movie fes­ti­val.

Ac­tor John Jar­ratt, who played Wolf Creek back­packer killer Mick Tay­lor, was there as celebrity guest.

He spent the day sign­ing au­to­graphs and was happy to talk with fans about the Aus­tralian hor­ror clas­sic.

Jar­ratt said he en­joyed hor­ror films that could “re­ally hap­pen … not some­thing you could be dream­ing” and the key to the suc­cess of Mick Tay­lor was his dark twist on coun­try blokey­ness.

“He’s so god-damn Aus­tralian,” he said. “He couldn’t be more blokey and out­back lar­rikin if he tried.

“Craig McLach­lan de­scribed him as the anti-Dundee. He’s just as Aus­tralian as the other iconic Aus­tralian, Croc­o­dile Dundee… ex­cept that he’s a psy­chopath and a se­rial killer.

“And as charm­ing and funny. If you didn’t know he was a bad (guy) you’d have a nice night at the pub with him.”

The fes­ti­val started at 2pm with screen­ings of The Shin­ing and Nightmare on Elm Street up­stairs, be­fore high­light Wolf Creek was shown on the out­door screen at 6pm.

Jar­ratt held a ques­tion­sand-an­swers ses­sion with pa­trons be­fore 1984 film Ra­zor­back fin­ished off the night.

Whim Creek’s haunted his­tory also fea­tured as the ghosts of for­mer res­i­dents Lavinia Piper and Thomas Dar­ling­ton in­ter­rupted pro­ceed­ings to tell their sad sto­ries. Whim Creek Ho­tel man­ager Bob Bon­giorno said the fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by ho­tel and Ngar­luma Yind­jibarndi Foun­da­tion staff, had drawn 300 to 400 peo­ple to the pub. “Ev­ery room has been booked out for four weeks. We’ve got peo­ple com­ing down in car­a­vans, camper vans, peo­ple camp­ing in tents, bus­loads com­ing down,” he said.

Jar­ratt spent the pre­vi­ous day tour­ing Roe­bourne, vis­it­ing Ngaarda Ra­dio and Mawarnkarra Health Ser­vice.

The day in­cluded a re­minder of the power of Mick Tay­lor, when NYFL staff, ac­com­pa­nied by Jar­ratt, stopped to ask two hitch-hik­ing fe­male back­pack­ers if they needed any help.

“They looked and said ‘no no no no’!” Mr Bon­giorno said.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Ac­tor John Jar­ratt and Whim Creek man­ager Bob Bon­giorno ready to wel­come guests to the newly re­named Wolf Creek Ho­tel.

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