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