Horror films from Australia may look familiar on the surface, bearing the influence of Hollywood, but they always create uniquely terrifying experiences for moviegoers. Case in point: Greg McLean's Wolf Creek 2, now on home video. It's a sequel to McLean's own Australian classic, made with verve and a new set of scares. To pique your interest further, we've gathered 11 other samples of wild, daring, and sometimes bizarre Aussie horrors.
by Peter Martin
In Richard Franklin's groundbreaking original, a comatose patient uses his hidden powers of telekinesis. His new nurse -- and object of affection -- slowly catches on to what is happening, but what can she do to stop him?
Long Weekend (1978)
Heedless of their beautiful, unspoiled surroundings, a couple tries to save their marriage on a weekend in the country, but their casual littering and utter disregard for other living things raises the ire of Nature. Soon the couple are in a battle for their lives.
How can vampires survive in the modern age? Well, what if they got together, got organized, and got their blood from blood cows? A gothic tale comes to life in an industrial environment, as a new ruling presence emerges and all kinds of craziness ensues.
Nightmares aka Stage Fright (1980)
A woman still feels remorse for inadvertently causing the death of her mother, and her guilt is causing her mind to fracture, even as she begins a romance with a fellow stage actor. Then there's a series of brutal killings, all set within a highly-dramatic setting.
Road Games (1981)
Director Richard Franklin (Patrick) goes on the road with truck driver Stacy Keach. He develops a theory about a serial killer who's on the loose, and explains it to hitchhiker Jamie Lee Curtis. She decides to investigate, leading to a furious cat-and-mouse chase involving an 18-wheeler, a van, and a whole lot of breathless moments.
Turkey Shoot aka Escape 2000 (1982)
Imagine a horrifying future in which all "deviants" (i.e., anyone who isn't "normal") are imprisoned in brutal concentration camps. Ostensibly, the inmates are to be re-educated, but they're just as likely to be assaulted and/or killed, making escape the top priority. Director Brian Trenchard-Smith ups the ante with every action scene, filling the screen with carnage and craziness.
A big pig. Other memorable Australian horror movies would revolve around giant reptiles, but this creature feature centers on the terrors inspired by a giant pig in the lonely outback. The razorback stole the grandson of our hero, and years later he's still itching for a little payback.
Meteorites strike the inhabitants of a fishing community, transforming them into ravenous zombies. Neighbor must kill neighbor in order to survive. But it's not all (very explicit) blood and guts; this is also a raucous comedy for those with a taste for the macabre, and belly laughs compete with belly-ripping for an impudent good time.
Wolf Creek (2005)
A traveler's worst nightmare comes true. It's bad enough to be stuck in the middle of nowhere, with a broken-down car and no way to fix it. But it's even worse when a seemingly helpful stranger turns out to be a serial killer. Based on true events, this is a horror movie that is often excruciating to watch.
Shark in a supermarket! From the sublime to the silly, this enthusiastic thriller follows what happens when a tsunami traps unlucky shoppers in a flooded supermarket -- along with a Great White Shark.
Patrick: Evil Awakens (2014)
Mark Hartley's sequel to the Australian classic stakes out similar territory as the original, but updates it with a fresh sense of style and an even more frightening atmosphere. It's part of a new wave of Australian horrors that promises more thrills to come from down under.