Wolf Creek - S01E03 Salt Lake (2016)

Sex :
Violence :
Director Tony Tilse
Writers Peter Gawler, Greg McLean, Felicity Packard
Starring Lucy Fry, John Jarratt, Dustin Clare
Genre Psycho
Tagline A Stan Original Series
Reviewer:  Mortecai
Wolf Creek Review


"That's all I need, a serial killer killing my customers" - Bernie O'Dell

Eve is following the trail of destruction Mick has left as documented by the folder she stole from the Darwin Police station. She arrives at Salt Lake, South Australia looking for clues from a closed case double homicide. Naturally there's nothing but dust, old dog collars, and nut jobs. Hey it's Kevin Small who Eve had a run in with prior. He has ideas of sexy time, with or without Eve's consent, and ends up shot for his troubles. Eve patches him up, but he refuses to travel with her, thankfully he does get a ride from one Mick Taylor, not that things turn out red roses for Kevin.

Apparently all roads in outback South Australia lead to the Face of the Madonna Roadhouse. Eve arrives and leaves a tyre to be fixed, but has to help a corrections officer who looks like he is having an epileptic fit. She forgets to tighten the nuts on her replacement tire. Later, and in the middle of nowhere, the barely tightened wheel picks a fine time to leave me Lucille, and Eve is stranded. In one of the more ironic moments Mick picks that very evening to drive past the stranded Eve, apparently searching for her. Somewhat surprisingly our gal receives unexpected help from an escaped prisoner and things are looking up. Unfortunately Kane, one of the rednecks from Kutyukutyu she ripped off has tracked her down, assist definitely from the owner of the Face of the Madonna Bernie. Kane wants a chick, and unbelievably babies, so Eve is forced to shoot, and this time kill yet another male predator. Meanwhile Detective Sergeant Sullivan Hill arrives at the Roadhouse, but gets nothing for his troubles beyond a real bad cup of coffee. Mick has slightly better luck, he revisits the roadhouse, and sets a trap in some place called Opalville, Eve apparently walks right into it!

Mortecai in, and we're at the midpoint of season one of Wolf Creek with the show looking to accelerate things to a whole new level of tension and gruelling atmosphere. All our major players are now firmly moving toward each other, the secondary characters are starting to make their presence felt, Eve has a hell of a lot of people looking for her, most of which aren't interested in afternoon tea parties. Not sure if adding all the pieces to this particular puzzle are going to add up to an explosive climax to the season, or some are being held back as plot arcs for a future season. I get the feeling Eve has her work cut out simply staying alive long enough to get into final gal mode with Mick, while the Big Aussie himself is going to have a job of work cutting through the opposition to have his go at our girl. It's going to get bloody people, and Mick isn't the only one ready to cut loose.

Eve is being painted as a badass, pity it's slightly ham fisted in the execution

The episode for this little black duck was a bit too much people driving around, finishing up at the Face of the Madonna roadhouse, and then missing the person they are searching for, which would be Eve in the majority of cases. Don't put me down here, I really enjoyed the character of Bernie O'Dell who can always pick up an accent and never forgets a face, but it sort of blended into high farce during some scenes of Salt Lake. Sorry is every road in South Australia leading to this particular roadhouse? Just how small is South Australia, maybe one of the Aussies can help me out, as I got the feeling the place must be only a few hundred miles square, seemed no one had a problem finding anyone in that neck of the woods.

Director Tony Tilse isn't taking it as Government work with Salt Lake and throws a flashback from May 2009 into the mix. Its night, a couple of guys from Sydney, NSW are camping out with their two miniature dogs. Clearly Mick isn't a dog fancier as he takes out one dude while he is doing the Bear thing in the woods, Tilse gets up close and personal with this first kill, something lacking last episode, but let's Mick finish the job quietly off screen. In one of those television moments that will have you giving a heavy metal salute we cut back to the present as Eve finds an old dog collar in the sand. I know this is Aussie television and all but a few more deaths perhaps to keep thing pumping, Mick has been pretty much on low power for a couple of episodes now, time to get the batteries recharged. Tilse goes with this one death at the start of the episode and then leaves town for his all roads lead extravaganza. Yes Mick sorts another predator out, but we only see the aftermath of that dance macabre, though given the particular mutilation probably not a bad decision to keep it off screen. I believe the Aussies call it "docking"?

Editor's Note: "docking" involves tails, though close enough, I think everyone gets the hint.

Thankfully Eve is picking up some of Mick's slack, she first shoots Kevin Small in the leg, because he had some old fashion redneck raping on his mind, and later shoots Kane because that redneck didn't exactly sweep her off her feet with his proposal. If I had to hazard a guess I would say this is Tilse's clumsy attempt at showing Eve developing into a cold blooded killer, a development that is so head palm badly handled that only Rob Zombie would nod his head in approval. We're all friends here right, so we can quietly whisper amongst ourselves about how every secondary character is so obviously deus ex machina that you have to wonder what they teach in script writing Downunder, certainly it isn't how to develop plausible character traits! Anyways Eve has a notch on her belt, thankfully not her bed post, and is pretty much ready for what Mick can throw at her.

Don't worry I'm not forgetting Detective Constable Sullivan Hill, who seems to spend his entire work day driving around various States other than the one he is employed in, achieving nothing in particular. Not sure how it works in Oz, but here there would be a turf war if Cops crossed into other jurisdictions. Moving along, as Jman is wont to say, in one of the more bizarre scenes in the season Sullivan arrives home late at night after achieving the usual nothing to find his Wife has been boning some random in his absence. Naturally our lawman drags the offending Hipster out of the house, gives him a couple of slaps, before peeling leather out of there leaving the hipster cuffed to a car. Whoa, hold the front page headlines, exactly what was this scene about and how on earth does it have even the remotest bearing on what the session has happening?

As we have come to expect with Wolf Creek the Aussie Outback is presented in Salt Lake as alien, menacing, and filled to the top with predators. Seriously the Australian Tourist Board are going to have their work cut out to get people anywhere near the Country after Greg McLean and his minions finish their journey's amongst the damned. On a sidenote, said Tourist board really need to employ some new advertising talent, a black kid who has broken into a Manhattan apartment, or a shrill harridan who I assume is speaking some sort of English, really are nowhere near selling Australia as a tourist destination.

Well we have managed to sit through the first half of season one of Wolf Creek and I'm saying it's been fun times folks. Salt Lake underlined the situation Eve is in and left her in some danger in one of the best cliff hangers I've ever seen. As mentioned already there's a tad too much driving through the same cross roads, I was expecting the Winchesters to show up in one scene and bury a hex bag, but otherwise I was all intense viewing from the sofa. The character of Bernie from the "Face of the Madonna" roadhouse was worth catching the episode for alone. Will be counting down the hours till episode four, this is one show that gets better and better the deeper you journey into its plot, Mortecai out, I'm catching the Wolf Creek movies again to fill in the lonely hours between episodes.

ScaryMinds Rates this episode as ...

Is the show at the cross roads? Will Mick pick up his game? Is Eve going to survive?