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Wolf Creek: Real Life vs the Movie

By Yona Williams    7/20/10

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In 2005, an independent Australian horror film written titled "Wolf Creek" was released. The plot centered on three backpackers who become captives of a serial killed in the Australian outback. The film is based loosely on the events that took place in the 1990s and the murder of Peter Falconio, which occurred in the summer of 2001. Although the film only uses the real-life events as inspiration, the movie was marketed as being 'based on true events.'

The Movie Plot

Two English tourists, Liz Hunter and Kristy Earl encounter an Australian man (Ben Mitchell) at a party and decide to enjoy the rest of their vacation with the man. The trio make plans to drive to Wolf Creek, where a large crater formed by a 50,000 ton meteorite is the main attraction. They want to go exploring in the area. When the travelers return to their car after hiking the crater, they find that the vehicle will not start. With the issue not known, they prepare to wait it out for the night. In the middle of darkness, they are approached by a man named Mick Taylor who offers to repair their car at his camp. They agree and are taken to an abandoned mining site.

As Mick appears to be fixing their car, he charms them with tall tales of his past. His actions make Liz and Kristy feel uneasy, while Ben is less affected. Sitting around the fire, the travelers are given water, which is actually drugged. They become unconscious.

The next afternoon, Liz finds herself tied up in a shed. She finally escapes only to learn that Mick is torturing Kristy. Liz manages to cause a distraction and save Kristy. She attempts to shoot Mick with one of his guns, but she only grazes him and leaves him unconscious. The women flee the camp in Mick's trick, but must return. In the end, both women die after Liz is recaptured and paralyzed, and Kristy races away in a car, but is shot in the head by Mick.

Ben has been forgotten and assumed dead by this time, but he awakens in the film – nailed to a mock crucifix in the mineshaft. He manages to get free and escapes the camp into the desert. After passing out on a dirt road, two Swedish travelers rescue him and take him to safety. It is revealed at the end of the movie that Ben's charges against the serial killer were not strong enough and he was sent to spend four months in jail. Ben was released and cleared of any suspicion, where he went on to live in South Australia.

The Real Murderer

"Wolf Creek" gained inspiration from the real life murder of Peter Falconio, whose body has never been found. Bradley John Murdoch was charged with the crime, as well as for the assault of Falconio's girlfriend. To see the sentence that Murdoch was given, read the article titled "The Inspiration for Wolf Creek – the Movie."

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