Thursday, October 15, 2009

Werewolf Nuns Scaring Tourists Away From Australia

Dr. Mark David Ryan, a Queensland University of Technology researcher asks the question: are Australian horror films scaring tourists away from Australia?

As World News Australia puts it:
Parallels have been drawn between the Wolf Creek movie and the real-life outback murder of British tourist Peter Falconio in 2001 in the Northern Territory. It has also been suggested that the killer bushman character was inspired by real-life serial killer Ivan Milat.
Which is all well and good, except that to folks outside of Australia and possibly Britain, Falconio and Milat are, with due respect to Joanne Lees and the Falconio family , unknown. It is very, very difficult to scare people off when they don't know there's a story. We are not talking Jeffrey Dahmer, here.

And then there are the films themselves. Here is Ryan's Top 10 list. Now, Australia comes out with some great films and I am a huge Peter Weir fan, but, really, are these the films that make you lose sleep at night? More importantly, do they make you think, "Nope, not going to Australia. Think I'll go hang out in Bedford-Stuy where it's safe."?
  1. Wolf Creek (2005)
  2. Dying Breed (2008)
  3. Black Water (2007)
  4. Rogue (2007)
  5. Undead (2003)
  6. Razorback (1984)
  7. Patrick (1978)
  8. Howling III (1987)
  9. Body Melt (1993)
  10. Night of Fear (1972)

Yes, that's right, not only does the list omit Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock (justifiably, too - not my favorite Weir film), it includes Howling III in the list, and not hanging-on-by-a-fingernail at #10, but at #8 - there are two films worse than Howling III on his list!

A generous 7 star user review (average 2.4) of Howling III by kelvinthelion on IMDB yields these thoughts:
It has it's flaws of course but it also has a lot of insignificant firsts like werewolf nuns.
It really seems more like an action comedy than a horror movie. 
Werewolf nuns. Really.

For those who don't know (and I sure didn't), the concept of Howling III is that a "strange race of human-like marsupials appear suddenly in Australia, and a sociologist who studies these creatures falls in love with a female one." Realistically, this will only attract interest if the sociologist is also female.

Personally, I don't think Australia has to worry about horror films driving people away. The thing keeping me from traveling there is the rise of militant kangaroos.

IMDB and again
World News Australia and again
ExpertGuide (photo) and again
Northern Territory News (photo)


  1. Let's look at this another way:
    If these movies actually scared someone away, would you want them visiting your country, anyway?

  2. People don't visit Australia because its too far away, too isolated and takes too damn long to get there and costs too much to get too. I know, I live here.

    And the Yowie's obviously, they're a big problem.