Directed By: Mike Green, Written By: Mike Green & Brien Kelly, Starring: Lauren Lofberg & Taylor Wiese.
I think it’s fair to suggest that no genre of film has more subgenres than horror. There’s no such thing as standard horror. Everything’s pigeon-holed into subcategories. For example, Slasher movies, Zombie movies, Found footage, Supernatural, etc…
I think there’s room for another category. A category containing those movies where everything bad that happens to the characters, happens because they are complete and utter morons. It could have a fancy name like Idiorotica or something.
I can think of plenty of films that would slip perfectly into this category, but Outback would sit at the top of the table. In fact, Outback would be to Idiorotica, (I’m determined to make this a thing), what The Blair Witch Project is to found-footage films.
Remember kiddies, Idiorotica… Tell your friends.
The plot of Outback is as simple as its two lead characters. American couple, Wade (Taylor Wiese) and Lisa (Lauren Lofberg) jet off for a sightseeing vacation down under. On the flight over, Wade gets down on bended knee to propose to Lisa. She turns him down in front of a plane-load of passengers. (Awkward…)
This puts somewhat of a downer on the start of their holiday, and as they arrive in Sydney, the pair are barely talking to one another.
Taking a break from arguing or giving each other the silent treatment, Lisa persuades Wade to rent a car so they can take a drive to find Ayers Rock, or Uluru as the locals obnoxiously keep reminding them. Bloody tourists.
This is where things take a turn for the dumb. As they race across Australia, our fearless duo have a GPS, a full tank of petrol and have had the foresight to fill a Jerry Can so they have spare fuel in case they need it. So far, so clever, right? Well, yeah, but their Boy Scoutish ability to be prepared ends there.
As they drive deeper into the outback, the GPS keeps redirecting, until a frustrated Wade exits the main road. A decision that sees him driving down a dirt track for hours until the GPS tells him to turn around and head back.
Wade exits the car for a much-needed toilet break. I should warn you that the film becomes more about Wade's piss than anything else, from this point on.
Foolishly, Wade forgets to check his surroundings before draining his lizard and ends up draining said lizard on a lizard. A fucking big, angry, venomous snake to be exact. Luckily Wade avoids being bitten, but it’s clear from this point on that Wade is totally out of his depth.
While taking his near-fatal bathroom break, Wade spots a large hill in the distance. He grabs Lisa and convinces her that the best course of action is to leave the car and take a walk over to the hill so they can climb to the top and get their bearings. It’s only a few scant hours of walking and Wade claims that they will be back before they know it. Of course, you will, Wade, you utter Bell-end…
What makes his actions all the more unbelievable is that Wade is in the Army. His actions over the rest of the film will have you questioning just what the Army has taught him about survival.
So, the couple makes it to the hill just in time for it to start turning dark. Dusk has rendered their entire venture pointless and they decide that heading back to the car before nightfall is now the safest option.
Here’s the kicker. Wade, in his wisdom, seems to have overlooked that it’s impossible to walk for hours over a terrain that looks the same in every direction and know which way you came. Consequently, these total morons have voluntarily abandoned the safety of their fully functional car for nothing. They walk for hours in the wrong direction and are suddenly at the mercy of one of the harshest environments on earth.
From here on, the film offers up a daily countdown of how long these clowns are exposed to the elements.
What follows is nights spent bedding down on the ground, succumbing to scorpion attacks, ant bites and infections. Wade spends the majority of the film trying to convince Lisa to drink his urine. Give it up, dude. Women are just not into this, and as he becomes sicker and more dehydrated, the feculence he offers up looks less and less appetising, until I was convinced I could see lumps in it.
Urgh, I’m gagging just thinking about it.
The stupid doesn’t end here. Lisa, having been stung by a scorpion, appears dead. Wade leaves her and continues on until he stumbles across the car. Hooray? No, not hooray. The car won’t start as the battery appears to have run flat. And why has this happened? Well, Wade, the donkey’s dick that he is, has left the lights on. Even though they abandoned the car in the middle of the day in one of the sunniest countries on the planet, he left the lights on.
Now, I know that on some cars; the lights come on automatically. I also know that when you turn the engine off and remove the keys, they turn off automatically too. Wade is an imbecile.
Overcome with dehydration and bordering on being unable to serve up any more yummy urine, Wade grabs a straw and slurps up the remainder of the car’s window washer bottle. Mmmmm, chemicals…
By this point, I was willing the buffoon to die. Anyone who doesn’t believe in natural selection should watch this movie. Darwin was on to something.
Stumbling back to find the now very conscious Lisa and deliver her one last bottle of dark cloudy man-water, Wade finally kicks the bucket. Turns out that drinking the washer fluid caused his kidneys to shut down. Well, Duh!
Lisa makes her way back to the car where she has one last encounter with the piss-soaked snake from earlier in the movie.
While watching Outback, the wife and I discussed and mocked and pretty much came to the consensus that no human being could possibly be foolish enough to set in motion the events of this movie. Every decision made by the characters were horrifically moronic. Our opinion on their levels of idiocy was, however, called into question when as the screen faded to black, we were presented with what appeared to be facts about what had taken place. We quickly jumped onto the inter-webs and were shocked to learn that this film was indeed based on a true story.
There’s a lesson here, kids. Never underestimate human idiocy on any level.
So, was Outback a good movie and worthy of investing your time in? I would have to say, no. It’s not that it’s a badly made film and the performances from the two leads are decent enough. It’s more that it’s frustrating and depressing to know that we as a species are capable of being so incredibly daft, to the point that it becomes unbelievable.
If you must watch this, it’s worth viewing as a handbook on what not to do in any situation, ever.
You might also enjoy it if you happen to have some bizarre, urine drinking fetish. If so, good luck to you.
If, like me, you sit there hoping that at any minute, Mick Taylor would rock up and ask, “What the bloody hell are you silly buggers doing out here?” you’ll be sorely disappointed.