In light of the massive news of the world-class film studio set to hit Freo’s Victoria Quay I’ve had a tonne of questions from the pack asking what great big-time flicks have been shot in WA so this week, I took it upon myself to educated the young pups on my top 5 favourite West Aussie shot flicks. 

Drift Poster Art - Sourced from IMDB
Drift Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB

Honourable Mention
Drift (2013)

Set in the ‘70s, Drift is based on the true story of two big wave surfing brothers who battle a conservative society and ruthless group of bikers as they try to kick-start the modern surf industry.

More than just a surfing movie, Drift is a story about tackling the waves of everyday life and doing so with resilience, determination and making the most of every opportunity that arises. Much like every day a part of the pack if you ask me!

On screen brothers played by Myles Pollard and Xavier Samuel shred the Margaret River coastline, while Hollywood hero Sam Worthington plays infamous surf film maker, JB, who provides a great deal of inspiration for these next gen surfers in this recent and largely underrated local flick. 

Now all the drama aside, the WA coastal waves depicted in the movie gives the pack a fair bit of inspiration to hit the white wash and test it with the big dogs! 

5. Australia (2008)

A movie named after the whole country! Now that’s big! Almost as big as being printed on a flour mill for over 80 years… almost.

Coming in at number 5 is big, bad Baz Luhrnmann’s massive 2008 film set in the1930’s early 40’s.

Australia tells the story of an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a ranch and is put in an awkward position of joining forces with a rough stockman (Hugh Jackman). Together they are forced to drive over 2,000 cattle across the country while trying to survive the Darwin bombings post the Pearly Habour attacks. Wowza, quite an intense one when read aloud.

It’s no surprise that some beautiful country landscapes on display throughout the 2008 release were shot in the beautiful town of Kununurra, up the north end of West Australia, just along the border of the NT for those looking to make the trek. (My sign is just in North Freo if you want to check that out, up to you.)

While Aussie royalty, Nicole and Hugh (Absent: Dingo) shine in the spotlight, it is rumoured that my man Russell Crowe was said to have been the man for the role throughout most of the planning of the flick but due to personal issues with the production plan and potential budget constraints, bailed. Heath Ledger’s name was also rumoured to be linked with the film, but whenever you can get Hugh Jackman as your third preference, you have to consider yourself mighty lucky if you ask me!

Australia Poster Art
Australia Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB
Bran Nue Dae Poster Art - Sourced from IMDB
Bran Nue Dae Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB

4. Bram Nue Day (2009)

Tells the tale of a young aboriginal student ‘Willie’ who’s living on the west coast of Aus back in the late ‘60’s and decides to run away from his catholic boarding school, headed up by a cruel headmaster and travel back to his hometown. 

Bran Nue Day makes use of the beautiful West Aussie land, with most shots taking place in the beautiful Broome bush and throughout the coast of Fremantle. The story is also incredibly star-studded with some of Australia’s biggest and best icons popping up throughout! Jess Mauboy playing secondary lead ‘Rosie’ while the likes of Missy Higgins, Geoffry Rush and Magda Szubanski all make very respectable cameos. My favourite however is the big man Ernie Dingo who absolutely kills it as Uncle Tadpole. 

Ernie, our youngest and most energetic member of the pack also gets a huge kick out of his man appearing on the big screen. Check it out, it’s a bit of a feel good tale.

3. Red Dog (2011)

If you haven’t taken the time to see one of Australia’s best movies in recent history, I urge you to do yourself a favour. No, I’m not biased because this one is based on the local legend, Red Dog who was able to unite a relatively dis-jointed West Aussie community in the 1970s while roaming the outback as he searched for his long lost master. (Breathe) It’s because this one is just an absolute classic! 

Shot throughout the Pilbara region of WA the thinly populated country landscape gives life to Red Dog, who’s real life tale is as raw as it gets. I never had the fortune to meet Red Dog in my time, but my god would I have loved to. A genuine icon for us WA canines – the bloke even has his own statue in the Pilbara. 

The flick stars some great human talent in Josh Lucas, Rachel Taylor, Josh Batchelor (who has been in every beer ad under the sun) but the performance from our man Red Dog ensures this true to life tale will forever live in pack mate history forever.

Red Dog Poster Art - Sourced from IMDB
Red Dog Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB
Wolf Creek Poster Art - Sourced from IMDB
Wolf Creek Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB

2. Wolf Creek (2005)

Not for the pups! 

The 2005 horrifying classic Wolf Creek, tells the loosely true tale of three backpackers who become stranded in the Australian outback. The trio are plunged inside a hellish nightmare of insufferable torture that is forced upon them by a sadistic psychopathic local. (Yeah, it has Sunday arvo matinee written all over it doesn’t it)

Shot in Broome, Wolf Creek is one of the greatest horror flicks ever made (if you ask me) – let alone an Aussie horror.

A minimalistic cast consisting of 4 characters John Jarrat, Cassandra McGrath, Kestie Morassi and Nathan Phillips. All put on incredibly convincing performances.el Rumor has it this is because of a genuine fear they had whilst shooting… 

It is said that an eerie coincidence occurred for the second unit crew sent out to get footage of the Wolf Creek Crater. Due to the location of the crater being a number of hours away from any town, the small crew decided to camp out in their car at the site after shooting. During the night a mysterious stranger was said to have shown up in a truck to investigate the unfamiliar guests. The stranger is said to have looked very much like the character of Mick Taylor, the psychopath the story is centered around and who even had an eerily similar rustic truck. The stranger left, but the crew were so spooked that they drove an hour down the road before finally stopping to camp out there for the night.

Bit of a wild flick and as I said – not one for the pups. Or most of the pack as it turns out… Spooked!

1. Mad Max 2 (1981)

Coming in at number 1 is the 1981 classic that tells the tale of a vengeful former Australian policeman who sets out to stop a violent motorcycle gang and collect some much needed, priceless petrol – while the rest of the world seems to be self-destructing before their eyes! 

The beautiful Bamboo Creek in WA gets some lovely airtime in this blockbuster! An Aussie hit that pulled in our very own adopted son Mel Gibson. After only being paid $10,000 for the role in the first iteration of Mad Max, Mel was back for the sequel, a sequel in which he only had 16 lines throughout the whole 96 min film! That a great ration of $ to words! 

I’ll leave you with a heartfelt one. You know the dog named ‘Dog’ that features in the film. Well he actually came from a local dog pound and was trained for the film, but due to the loud engines used for the film, he was actually fitted with special earplugs to ensure he wasn’t working under undue stress! 

Now this is the beautiful part, it takes a bit for your old mate Dingo to get emotional but this one gets me. Dog was loved by the crew and cast so much that at the end of production he was actually adopted by one of the camera operators. Mad Max,  a terrifyingly action-packed film made by men with huge talents and even bigger hearts. 

Mad Max Poster Art - Sourced from IMDB
Mad Max Poster Art – Sourced from IMDB

Let us know what your favourite WA film is and why for your chance to win a Dingo merch pack!

What is your favourite WA film and why?

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