A mixture of beautiful cityscapes, beautiful beaches, rugged rainforest and temperate weather makes Queensland an alluring place to both live and enjoy a holiday. Combine all these attributes with the area’s diverse population, and you have the perfect backdrop for a film. From the film that introduced the world to Paul Hogan to a breakaway indie-film hit, there have been several sometimes odd, but always entertaining movies shot in Queensland. Here are a few of the most famous and memorable.
Although the exploits of Mick “Crocodile” Dundee didn’t play so well here, 1986’s “Crocodile Dundee” was a huge smash around the world. This classic fish-out-of-water tale follows the life of Mick Dundee, a local legend who is taken from the Outback and placed in a very strange environment, New York City. Along the way, Mick learns how to interact with people very different from himself, all the while not losing touch with his home and heart. In the end, Mick gets the girl and pops up again in two sequels, 1988’s “Crocodile Dundee II” and 2001’s “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.”
Based on a 1963 novel by Charles Williams, Dead Calm tells the story of John and Rae Ingram, who were portrayed by Sam Neill and Nicole Kidman. After suffering the tragic loss of their son in a car accident, the couple decides to grieve on a yacht in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Everything is going according to plan until Billy Zane’s character “Hughie” rows up claiming all the members of his ship’s crew were killed from a nasty bout of food poisoning. Of course, Hughie turns out to be a murderous psychopath who, in the end, dies at John Ingram’s hands. In one of the best nautical-related deaths on film, John shoots Hughie right through the mouth with a flare gun.
“The Lost World: Jurassic Park”
New Zealand’s own Sam Neill is noticeably absent in 1997’s “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” which was, of course, the sequel to the massively successful first movie in the franchise. This time around, it’s four years later and the genetically engineered dinosaurs are now roaming free on Isla Soma. In an effort to fix the massive tragedy of his first experiment, the original owner of Jurassic Park hires a group of scientists, including Jeff Goldblum as mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, to study the dinosaurs in their natural habitat. Things go horribly awry for the hapless humans, but the dinosaurs make it through mostly unscathed, which paves the way for “Jurassic Park III.”
If you ever want to watch a film that makes you feel good because you aren’t living the main character’s life, look no further than the breakout 1994 romantic comedy “Muriel’s Wedding.” This hilarious film tells the story of Muriel Heslop, a slightly overweight and hopelessly awkward young woman with a strange obsession for the music of ABBA. After a series of humiliations and a few realizations about her life’s path, Muriel decides to move to Sydney with her friend Rhonda, played by the amazing Rachel Griffiths. Muriel begins to finally come out of her shell but is faced with a terrible choice of whether to continuing seeking ABBA-inspired romance or care for Rhonda, who is now wheelchair-bound after a bout with cancer. In an inspired twist, Muriel is provided the chance of a lifetime when she agrees to marry an Olympic hopeful looking for permanent residency in Australia. The wedding finally provides Muriel with the acceptance and lifestyle she always wanted, but in the end, she chooses true friendship over a flawed marriage of convenience.
From the somewhat forgettable horror film “Ghost Ship” to an inspired retelling of the classic children’s story “Peter Pan,” several filmmakers have looked to Queensland as a source of inspiration. Once you’re done enjoying any of the aforementioned films, head straight to the computer and start booking your own Queensland adventure, just don’t forget to grab the video camera to make a little film of your own.