Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead
A film series that was probably not endorsed by the West Virginia Department of Tourism, the Wrong Turn movies have been reasonably well done, in relation to other films in the Inbred Cannibal Mutant genre. Extremely gory, I thought the original, with Eliza Dushku and Jeremy Sisto, was surprisingly good, and Wrong Turn 2, with Henry Rollins, a solid sequel which handled its reality show subplot competently. It would be bucking the odds for the third film in the series to hold up, but past efforts were enough to warrant giving Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead a try.
The movie opens with some rafters pitching camp at the edge of a river. What could have been a nice getaway collapses in a hail of arrows. Yep, the Inbred Cannibal Mutants (ICMs) from the first two movies are back. Some of them, anyway, as the events of the previous films have trimmed their numbers to just two. Oh well, they make up for their scarcity by being almost unkillable, as the main remaining ICM will be shot once, stabbed twice, chopped twice with an axe, and run through with a spear, all to little effect.
Meanwhile, the local department of corrections is preparing for a prisoner transfer featuring a dangerous gang leader named Chavez. To prevent a rescue attempt, they decide to do the transfer at night through a deeply forested section of the state. Don’t they know rural West Virginia is pure cannibal country? Apparently not, or maybe they just think this will be cheaper than keeping the prisoners.
Sure enough, as they are passing through a particularly deserted stretch of road, they are forced off and wrecked by the ICM in a tow truck. After everyone gets out of the overturned bus, the prisoners easily take the weapons from the slow-witted cop hero, and for the rest of the movie, it’s the prisoners trying to find an escape route while fending off the attempts by the locals to make Convict Chow out of them.
There’s a lot wrong with the movie. We know that one of the “prisoners” is an undercover marshal, but twice he is handed the shotgun and doesn’t use it to help subdue the prisoners, awaiting the opportunity to trip Chavez with a chain instead, which seems inefficient. There are a series of Rube Goldberg type traps in the woods set by the ICMs, which are a little too unbelievable, as strange as that might seem in a movie about killer mutants. The special effects are as gory as ever, but not quite up to snuff. When it comes time to saw through the legs of one of the inmates (told you it was gory), it’s obvious the “legs” are nothing more than thin pipe, which parts way too easily with a knife.
Still, you get what you pay for, and it’s obvious the budget was much lower for this installment in the series than its predecessors. Although it is supposed to take place in the United States, it was actually filmed in Eastern Europe, and most of the actors with speaking parts are British, although they do a reasonable job with their fake accents.
At the end of the day, if you liked the first two Wrong Turn movies, you’ll probably like this one, too, although it’s not quite as good.