|Submitted by Philip Davetas |
(Aug 01, 2003)
Wrong Turn (2 ½ out of Four)
R, 2003, 90 min., Twentieth Century Fox.
Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Music by Elia Cmiral, Produced by Robert Kulzer, Erik Feig, Stan Winston, Brian Gilbert, Written by Alan McElroy and Directed by Rob Schmidt.
(Minor Spoilers within)
It’s decapitation weather again. Time to get your paranoia meters cranked up and fear those in-bred mutants milling about in the backwoods of West Virginia—the heart of Democracy. After generations and generations of sister-raping a genetic mutation of brothers has swilled up on humanity’s evolutionary chain. They prey on curious, little, furry woodland creatures, highway patrolman, people having sex in the woods, people smoking that evil pot, loud mouth assholes who think they’re cool, girlies with little tiny titties peeking around creepy corners to see where exactly her boyfriend was just chopped up only seconds before and my all-time fave hacking up people with no common sense.
The thing with most survival flicks is that only the stars and the ones with the least amount of character flaws make it to the end titles. The dumb girl always gets killed. Because you have to have some common sense to survive in the world or you could wind up getting other people hurt. The couple that just has to hump while there’s a maniac on the loose, because you know sex is evil and sinners must be punished. And why does the smart-ass always get killed? Because smart-asses are considered unlikable and not an overly popular social character in the world we live in today. Smart-asses can offend people and that’s flat-out lobotomy time. All these people getting killed believe it or not are little tiny messages from the studios telling you that you must be good-looking, have good social skills and have all your ethics and morality in check. You stray from these moral majority guidelines then you have no relevance to the human race and must die nice and bloody. A message film of sorts. It’s a way of justifying the carnage in the flick.
It’s always the same. Some curious folks decide to take a little road off the crowded main highway—shortcuts are evil by the way. It means you’re lazy and have no patience. Their cars are forced off the road by booby-trapped tire snares and then hunted down by hillbillies in really bad Stan Winston make-up. The hillbillies—oh, excuse me, “Mountain Men’s” origins are only revealed through the title card sequence. They’re overly robust, strong and impervious to death. Otherwise there is no further explanation in the flickaroo to whom or what they are. In fact, they don’t even have a reason to kill anybody except that they’re fucked in the head. So, the collection of good-looking young heroes or livestock decide to walk to the nearest cabin or meatpacking plant to see if anyone’s got a phone. No dice. But do they find a nice collection of livers, eyeballs, brains, assorted fingers, small intestines, large intestines, lower intestines, upper intestines, tongues, hands without bodies attached to them, sodomized minks, half-eaten skunks and a whole lot of flies. Flies are little tiny creatures that show up when there’s really, really, really or sometimes not so really smelly stuff around. The flies usually warn people when a dead body’s around, but our livestock doesn’t know that. Just as the livestock realizes they don’t want to hang out anymore the Mountain Men come home and start hacking up on a body—it’s one of their fellow livestock! A chick who gives head if you will. From here it’s all running and hiding.
As the flickaroo goes, it’s okay. The chases and hiding are decent. The livestock is reasonably likable. The death scenes are nice and bloody, but the bodycount is only 7. Kinda low for a genre pic, but we’ll take what we can get for now. The directing I would have to say is really great for a horror pic. This is someone who knows how to deliver a genre piece. In recent years and throughout the 80’s we’ve had directors directing horror but didn’t know anything about the genre itself. Kind of half-stepping it until they get a better script and bigger budget to fuck up. I won’t name any names—James Wong. Wrong Turn serves the genre, but suffers from cliché-ridden messages and a lame premise. See it and be good, damn it. The Democracy Mountain Men are watching you.
Kill All the In-Breds:
Cabin Fever, Jason Vs. Freddy, Dee Snyder’s Strangeland, Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2, Grim Prairie Tales, The Forsaken, Near Dark, Motel Hell, Cannibal Ferox, I Spit on Your Grave, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1, 2, 3 and 4, House of 1000 Corpses, Redneck Zombies, Deliverance, Pumpkinhead, Southern Comfort, The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, U-Turn, People Under the Stairs, Haunted, Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes…