|Tags: Aleksa Palladino, blood, Crystal Lowe, Erica Leershen, gore, Henry Rollins, inbred, Joe Lynch, Ken Krizinger, Matthew Currie Holmes, Steve Braun, Texas Battle, woods, wrong turn|
Cast:Henry Rollins, Texas Battle, Crystal Lowe, Erica Leershen, Aleksa Palladino, Matthew Currie Holmes, Ken Krizinger, Steve Braun
In 2003 director Rob Schmidt brought old-school survival slasher back with the predictable, but relentless and highly enjoyable Wrong Turn. The film did decent at the box office, and over time would match and exceed its $12-million budget. It also resurrected a fairly dead sub-genre (made popular in the 80s) and spawned many low-budget straight-to-DVD copycats over the years. With the added footage after the credits showing the "Three Finger" mutant still alive and kicking, it was bound to have a sequel right? It wasn't until a few years later that word of another film broke and would get a straight-to-DVD release. Normally sequels (especially ones with lower budgets and premiere on DVD) are horrible. Not so in this case. In fact, it does top the original in a couple ways, but I personally felt the first film is still superior.
The story this time revolves around a group of contestants in a new low-budget reality television show called "The Ultimate Survivalist", which is essentially a rip-off of Survivor. We've got your standard group of players -- the slut, horny loser skater-boy, wanna-be actress, ex-football player, semi-gothy loner-girl, plain chick that's dating the producer, and lastly the military-trained lesbian. Naturally, the survivors eventually cross paths with the rest of the inbred family that spawned the three brothers from the first flick -- there's "Ma" who stays mostly at home, "Pa" the big guy who's handy with the bow-and-arrow, and the horny young brother and sister duo that cause most of the trouble for the group, and all of which are physically deformed, but not as prominent as the brothers from the first flick. Likely because FX master Stan Winston and his crew weren't involved in the project this time.
Aside from some of the dumb dialogue and ridiculous premise, the film is a pretty solid watch. There's plenty of gore, and the action never lets up. The characters are all distinct and offer their little roles in the events that unfold, but I could still easily guess who would wind up surviving in the end. However, I was somewhat disappointed with the mutants -- they're deformities aren't as specific and detailed as the ones in the previous movie, and they didn't offer much characteristics that made them differ from one another. Pa was big and had good aim with the bow, while the bro and sis were just a little fast, and that's pretty much it. Since the parents were supposed to be the ones that spawned the horrendous brothers from the first flick, I expected them to be some big ruthless freaks, but they ended up as nothing more than nuisances, in my opinion. The good news is Three Finger does return, but only in cameo form and it's a very brief one at that.
Unlike the first, we're given a little more background on the family, who have apparently been in the area for decades. As the story goes, some 30-years-ago there was a chemical spill that led everyone in the area to move else ware, while one family decided to stay behind. This led to some of their birth defects and, of course, due to inbreeding made things worse. The family doesn't talk (much like the bros didn't), but did a lot of grunting to communicate, which I found rather silly, especially during the dinner scene (obvious nod to TCM), where they said a prayer (in grunt form) while holding hands. The movie definitely tops the previous film in one aspect and that's gore. Yeah, the first movie had some good gory deaths, but this flick tops it by throwing one violent and blood-filled death after the other, with the opening scene being one of my favorites.
Henry Rollins as the ex Marine Colonel pretty much steals the show in all his scenes, and proves to be a pretty badass character that holds his own when face to face with the inbreds (something we didn't see before), and even seemed somewhat matched strength-wise with some of them. First time director, Joe Lynch, proves that sometimes all it takes is a die-hard passion for the genre and a little know-how to dish out a solid sequel. Bring on part three!
Not as good as the original, but still a worthy flick and shows that not all sequels (straight to DVD or not) suck. They've amped up the gore and the action never lets up. If you enjoyed the first, then you'll surely enjoy the second. Give this a check when it hits DVD this October.
|Posted on July 29, 2009 - 7:13am | FrighT MasteR|