WRONG TURN – it isn’t a disaster. It isn’t terrible. Actually tonight, I kinda enjoyed it, but that’s because I walked in literally expecting a complete and total waste of time. One horror filmmaking friend of mine in L.A. said, “The only WRONG TURN with that movie is the one you made into the theater!”
I heard that one as I sat in theater for an hour before the movie start. At that point I was looking around, knowing that basically, I had skipped supper to see this movie, and that… well, I could skip a few suppers, so why not.
WRONG TURN sets out to be THE DEFINITIVE Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal flick… I think, because they sneak that “West Virginia” bit in there, that means we’re not supposed to compare it to the superior THE HILLS HAVE EYES movie, which I hear might be being remade, btw… But here’s the thing… any movie that at least attempts to be a Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal flick… well it can’t be all that bad, but this ain’t all that great either.
The key problems is not really living up to the potential of that genre, to that R-rating it has. For example… look at that RED BAND TRAILER on APPLE.Com… Nothing really RED BAND about it. No tits, no gore, no cussing, no over the top thrills… I believe it has some blood in it, but hey… I’m that guy that still remembers the SCANNER trailer where I saw a man’s entire head explode in a trailer. THAT’S A RED BAND HORROR TRAILER!
Well, in a way the whole film suffers from not fucking the audience hard enough. I mean – first off, this is an R-rated Horror film, and there’s no T & A. Ok – a definite minus here… not only that, but hell, there isn’t even any grotesque titillation in the movie. When one female character is captured alive – well here you have the potential for HORROR. What would 3 Retarded InBred West Virginia Middle-Aged Hillbilly Mountain Men Family Cannibal’s do to a pretty little thing tied to their bed?
With all the other bodies around ready for preserves and what not, why kill her? Don’t they need more kin? As far as I could tell, I didn’t spy no female deformed hillbilly fuck meat – so she could incubate up the next generation of West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibals – and that certainly would be a helluvalot more terrifying than… well, what happens. This movie is constantly sort of pulling back, never really wallowing in the absurd depravity that they could be unleashing with these Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal Fucks.
I mean – show dead raped deer in the forest. Or, if they aren’t willing to show one of our lead female characters being implanted with Hillbilly probable deformed seed, have some woman that’s been captive for months in some back room of this place chained, so abused she’s lost speech, and teeth… beaten and abused so much that she’s beginning to look like she fits in with these psychos… and little deformed inbred cannibal retards in training. When you’re playing with a subject like this… GO ALL THE WAY, don’t sort of pull back.
The gore in the film is sort of Sub-Savini in fashion, but I think that’s mainly due to how dark the stuff is. I’m sure being darkened helped get past the assmunchers at the MPAA, but the trick is lightening the print after you deal with the MPAA – cuz many times you don’t have a “Color Timed Print” available for their screening. Good secret that many horror filmmaking folks I know have pulled.
But like I said, I kinda liked it. They relied way too much on loud obnoxious sound elements, and the score is so loud as to be ludicrous… After the film, I was invited to Tim League’s house, of the Alamo Drafthouse, to meet the filmmaking team behind the shot-for-shot remake of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The area Tim lives in is on a dark and creepy street out in South Austin, and the sound of the cicadas, the real dark darkness of the location… and that scary fucking armadillo that scurried across the street was more GENUINELY CREEPY than anything in the film.
BUT – there’s some nice gore gags. Stan Winston’s Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibals look fairly fucking ridiculous… but they are retarded inbred West Virginia hillbilly mountain men cannibals… they’re supposed to look fairly fucking ridiculous. They are kept in shadows pretty much throughout the film, with a few reveals here and there, but, there’s nothing particularly life like about them, but they do put to hell the HILLS HAVE EYES hillbilly looks, and technically the best Hillbilly in this thing is the Gas Station guy, he rules.
Music. There is absolutely nothing Hillbilly about it. Which just sort of sucks. I mean, look at the success that the Coen Brothers had with O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? That sort of music is insanely proper, and the best music that went with this movie, was the re-mix of CONVOY that was on the theater’s MUZAK noise that I usually despise. There just wasn’t any music that felt like it belonged in the mountains of West Virginia, of course… securing proper mountain music for a Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal flick… well it probably isn’t the easiest thing.
Now I know everyone is all hot and bothered about Eliza Dushku, and yeah… she’s sex times ten, but my fave beauty in this film is in the underwritten hands of Lindy Booth – who did the best horrified wander into the forest bit in the film, and well – her character wanted to be in a proper R-rated Horror film… at least got the pants off her boyfriend, but unfortunately Rob Schmidt or the typically prudish Alan McElroy (screenwriter) didn’t include that scene for us. I mean – had we seen those two enjoying their fling in the woods – maybe we’d have been more sympathetic for them. But alas. But hey, character development and titillation isn’t what either Alan or Rob are known for. But then, neither is real high quality exploitation, which seems to be a thing of the past… Unless you see MAY or CABIN FEVER – both of which understand the proper mix of gore and titillation for a good R-rated horror film set around the younger set. But then, I’ve always gotten the idea that Alan McElroy is a commercial regurgitator of that type of stuff, not creator… not like what an Eli Roth or Lucky McKee can do… or in their heyday, folks like Tobe Hooper or Wes Craven.
But like I said – I like this movie in that… shit man, it’s a Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal flick, it ain’t all bad… reminds me of Seymour, in my tortured dementia at the time. Hehehe… And if nothing else, I like thinking that those deformed flesh feasting mumblers are up in those West Virginia woods… I would just love it if they came across a National Jamboree and started harvesting Boy Scouts, that have to pit their Boy Scout training against Retarded InBred West Virginia Hillbilly Mountain Men Cannibal-fucks. An epic battle between the boys and the men of the woods. Just watching some scout take out a Hillbilly bastard with a little vittle kit, that’d rule.
See… that’s what this movie is good for, its good for a conversation afterwards about what could have been cooler…