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John’s Horror Corner: Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009), mixing the booby traps of Rambo: First Blood (1982) and Predator (1987) with inbred, redneck, mutant, cannibal hillbillies.

May 18, 2017

These sequel had loads of action and loads of gore—and it almost all sucked.  But that’s okay, because the dialogue was also by far the worst in the series.  So if you’re having a “bad movie” night, this is your movie!  MORE MOVIES LIKE Wrong Turn 3: Dead EndWrong Turn (2003), Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007), The Hills Have Eyes 1-2 (1977, 1984, 2006, 2007), Just Before Dawn (1981), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) will all continue to satisfy the hillbilly horror subgenre.  Maybe Cabin Fever 1-3 (2002-2014) for the gore hounds.

Our latest franchise director (Declan O’Brien; Cyclops, Sharktopus, Wrong Turn 4-5) makes this third film yet trashier and yet more looney than Dead End (2007).  Of the three Wrong Turn films so far, this is absolutely the most classless.  In under 4 minutes we endure twenty-somethings smoking pot, breast-baring nudity for no reason (not even for a sex or shower scene, but just because), and dialogue hardly worthy of pornography.  No really, the girl actually says things like “do you think I’m a slut,” “I thought you loved my boobs” and (in reference to taking off her top) “the girls gotta’ breathe.”  At this point you’d think we’d be wasting our time to watch any more.  But hold on.

This may be trashy, but we get loads of great gore (still in the first 10 minutes).  Much as Dead End (2007) opened with the fantastic scene deliciously cutting Kimberly Caldwell in half (with guts pouring out), now arrows shoot through boobs and popping eyeballs, a spear is thrust through a dude’s mouth and a piano wire booby trap reminded me of Cube (1997) and Resident Evil’s (2002) laser grids.  The stabs, penetrations, slices and blood spurts are CGI (like, way obvious CGI)—but the gore is so abundant and playfully executed that I’m honestly already loving this!  Not only that, but our sole recurring inbred hillbilly cannibal Three-Finger (Borislav Iliev; Wrong Turn 5) is back and giggly as ever!  Based on the punishment he’s taken, he may just be immortal.

After that great action medley we take a wrong turn for the worse. Meeting this sequel’s main victims, we find ourselves painfully enduring a prison yard scene that’s as cheesy as can be.  The horribly over-expository dialogue reveals that inmates Floyd (Gil Kolirin; Return to House on Haunted Hill) and Chavez (Tamer Hassan; Sucker Punch) will be transferred through the back country of Greenbriar West Virginia along with under cover US Marshall Willy (Christian Contreras), posing as another inmate.

Our transferred prisoners’ bus crashes, Chavez takes charge, and the inmates hustle through the dark woods towards their freedom.  But after that gore-slathered opening sequence we suffer through long stretches of forced “story” and wretched lines as we desperately await the next death scene.  Thankfully our mutant Three-Finger and his young deformed kin Three-Toe come in strong with more booby traps.  Between a razor wire net and a spring-loaded spike trap, Rambo: First Blood (1982) crosses paths with Predator (1987) as the traps seem to be the greatest strength of the movie.

The acting, writing and directing were clearly the worst of the franchise (parts 1-3, anyway).  The plot really couldn’t have been worse, nor more poorly executed.  I honestly missed the stagnant direct-to-DVD dialogue of Dead End (2007).  Yet, somehow, this remained generally quite watchable and entertaining.  Inferior to its predecessors, but not unworthy of your time if you’re a fan of the franchise and stupid action for the sake of gore.

Perhaps most amusing is that in this Wrong Turn film, the victims made no wrong turns.  The worst turn, however, was when the filmmakers gave us several long (and boring and very stupid) fist fight scenes between inmates during power struggles. So bad… SMH…. so very bad.  Overall, the trap death scenes are pretty cool and pretty cruel.  I enjoyed many a maniacal giggle.  But outside of the booby traps, this movie had loads of action—and, other than those traps, it all sucked.  The finale action finds even new levels of lunacy, even feeling cartoonishly ridiculous for a Wrong Turn sequel.  Bad movie lovers will revel in it.

Even if you consider Wrong Turn (2003) a “bad movie,” this is a “badder movie” that barely keeps its grip on its so-bad-it’s-good status for our entertainment.  Much to my dismay, it’s barely a B-movie because I think it was actually trying to be good.  All attention was aimed at action and gore, but sadly, not the atmosphere.  Nothing was ever really tense, unnerving, or even creepy.

Oh dear…the same director was behind parts 4 and 5, for better or worse.  I guess it just depends on your taste.

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