Monday, September 12, 2011

Project Terrible: Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)

The first Wrong Turn film from 2003 is undoubtedly one of the best horror films of the last decade and one of my personal favorite horror films of all time. That's probably the reason why I was so disappointed by Wrong Turn 2: Dead End. Admittedly, I shut it off halfway through simply because of the dramatic shift in tone and style from the first one - it made me a little angry, sure.

Knowing all this, a person whom I thought was my blog buddy, Maynard of Maynard Morrissey's Horror Movie Diary, gave me Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead as my movie for Project Terrible. I was dreading this movie like nothing I've ever dreaded before. I knew it was going to suck, knew it was going to be nothing but retarded characters running around the woods and getting killed. Blah.

So here's the thing. It almost pains me to admit it and Maynard is gonna make me eat some words here, but I actually didn't hate this movie. At least I didn't hate it as much as I did the second film and this one is no way as good as the first, but it had enough of what I like in a horror movie - a quick story and fun gore - to make me dig it a bit. But this is Project Terrible and I'm going to start the review with what I didn't enjoy so much about the movie.

This is probably the only time I will show
partial boobs on my site.
The story is more involved than I thought it would be, and sometimes not in a good way. The movie starts off with quite a bang as four kayakers are almost immediately dispatched of by our favorite hillbillies (well, three kayakers - one escapes and shows up later). Then we get into some weird story of a prison transfer and a guard's last night on duty and a prisoner's plan for escape during the drive to another prison. This brings about some annoying scenes of the prisoners - Chavez and Floyd - fighting and backstabbing over and over and over and OVER again. It gets even worse when the group randomly finds in the woods an old armored truck full of money.

These parts also get quite irritating when there is constant fighting over the money and the prisoners making the guards and Alex, the survivor from the kayak massacre, carrying the money through the woods as the main guard, Nate, leads Chavez to a phone or something so he can contact his "boys." The group gets picked off one by one by the 3 Finger mutant and after each death, it seems like there is yet ANOTHER fight over the money and whether or not the prisoners should kill the others. Just make up your mind already, seriously. Then that whole side story suddenly doesn't matter anymore when the money gets burned up by 3 Finger. Oi, how annoying.

The biggest sour note to this movie has to do with the special effects work. The main thing is that the mutants are simply not as well done as in the original film. Granted, Wrong Turn had the genius of Stan Winston behind those mutants and they looked freaking GREAT. The bad teeth, the bulbous and deformed hands, heads and limbs (I always loved the guy with the hunchback) all made these guys truly grotesque and terrifying.

The Wrong Turn 3 bad guys, however, not only don't have the same quality makeup as before, but the mutant family has dwindled down to just two members, and later on only the mutant known as 3 Finger is left to do all the carnage himself. This was a disappointment because to me, one guy is not really as scary as three.

The good part about this movie was most of the death scenes. The original film was pretty much all hack-and-slash with axes and arrows but this one pumps that up much more. Three Finger has set up booby traps in the woods - including an "egg slicer" that slices an guy's entire body into three pieces and a trap on his truck that encases a guy in wire then hoists him up so 3 Finger can drag him down the street. Niiiiiiiice. There are also some nice impalings like a pipe through the mouth and an arrow through the boob and eye for one poor girl.

However. The CGI blood sucked. Especially on the egg slicer death which was cool in theory and got hokey at the end when the guy split apart and there was very obvious CG blood spurting up from his body. But this was the only part where it really bothered me, thank goodness.

Small question: What happened to the female deputy? I'm thinking that she was the half-dead naked girl all twisted up in barbed wire inside the mutants' house but I couldn't tell for sure. Anybody got word on that?

I'm seriously shocked at how much I liked this movie. Though it falters a bit in story, the action is well-paced and the gore is inventive and, for the most part, fairly well done. The first film in the Wrong Turn series is still at the top of the pack for me while the second one is well below the bottom of the pack. I'd say the third is at about a happy medium.


  1. I'm seriously shocked at how much you liked this movie! :) Hope we're still blog buddies ;)

  2. I haven't seen this series of movies yet so I am putting them on my to see list!

  3. I was not a big fan of this movie and I'm fairly close to your opinion on it. 'Wrong Turn 2' had moments of goodness (i.e. Henry Rollins and his exploding arrows), but also lots of bad moments with no follow through (i.e. the woman who finds out about her boyfriend having an affair and just dies in the next scene).

    To answer your question about the Deputy, I think it is supposed to be her. The minimal amount of Deleted Scenes on the disc showed one bit of her being tortured by the villain. Why they cut that, I don't know.

    I'm surprised you didn't notice/mention that most of the cast were losing their American accents by the End. Pretty funny, if you ask me.

  4. @Maynard: I know, right??? I almost wanted to lie and say that I hated everything about the movie because I talk so much smack about these sequels. Alas, I could not lie - I kinda dug it.

    @Lulu: Definitely see the first movie! I hate the second one but a lot of others seem to like it so I dunno.. use your judgment there!

    @Tim: Usually Henry Rollins is fun but I really couldn't stand him in Wrong Turn 2. All those cheesy one liners just annoyed me.

    I totally did not notice that at all! But that is pretty funny... and sad because no one else caught it.

  5. I had no idea there was even a Wrong Turn 2 so it's a shocker there's a 3! Whelp....3rd time a charm I suppose.

    I'm always down for a slasher with gore.

  6. ugh, the CG blood. Every slasher fan's worst enemy.

    I hate to admit it too, but this is one hell of a guilty pleasure. I watch i, know it's bad, but somehow you can't help but laugh at this monstrosity of a sequel.

    still prefer the first two, though...