horror, Movies, Reviews, scraping the barrel

Scraping the Barrel – Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead

Why here? Why now? Why… a review of Wrong Turn 3?

Fair enough question. I was feeling nostalgic and this was the first review I had published in phase 2 of my ‘career’ as a critic (following the Gonzo Fanzine years of the early nineties which I am assured did happen even though I can’t remember them). So thanks to Ian Rattray of London’s FrightFest horror film festival for taking the chance on me all those years ago. 2010 was it? I can’t remember. Anyway, this set the tone for many reviews to come, horrible genre dreck no-one in their right mind would watch on purpose (aka 90% of Netflix).

After a standard pretty young things gettin nekkid then slaughtered pre-credit sequence Wrong Turn 3 briefly abandons its familiar rural setting for a tough US penitentiary – at least I think that’s what it is, it looks more like a Bulgarian high school with some barbed wire strewn about. High risk inmate Chavez (Nick Love regular Tamer Hussein) is planning to escape during a prison transfer with the help of some Aryan Nation buddies. Being as he’s soooo very dangerous and such a high risk, the authorities decide to unexpectedly move this forward a few days and pack him off with a motley collection of other inmates, undercover feds and prison guards in a special bus which has had the “terrible back-projection” option installed. Nice.

Needless to say the inmates barely have time for a few verses of The Wheels On The Bus before mutant hillbilly cannibals run them off the road and inexplicably start turning them into kebabs despite the fact that the survivors are armed like a SWAT team.

Everyone gets lost and wanders around the shrubs at the bottom of the producer’s garden. They find an upturned armoured car full of money (in the middle of a forest? What?) Tamar swears a lot. They wander around the shrubs some more. A fat sheriff moans that he’s “too old for this shit”. They wander around the same patch of shrubs some more. All through this the mutants pop up every five minutes and inflict some bad CG gore on the audience.

Wrong Turn was a derivative but enjoyable rip-off of The Hills Have Eyes and Hunter’s Blood. DTV sequel Wrong Turn 2 (directed by Joe Lynch) managed be far better, despite a shoestring budget, due to lashings of humour, inventive gore, sheer enthusiasm and the liberal application of Henry Rollins.

In the hands of genre dreck specialist Declan O’Brien (also Wrong Turns 4 & 5, and the tedious Sharktopus) Wrong Turn 3 fails to even scale the peak of Mount Sub Standard. It features a cast of actors who have a lot of episodes of The Bill on their CVs and has what appears to be a public park in Belgrade standing in for America. It’s dark. Presumably they thought the audience would be too drunk to notice.

Its really, really dreadful.

Review originally published on http://www.frightfest.co.uk/ (don’t look for it, it was put out of its misery long ago).


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