Movie Marathon: ‘Wrong Turn 3’

The first movie was as bland as wet cement, the second was trashy fun. Will the fun continue?

Movie: Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead

Released: 2009

Director: Declan O’Brien

Cast: Tom Frederic, Janet Montgomery, Gil Kolirin, Christian Conteras, Jake Curran, Tom McKay, Chucky Venn, Borilac Petrov, Borislav Iliev

Plot: A group of prisoners are being transported by bus through the woods of West Virginia. When a crash leaves them stranded they become the new targets of the cannibal mutants. Internal conflict may proof to be a bigger threat.

Review: This sequel wastes no time at all letting us know that we’re in the same schlocky world as the previous film. We open on a group of teens on a rafting trip. Within moments the girls are stripping off and the cannibals are shooting them through the boob with an arrow.

Just when things look like a retread of the previous films we jump to a prison where a group are preparing for a transport. More than anything else, we have a low budget version of Con-Air. We’ve got a serial killer, a gang-lord, a rapist, a comic relief car thief, a self-proclaimed innocent man and an undercover agent. Mixed in for extra drama is the racial tension between the murderous neo-Nazi and the Mexican Cartel boss, the latter of whom establishes himself as a natural leader and most dangerous threat.

When recurring cannibal Three Finger rams their transport bus off the road the group find themselves lost in the wilderness. The chained together prisoners take control of the situation, creating tension with the smaller number of guards in their midst and especially good guy Nate. They happen across Alex, sole survivor of the prologue scene, and they’re in it to survive together. On the way they found an upturned armoured truck loaded with cash (that someone forgot about?). Having a hefty pile of loot adds to the tension between the group as they seek an escape to their predicament.

So far this is the most fun the series as been. It may look as low budget as they come, but the mix of armed but manacled prisoners, helpless guards, racial conflict, the greed driven by the the cash and the risk of assault on one the one young woman of the group, Alex, makes every aspect of the film more interesting. As the cannibals are circling the survivors and picking them off one by one they’re all got to be watching each others back.

Don’t get the idea that this is good. It doesn’t add to or expand the established lore, but giving us some interesting characters goes a long way to making this silliness watchable. Tamer Hassan, who plays Cartel leader Carlos Chavez, is as bad an actor as any of them, but he puts such effort into doing this whole Ian McShane thing that we respect and enjoy his work. When all is said and done the movie tries laying a couple of twists on us, but it’s all pretty silly.

This series continues to get trashier, but somehow more entertaining. Throwing in a community theatre production of Con Air certainly helps. They tried to up the gore level with a couple of dismemberments but the CGI effects bring them down a notch.

Review: FOUR out of TEN