Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reader Recommendation: Wrong Turn 2: Dead End

“I watched Wrong Turn 2 with my very squeamish mother and had a blast.”--Barbarella Cult

“The only other choice I considered was "Wrong Turn 2," which I happened to watch for a similar, single reason, that being it had Henry Rollins playing a reality show host who battles inbred mutants in the woods!”--Dave
“I'm writing to convince you that the fact that you have not yet watched Wrong Turn 2 is a damn travesty and one you desperately need to remedy.
Firstly, the basic story is a Survivor-esque tv show gets gatecrashed by inbred, incestuous, sexually rampant MUTANTS.
Secondly, Henry Rollins plays an ex-marine who hosts the show. You need to watch it just to hear Rollins say "Semper Fi" to himself after dispatching one of the nasties.
Thirdly, there's an incestuous mutant sex scene where the she-mutant wears the scalp of one of the contestants.
And lastly, there's a third film.”--Rachel, GoF Radio 

I love you all so much.
Quick Plot: En route to film a Survivor-esque reality show in the backwoods of West Virginia, Kimberly American Idol 2 Caldwell gets split in half by a pair of hungry carnivorous mutants.

Hell yes folks, it’s Wrong Turn 2.
Meanwhile, your typical batch of attractive twentysomethings (who aren’t here to make friends) prepare for a few days in the woods for Survival: Apocalypse, a show that would be insanely awful if not for the hosting of the more amazing than humanly possible Henry Rollins. The token types are present: fame-craving nympho, solid black guy, horndog, militant lesbian, bipolar vegan who resembles a much smaller headed Julia Stiles, and last minute understudy in the guise of a good girl producer. The group is soon paired off and sent out for...well, although the rules are laid out clearly by Rollins, I actually have no clue what they’re actually going to be doing in West Virginia.

And really, do you think it matters? Within “three hours,” the mangled forest mutant from the 2003? film are making themselves known, tossing axes, shooting arrows, and cooking up dinner on an open fire. Of course, they also have to deal with the Rollins’ former marine, a man who knows his way around dynamite, hunting knives, and generally, everything about kickassness.

Much like the first film, Wrong Turn 2 doesn’t tell a new story. But much like Wrong Turn, Wrong Turn 2 knows exactly who its audience is. Director Joe Lynch is clearly a horror fan raised on the best and he delivers a bloody good time from start to finish. There’s no social subtext or satirical bent, no lessons about a fame obsessed America or how the civilized can become monstrous. Environmental message? Go rent Avatar.

Nope. All you'll get here are inbred mutants, gleefully hacking their way through somewhat prepared young people. Really, what more can you want from a straight to DVD horror sequel?
High Points
High five for the not so subtle Battle Royale t-shirt?
I’ll tread lightly through spoiler territory, but by far the best thing about Wrong Turn 2 that isn’t listed below is how it teases us with the typical backwoods formula but completely defies our expectations in when and how it kills its characters. In particular, the first major casualty severs the umbilical cord of what seems like an obvious plot thread. It’s a beautiful (and bloody) thing
Henry. Rollins.

Low Points
Um. There’s an actor in the film named Texas Battle, which is just silly. That’s just about it
Lessons Learned
If vegan and cast on a reality show, assume you’ll soon be challenged to eat larvae. Sort of like how there’s a new contestant on America’s Next Top Model who’s an Orthodox Jew and introduces herself as not working on the Sabbath and immediately says “Oh, but I’m okay with it for modeling!”

It’s perfectly normal for a reality show to replace a celebrity guest with the crew’s mousy producer
When cooked by experts, human meat is apparently quite excellent
Backwoods mutant births take less time than an Emmy acceptance speech by an unknown technical operator
Henry Rollins is my god


This is the definition of a good time for any horror fan. Gory, funny, and self-aware with a huge rewatchability factor for all. The DVD includes TWO commentaries, plus a making-of featurette and a few other goodies. I enjoyed the first Wrong Turn as a better-than-average studio offering. I loved Wrong Turn 2 for being, quite simply, 98 minutes of all that's great in the world.


  1. I managed to enjoy this movie quite a lot despite watching it with two chaps who were very vocal in their complaints about how it was too gory and had too little compassion for inbred mutants.

  2. Pearce, you really need to find new friends.I don't know how to help, although I will say if there's one thing I learned from reality TV, it's that nobody goes on them to make friends. So maybe just have an open barbeque in the woods and hope for the best?

  3. For some reason i didn't really dig this on 1st viewing-- far too much cgi blood for my taste (the arrow through the eye for example).
    However upon a re-watch i found that yes, i did indeed love this. Something in the second viewing allowed me to over look the sometimes dodgy cgi and enjoy the ample amounts of physical fx, the ott inbred mutants.
    I loved the willingness to

    kill off the girl you are set up for as a lead -(the mousy producer chick)


    And yes Hank is the fucking man.

  4. Yup Vish, the CGI kills were pretty computer-y, but the setup into them was great. Even the arrow scene: you feel like it simply won't end the way it does, but bam! And the kill you're referring to was for me, the point that I knew I was loving this movie. The stereotypes are there. You know how things will go. Then with one swing of an axe, you realize the movie has other ideas.

  5. I saw this 11 or 12 years ago when a friend rented it. I expected trash, and was shocked at how much fun it wound up being. Ever since then, I've periodically found myself thinking about WT2 and wondering if it was as good as I remembered it. Naturally, I looked to see if it was ever mentioned here. This review (and all the glowing reviews that led you to it as well) tell me that WT2 may well be just as good as I thought. I don't usually re-watch flicks (too much new shit to see) but I think I will revisit this one soon.

    The only scene I remember from WT2 is a shot of Rollins shouting, "GET SOME!" which I absolutely adored. I'm sure I lol'd at the time. I wonder if that scene stood out that much to anyone else.

    1. Man, it's now been YEARS since I watched it too! The line I still remember is "Semper Fi, Mother F*cker!"

      I'm now also super curious how it would age for me. This era of horror was of a a VERY specific tone, which tended to be overly mean, which I don't enjoy nearly as much these days. Still, I remember having an absolute blast with WT2, so I have to think this had more going for it that would still be fun today.