3.12.09

Wrong Turn 3 is Almost Amazingly Bad

It’s a weird effect of DTV sequels that a chintzy cash-in movie gets all the pomp and circumstance of a movie that I’d actually see in theatres. By which I mean the 20th Century Fox logo is something that I have a visceral association with, it’s narrative short form letting me know that I’m about to watch a real capital-m “Movie”.

Which Wrong Turn 3 is so profoundly not.

It opens with a brief sequence of some rafters getting slaughtered by Three-Finger, the mom of the cannibal mutant hillbilly family from the first and second films, along with one of her relatively young sons. This sequence is notable for just two things. First, that a woman gets topless at just three and a half minutes into the movie, which is fast by any definition of the term, but the fact that one of her breasts is impaled by an arrow just a minute later most assuredly is.

There’s also the following shot of a man getting cut in three by wires:

Oh, isn’t it nice to see that 12 years after the film Cube came out, a film with approximately ten times the budget could do their signature effect so much worse?

The action then moves to a prison, where the cliches start piling up fast and thick. There’s the white supremacist, the Hispanic gang boss, the I already don’t care. The point is that every prisoner who gets a line is being transported to another prison that very night, along with a prison guard who’s, you guessed it, on his last night at the job!

Now logic would seem to dictate that the prison transport is going to drive through the woods of west Virginia, crash while being attacked by the gang members looking to spring their boss, then everyone would be attacked by the hillbillies. Simple, right?

Yeah, this isn’t a movie what’s big on ‘logic’. Or ‘basic sense’. No, the prison bus stops for a bathroom break at a local police station, where we learn that the guard grew up in the area, and knows the woods like the back of his hand. He’s less familiar with the cannibal hillbillies, you know, considering the volume of people they apparently kill every year, but we’ll look past the oversight.

Soon after leaving the police station the bus is attacked – not by gang members. No, despite being constantly mentioned by other characters, no other gang members will show up in the film. No, the bus is attacked by the tow truck full of killbillies, who use razor wire to burst their tires.

So, and just so we’re clear here, the plot is predicated on the idea that on the same night a group of criminals were planning to break out a prison transport, that same prison transport is attacked by cannibal hillbillies?

How hard would it have been for there to be a conventional prison attack, that sent people fleeing into the woods, chased by the gang members, who had their plans complicated by the killbillies?

Anyhow, after the crash one of the guards gets a knife in the throat, and the crooks manage to get all of the guns – and this is important, the sum total of the guns they get are two pistols and a shotgun that the cops pulled out of the burning bus. They have no additional ammunition.

So it’s time to play ‘count the gunshots’!

Here the gang boss is firing a pump shotgun 1-handed. Good luck with that, by the way. He fires the shotgun three times, killing nothing.

And so begins the first of many, many scenes of the criminals wandering through the woods with their captive guards, bickering with each other. It’s all terminally bland and has no real impact on the story (people get murdered and eaten by killbillies), so I’m going to limit the rest of my review to the key incidents. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, they don’t kill the guards because the main character theoretically knows his way around the forest. Eventually the female survivor of the teaser kills shows up. She does nothing for the entire length of the film, and will likely go unmentioned for the rest of the review.

The motley crew soon find an armored car crashed in the woods.

Now, you might wonder just how an armored car from fifty years ago wound up in the middle of woods surrounded by trees, nowhere near a road of any kind. Not only is that question never answered, but no one seems particularly curious about how it might have arrived at so preposterous a location.

While insisting on checking the wreck, gang leader needlessly pumps his shotgun to punctuate a threat. While this might seem like a cool thing to do, it’s not like pulling back the hammer on a pistol, which can be done for emphasis, and then lowered again. Pumping a shotgun cycles an old shell out of the firing chamber, and a new shell into it. This means that his choice to flamboyantly threaten someone brought the count of shells expended up to 4.

Of course, it’s possible that he’d never bothered to pump the gun after that third shot, but while the character is a moron, I can’t imagine that he’s so stupid as to be walking around with a non-functional gun for twenty minutes.

Then he fires a round into the air to shock people into stopping a fistfight – 5 shots. Yes, he wasted one of his limited number of shotgun rounds instead of, you know, yelling.

Now it’s time for the best (read as: worst) line in the movie.

The scene: An overturned van.
The setting: A C.O. has a gun hidden away. A Gang Leader wants to force him to carry some stolen money.

C.O.: You know what they say about money, don’t you Chavez?
Gang Leader: I don’t know, corrections officer. What do they say about money?
C.O.: They say money’s hard to spend, when you’re dead!

Yeah. I’m fairly sure that’s not something they say. And by ‘They’, I mean anyone. Ever.

Also, the CO pulls the gun and pulls the trigger, but stops after only two failed clicks. Dude – you’ve got six chances, and you’re about to die. Why only take a third of them?

He doesn’t, though, giving Gang Leader a chance to murder him, then head off through the woods. In another amazing coincidence, the gang stumbles on one of the presumably thousands of traps that the killbillies have place around the forest. I mean, there’s got to be thousands of traps, right? Or else how could they possibly be randomly hitting them? They manage to dodge the traps and murder the young killbilly how was minding them.

Now it’s time for the stupidest thing the characters do. They’ve killed the youngster, and decide to leave a message for his mother, Three-Finger. And just what is the message that they leave? That’s right, the kid’s severed head, mounted on one of the trap’s spikes.

So where’s the mistake? They leave immediately after doing this. I want to point out that one of the people here is a prison guard who’s going to law school, and another is an army veteran who knows his way around the woods. Yet it doesn’t occur to anyone that this might be the perfect place to set up an ambush? You’re operating under the assumption that the killbilly is tracking you, which means she’s going to come across the severed head. If she’s got any semblance of humanity left in her, this will give her pause for at least a moment.

Which would be the perfect time to shoot her, from your hiding place in the tree. But do they bother to do this? No. Instead, they leave, to go deeper into the woods, where the now-all-the-more-pissed-off three finger has a distinct advantage.

Oy.

The crew then comes across the whitewater rafts, which obviously won’t carry all of them, so the Gang Leader tries to separate himself from the pack by firing off his 6th shotgun round at the chain. Which obviously doesn’t work. Then the guard makes the whole thing moot by puncturing the boats, and announce that they’ll have to keep walking.

This might be a good point to mention that during all these scenes of the cons struggling with one another the guard and hostage could easily run away. It’s not like the cons could chase them. They’re in a chain gang.

A massively stupid chain gang, at that. Minutes later they come across a set of keys from the truck dangling from a wire. Now, at this point in the movie all of the characters know full well that they’re dealing with a trapster. And that traps frequently feature a thing called ‘bait’. Despite this, the gang leader decides to walk right up and grab them. This leads to the following preposterous death-

That’s the undercover cop, and yes, his face comes off. Because the characters couldn’t be bothered to look and see if there was a trap of any kind attached to that tripwire. The gang then decides that they’ll have to cut the cop’s legs off at the knees so they won’t have to drag his body around.

Now, at this point you may be wondering what happened to the key that the gang leader grabbed that set off the trap. And maybe why they didn’t use those keys to unlock their shackles, rather than cutting off legs?

Excellent question. Again, there are no answers available. In point of fact, the keys are never mentioned again. How is this possible?

If you had ‘terrible writing’ in the pool, you can pick your winnings up after the show. And it doesn’t matter anyway, since the cons get free of their shackles in the next scene, when a crowbar proves to easily pop them right off.

Then it’s time to cut back to the sheriff, who decides to, rather than call the next town and check if the bus has radioed in, drive out and check on it for himself. Yes, because it’s less time and trouble to drive for half an hour than to make a single phone call to check on things.

The crew eventually finds a logging road, which has the killbilly’s truck parked on it. Remember the stupidity of them being caught by that last trap? Magnify that by roughly a thousand. They know full well that they’re dealing with a trap, yet all the guy assigned to steal the truck can think to do is walk right up behind it.

Yes. He doesn’t circle around to check things out, he doesn’t scrape the ground in front of him with a stick looking for pits or wires. Nope, just walks right onto a bed of razor wire, which the killbilly then winches up into a bag, slicing him into pieces.

Just a note here – doesn’t it seem a little odd that these villains are using trucks? I know they had to move the cars of all those people they killed into the auto graveyard somehow, but seriously, it just seems weird and wrong to imagine them motoring around, gassing up a vehicle and the like. Sort of like Jason and archery. Just wrong.

They then shoot a whole bunch at the truck that’s parked ten feet away without actually hitting anything. This includes the gang leader shooting three more times, bringing his total shot count to 9. Just FYI, the maximum number of shells a shotgun like his could contain is eight, although seven is much more likely.

He also pumps the shotgun again in the next scene, wasting yet another shell. That’s 10.

Things get even more preposterous in the next section of the film, when a fistfight leaves one of the cons beaten unconscious, giving the guard and hostage a full two minute head-start to escape. Also, yet another shell was wasted in the fight, meaning the shotgun has been fired 11 times so far.

So the guard and hostage have escaped, right? Yeah, you’d think. They’ve got a two-minute head start, and the two remaining cons are carrying sixty pounds of cash each. Yet somehow, despite the fact that the cons have no idea in which direction the guard ran, they’re able to catch up when their quarries take a five-minute break.

There’s another power reversal when the cons have captured the cop again, and the sheriff and his dog show up to stop them. This is an extremely short-lived power-shift, as the killbilly drops a spear through the sheriff-

Shocking guard so much that he allows the other con to just take both of his guns away.

How had he survived long enough that this was his last day as a guard? That’s just rank incompetence.

The crew heads back for the money, which has been stolen by the white supremacist, who, for some reason, the Gang Leader didn’t kill at the end of their fight. Why didn’t he kill the white supremacist? So that he and the money can be burned when the killbilly shows up packing molotov cocktails.

I think it was supposed to be an ironic death, because earlier someone said that the white supremacist like to burn things, but because nothing like that happened in the movie, it’s hard to tell.

Gang leader also fired the shotgun uselessly again, for a total of 12.

Literally one minute later the crew comes across the killbilly’s truck once again, and this time the Gang Leader has a plan – turn over the hostage to three-finger, so she’ll leave them alone long enough to escape.

It doesn’t work. Sure, she leaves with the hostage, but then heads right back out for more murder. Oh, and gang leader fires the shotgun for a thirteenth time. Basically doubling the number of shots that he could have had.

Then the other con finally hits gang leader over the head, giving him and the guard the advantage, finally. They consider killing gang leader, but don’t, for no good reason. They also elect to not break or bind anything, ensuring that he’ll be back to get them just minutes later.

Which is exactly what happens. While guard takes the shotgun and runs to help the hostage, other con attempts to escape. Then somehow, despite the fact that when gang leader wakes up he has no idea where other con went, or how long ago he went there, Gang Leader still manages to get ahead of him, and ambush him with a club.

Meanwhile, over at the killbilly’s house, she treats the hostage to some cliched dragging and bondage action, and reveals the fate of the female deputy they met at the police station.

What, I didn’t mention her earlier? Oh, that’s just because she did absolutely nothing except turn up topless and bloody in this scene. We didn’t even see her get abducted, so we’ve got no idea who did it or how.

Alright, the stupid part of the movie is basically done at this point, so let’s skip along.

Killbilly murders gang leader in a fight. Guard rescues hostage from house, fires the shotgun for a 14th time, then seemingly killbilly is seemingly murdered by a spear directly through the spine. They make no effort to finish off the killbilly, then drive away in the tow truck.

This should, logically be the end, but three-finger somehow manages to get the spear out of her chest and run a mile through the forest to get ahead of their truck-

So then they run her over, ending the movie.

Just kidding. It’s a terrible film, remember?

No, instead the guard swerves to avoid the person he’s trying to kill, giving her a chance to jump onto the back of the tow truck and attack them with a hatchet. And lamentably bad green-screen work.

Yeah, it looks even worse in motion.

The shotgun is fired for a 15th time, and then the truck crashes, giving guard a chance to kill three-finger once and for all, by piercing her brain with a meat hook. Well it’s about damn time. It’s been like three movies already.

Then the other con, who showed up just in time to drag them out of the car, run off into the woods because the guard offers to tell the cops that he’d been killed in the escape. Which is a sweet thing to offer and all, but wouldn’t it make more sense to turn himself in? Pretending to be dead means that he’ll have to spend the rest of his life on the run, but if he waits for the cops to arrive then he’ll be the con who not only didn’t try to escape, but actually saved the lives of a guard and hostage. Isn’t that the better position to be working from?

It’s all moot, though, since a quick coda reveals that the guard came back for the remaining money from the truck, then he gets murdered by the con, who is in turn killed by another killbilly. That’s right. The guard knew full well that he was going into woods infested with cannibal killbillies, yet he went in alone, unarmed, and taking no precautions against being tracked.

God, this was an awful movie.

You know what? Let’s close out on one final stupid image, shall we?

That’s the club that the other killbilly uses to kill con, before employing it for that purpose. Yes, it was already dripping blood before the murder. Meaning that, considering the flow of blood coming off it, the other killbilly had murdered someone else literally seconds before happening on the other con.

2 comments:

The Divemistress said...

I've given this a lot of thought, altogether too much thought, and I've come to the conclusion that Three Finger is not supposed to be a chick. He's a dude. And not a "mom" dude, either. Just a dude.

Christ, this was a terrible movie.

Vardulon said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's a dude as well, but I found 3F's coddling of the baby at the end of the last movie to be such a silly image that I decided to run with the whole 'it's a chick' thing.

I plan on continuing it, as well.