Directed by: Rob Schmidt
Starring: Desmond Harrington, Eliza Dushku, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jeremy Sisto, Kevin Zegers, Lindy Booth, Julian Richings, Garry Robbins, Ted Clark
Released on May 30, 2003
Running time: 1h 25m
No, really. Cardboard cutout characters from the victims to the killers.
I’m not angry about this. I’m not. I just feel that the movie could have been better without the West Virginian hillbilly stereotypes. That the villains of this movie [franchise] could have been presented as the exception, not the norm.
Our story begins as Chris Flynn (Desmond Harrington) is on his way to a…job interview? I forget. But that’s beside the point. The highway he must take is blocked off by some sort of accident, so Chris, already late for his interview, takes the dirt road shortcut through the woods. He accidentally crashes his car into another car, whose tires have been flattened by a strip of barbed wire across the road. The car belongs to a group of young adults. Scott (Jeremy Sisto) and his bride-to-be Carly (Emmanuelle Chriqui), Evan (Kevin Zegers) and his girlfriend Francine (Lindy Booth), and Jessie (Eliza Dushku).
While Chris, Jessie, Scott, and Carly go off into the woods to search for…something, Evan and Francine remain at the car and engage in a sexual act, resulting in this obvious kill.
The group arrives at a makeshift cabin in a clearing and go inside. They hide when they hear a car approaching. Three hideously deformed hillbillies enter, carrying the bodies of Evan and Francine. The group watches in horror as the trio messily devours Francine’s corpse.
These three cannibals have been nicknamed by the creators of the franchise: Saw-Tooth (Gary Robbins), One-Eye (Ted Clark), and Three-Finger (Julian Richings).
The group attempts to escape as the cannibals close in on them and begin picking them off.
Stephen King was purportedly a big fan of this franchise. And I can understand why.
The story is generic slasher. The characters are stereotypes. But, overall, it’s a surprisingly fun retread.
Evan and Francine? They’re horny stoners. Kill them. Scott and Carly? They’re getting married, for gosh sakes! Chris and Jessie? They’re proving themselves to be pretty competent. Oh, and they can act.
I don’t really have much of an analysis, only that this is a good start for an unexpectedly fun franchise. As I write this review, I have only seen the first five and will be watching the final one soon.
The second one is easily my favorite so far.
It deals with not just three deformed cannibals, but an entire family of them.
A disgruntled Army veteran is hosting a TV show: The Apocalypse. Several contestants will attempt to survive all sorts of crazy stuff over several days so they can win $100,000. But the resolve of the contestants is tested as they start dropping like flies.
Wait…which one is Three-Finger? All these cannibals look the same! Oh well. Our family of cannibals, Ma, Pa, Sister, and Brother, actually act like a real family. Pa teaches Brother how to shoot a bow and arrow. They genuinely care for each other. They have dinner as a family. They say grace over dinner before they eat. Oh, and near the beginning, Ma gives birth to an adorable deformed baby. Aaaaaand Sister and Brother have an incestuous relationship. Ew. Three-Finger finally shows up around halfway through the movie. Our Army vet acts like R. Lee Ermey. Good. And Erica Leerhsen shows that she can act! Yay! It’s about dang time she was in a good movie!
The third one deals with a group of prisoners during a transfer. The bus is crashed by Three-Finger, and he hunts down the prisoners one by one. Oh, and he has a son, nicknamed Three-Toes…who is axed before the movie’s even halfway over. The story is really weak, the characters are annoying and stupid, the script is shaky, and the acting is subpar at best. Oh, and the special effects are laughably bad.
The fourth one starts with the original cannibal trio’s backstory. They’re in a mental hospital, they break out, free the rest of the patients, kill the staff, and, over a period of a few years, eat everyone there. A few years later, some college kids go snowmobiling. A blizzard comes up, and the group takes shelter in the asylum. And the cannibal trio begins hunting them. I don’t have much to say, other than that this was just meh. And the ending sucks. Its sucks BALLS.
The fifth one involved some sheriff, five teenagers, Doug Bradley who needs to fire his agent, and our cannibal trio. I forget the rest. I know, right? Worst one yet.
Flawed, but decent franchise. When it has its moments, it really has its moments. When it doesn’t suck, it’s actually really cool.
Wrong Turn: 3/5
WT2: Dead End: 3.5/5
WT3: Left for Dead: 2/5
WT4: Bloody Beginnings: 1.5/5
WT5: Bloodlines: .5/5
WT6: Last Resort: .5/5