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Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 10/20/2009
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 10/22/2009
In the past, I've written about unnecessary sequels. How do these differ from your average sequels? Well, like any sequel, they are the follow-up to a successful movie where the powers-that-be felt that there was money to be had in a sequel. The unnecessary part comes in when the first movie had a satisfying ending that didn't really leave any want or need for a continuation of the story. However, these kinds of considerations mean nothing to a producer who smells a buck. Slightly different from the unnecessary sequel is the "sequel that nobody asked for". This occurs when companies crank out more chapters in a franchise which has done well on video. A good example of this is Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead.
Just in case you aren't up to speed, Wrong Turn was a Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip-off set in the rural mountains of West Virginia. There, unsuspecting travelers stumbled upon inbred mutant cannibals who didn't hesitate to kill everyone in sight. Despite the fact that it wasn't very original, Wrong Turn was well-made and suspenseful. The same can't be said forWrong Turn 2: Dead End, a cliche-ridden movie whose memorable moment came when the filmmakers had the audacity to show mutant sex. The only connection between the first two films are the locations and the mutants.
This same tenuous thread continues in Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead. A group of prisoners are being transferred from one West Virginia prison to another. As there is a high-profile prisoner on board, and the warden fears an escape attempt, a route through the mountains is devised. Prison guard Nate (Tom Frederic), working his last day on the job before he heads to law school, is placed in charge of the transfer. Soon he and fellow guard Walter (Chucky Venice). After making a rest stop, the bus is ambushed by a tow-truck (!?) and forced off the road. Following the crash, prisoners Chavez (Tamer Hassan) and Weathers (Gil Kolirin) take over and force Nate to lead them to civilization. However, as the convicts are still chained together, it's slow going. What they don't know is that their bus has crashed in the territory of two cannibal mutants. As the prisoners begin to die, those left alive start to turn on one another.
I can just picture the conversation. "Hey, we should make The Fugitive meets Wrong Turn." "You're crazy." "Oh yeh? Meet me in Bulgaria and I'll show you." Yes, Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead is a wacky little movie which will leave you wondering, who did they think would like this. I can only guess that the appeal here was supposed to be hardened criminals versus the mutants. But, that's not what we get.
I don't know what the budget for Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead was, but I can tell you that it was low. How do I know this? In the first film, there were three mutants. In the second film, there was a whole family of them. Here, we get one and a half. How can it be one and a half, you ask. Because one of them dies halfway through the movie. So, we are left with one lone mutant cannibal stalking the bus crash survivors. How is that supposed to be interesting? As if that weren't bad enough, apparently this one mutant cannibal had difficulty keeping up or maybe there was a another group of people he was stalking which kept him distracted, but he doesn't menace the prisoners very much. (There are only so many hours in a day, you know.) He only pops up from time-to-time to spring a trap or shoot an arrow at someone.
So, what we are left with is scene after scene of the convicts and Nate and a survivor from another attack (Janet Montgomery) walking through the forest and bickering with one another. While there is the occasional scene of violence to break up the monotony, this is the kind of film where characters who are both interchangeable and unlikable fight with one another instead of fighting the unknown entity which is menacing them. Far too many zombie movies fall into this trap, but instead of being trapped in a house, we're trapped in the woods with these people. This makes for a movie which is slow, boring, and on top of that, mean-spirited. There is no suspense or thrills here, and the fact that the main mutant is shown from the very beginning means no mystery about his appearance. (I guess they figure that we've already seen the mutants in the first two movies, so why hid them.) I'm sure that the first-time writer and SciFi...sorry, Syfy channel movie veteran director did the best with what they had, but the bottom line is that Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead is a stinker which should have remained behind bars.
Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead clearly needs to explore the dating scene on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 20 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing virtually no grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look very good, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The level of detail is good, and the picture has a nice amount of depth (the woods seem very deep because of this). The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects work very well here, and the mix highlights the various sounds of the forest. The ambush scenes make full use of the surround sound speakers, and the bus crash provides wall-shaking subwoofer effects.
The Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead Blu-ray Disc contains only a few extras. "Wrong Turn 3 in 3 Fingers...I Mean, Parts" (18 minutes) is a series of three featurettes; "Action, Gore and Chaos", "Brothers in Blood", and "Three Finger's Fight Night". The piece starts with Director Declan O'Brien describing the action sequences in the film. We then get a look at the gore and the traps. The cast then joins in and describes their experiences on the film, most notably the challenge of being chained together. The final segment examines one of the big fights in the film. This featurette is loaded with on-set footage and comments from O'Brie and the actors. The Disc also features 2 DELETED SCENES which run about 90 seconds. As you can imagine, these are both very brief and are simply throw-away moments.
Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long