MOVIE: Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)

I never would’ve bothered renting this movie had it not been for the fact the first two reviews of it on the Netflix site described it as surprisingly entertaining. The original Wrong Turn, starring Eliza Dushku, wasn’t unwatchably bad, but it definitely wasn’t so good it inspired a desire to snatch up the sequel. I mean, seriously, if you think bad horror movies are bad, you should try watching the bad sequels to bad horror movies. I should know — I’ve seen ALL the Friday the 13th movies, some of them more than once.

Oddly enough, I have to say the two reviews I read were pretty accurate. This movie is not nearly as horrible as I expected it to be and, in fact, I kind of enjoyed watching it. It’s about a group of 20-somethings who have been hired to star in a new reality show set in the woods and called Ultimate Survivor. The show’s host is an ex-Marine (played by Henry Rollins, which scored the film some major punk points right there), and the theme of the show is post-apocalyptic survival — the players are pretending they are the only survivors of a nuclear war, struggling to survive with no food, water, or gear. Last one standing gets $100K.

The show gets off to a rocky start, however, when it’s one celebrity contestant (Kimberly Caldwell as an exaggerated version of herself) never shows up. We, the viewers, know exactly where Kim is, however, because the opening scene of the movie features her being cut in half bilaterally by a mutant woodsman with a very, very sharp axe. It was kind of awesome, to be honest.

The thing that truly made this movie sort of fun, though, was Henry Rollins. That guy just totally cracks me up even when he’s being completely serious (because deep down, we all know Henry Rollins is probably NOT being completely serious), and it was a lot of fun finally getting to see a horror movie character kick some serious serial killer ass, too. (I do sometimes get tired of all the screaming, wussy girls who tend to be the stars of these sorts of flicks. . .)

By the way, I highly recommend that, if you do rent this movie, you start by watching the “making of” featurette in the DVD’s special features — not because it’s necessarily all that interesting (though it was surprisingly well-done and I enjoyed it, which is rare for me and “making of” features), but instead because it had a lot of interviews with the director, and his gleeful adoration of horror movies made the film all the more fun to watch later on. Someday, I’ll have to rent this again and listen to the commentary, because I’m sure he’s hilarious.

In any case, this movie wasn’t half bad. Worth picking up if you’re a fan of the genre.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Horror

Cast: Henry Rollins, Erica Leerhsen (last seen by me in Blair Witch 2 — she probably should consider getting a new agent), Texas Battle, Kimberly Caldwell.


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