The first 2 Wrong Turn movies were pretty fun, gory experiences(despite some bad CGI in the 2nd one...a corpse split down the middle doesn't leave a trail of blood'n'guts when both halves are dragged away?), so I decided to give the 3rd one a try. How well does it compare to the previous entries? Well, prepare to be completely SPOILED and read on to find out!
The story starts out where you'd normally expect to find the second act: a group of friends are having a campout in the woods, complete with whitewater rafting, hiking, and general outdoorsy fun. Whee. The focus seems to be on a girl named Alex, as she's the only one who has a name so far. As the 2 girls decide to sunbathe(one going topless, showing off the best breasts money can buy these days), one of the male campers, Trey comes back. Alex leaves so that they can share some "quality time", and almost immediately Boob-Girl is shot through the fake breast with an arrow, impaling Trey's cupped palm in the process.
Alex hears all of the commotion and returns to the campsite, just in time to see another arrow fly through her friend's eye socket. She hides as the cannibal who fired the arrow bursts onto the scene to pick up the eyeball and taste it. Yum!
Trey keeps running, and the cannibal, named Three Finger(according to the Netflix sleeve) manages to corner him when he stumbles. The cannibal grabs a pole-like branch and shoves it into and through the guy's mouth and throat. Then he tastes Trey's blood and starts howling and screaming. Geez,keepyour pants on, dude!
Alex and the last male run through the woods, and the guy stops to lean against a tree for a moment, probably to catch his breath or to re-read the script to see if he ever had a name. As he resumes his escape, he sets off a trap that splits him vertically into three pieces. There's a token amount of CGI blood, which automatically makes this film better than the second one, at least. Three Finger finds him and starts lapping up his blood as well.
Meanwhile, another movie starts up, this time set at a nearby prison called Grafton Penitentiary. An inmate named Chavez is talking to a skinhead about a planned escape. They don't trust each other, but both are willing to set aside their differences for the chance to escape. Awww, I bet they become BFF's by the end of the film!
Back inside, the guards are changing into their uniforms and discussing the fact that one guard is leaving after today to move on to bigger and better things. The guard, Nate, is taking college courses, with the eventual goal of getting his degree in law. Whatever. Just get to the part where you idiots piss off a bunch of inbred cannibals, will ya? Anyway, Nate is told that the warden wants to see him...something about a prisoner transfer.
In the warden's office, it gets a bit more complicated than that. Apparently the warden knows about the planned escape attempt, so he has a U.S. Marshal in the prison posing as a convict. His plan is to get some of the key guys planning the escape on a bus, in the hope that they start talking about the specific details of their big plan. The warden wants Nate to go along, because he trusts Nate to keep everyone safe, in case anything should go wrong. Also, another Marshal will be there, dressed like a prison guard. Nate hates the idea of going along for this on his last shift, but agrees to anyway.
Then the movie introduces us to 2 MORE characters, a West Virginia sheriff and his cute female deputy. The deputy, Ally, takes a missing persons report down about the campers from the opening sequence. She offers to start the search for them, but the sheriff decides that he should stretch his muscles a bit, and takes a search dog named Leon with him.
Nate and another guard inform Chavez that he's taking a ride on the transport bus. He hates the news, but has little choice in the matter. Also along for the ride is a scrawny guy named Crawford; a young guy, Brandon, who supposedly killed some people after returning from a stint in Iraq; a black guard named Walter who seems pretty chummy with Nate; and all of the aforementioned would-be escapees and Feds.
They pull up at that sheriff's station after night falls, and it turns out that the sheriff knows Nate. As they drink coffee and hang out, it's revealed that Nate lived in the area until the age of 12. He and the sheriff discuss the route the bus will take, as the inmates annoy the cute deputy and each other in equal measure.
We then meet another inbred cannibal, this one named Three Toes. She's the daughter(or son, it's hard to tell with all the weird makeup in these movies, so I'm just going to sticvk with "she) of Three Finger. Okay, I'm telling you right now: if there's a mutant named Three Balls in this thing, the movie ends right there. Three Toes tries to set one of Dad's booby traps, and nearly gets killed in the process. Lucky for her, he shows up, and gives her a hand. They limp away together, making the worst Bring Your Daughter to Work Day in the history of humankind.
Everyone at the sheriff's station shuffles back onto the bus, and Nate promises to call him when they get through the countryside safely. On a remote stretch of road, the bus encounters a pickup truck that seems determined to chase them down. As the truck turns off its headlights, Nate tells Walter to keep driving and call in that they have an emergency. Nate checks his cell phone, but there's no signal.
The truck starts ramming them, then gets in front of the prison bus. A lengthy rope of barbed wire gets dropped under the front wheels of the bus, and the vehicle goes off the road, plummeting down a steep hill. Three Finger pulls over to admire his handiwork, as the group in the upside-down bus try to get their bearings.
As the bus starts to catch fire Nate comes to the rescue, and moves everyone to the rear doors. Chavez takes the opportunity to get the gun from Nate's hand by having his skinhead partner create a distraction, then demands that Nate hand over the keys to their shackles. Nate sheepishly tells him that the keys were dropped in the bus.
At that point, one of the other guards(the one who was a Fed, maybe?) gets the drop on Chavez. Right after he tells the convict to drop the gun, he gets a hunting knife deep in the side of his neck, courtesy of Three Finger. The skinhead assumes it was the thugs who were going to break them out, but as arrows go whizzing by their heads, the group realizes that it's no rescue or prison break. In typical movie fashion, these guys who were all ready to kill each other 10 minutes ago decide to work together to survive.
Nate is forced at gunpoint to return to the burning bus for the keys. He not only brings back a set of keys, but also Walter, who was pinned down by debris. They limp away from the bus just seconds before it explodes about 37 times in a row. Chavez takes the keys, and the group starts off into the dark forest.
They stop in a clearing, and Chavez tries to use the keys to remove his leg irons. When they don't work, Nate reveals that there are 3 sets of keys--one for the cage door, one for the wrists, and one for the legs. Whoops. Instead of killing him, Chavez offers Nate a deal: if he can lead them safely through the area he supposedly grew up in, he gets to live. Nate agrees, and tells them that he can take them to an old ranger watchtower.
As the groups hikes through the woods, a figure leaps from the shadows and attacks Nate. It's not one of the cannibals, it's Alex, the chick who survived the rampage in the opening sequence. She tells them what happened to her friends, but none of them believe her at first. After she describes Three Finger and her ordeal though, Nate tries to keep Alex calm. When she mentions the rafts, Chavez revises the plan and decides to use her rafts as a way to escape.
With Alex now in the lead, they head through the forest once more. When they find an overturned armored car in the woods, the plan gets revised yet again. They get the vehicle open, and find it filled with cash. Oh, and Nate finds another gun, which he conceals in his clothes, then gives to Walter.
Chavez forces everyone to carry 2 bags each, even after they point out that Walter is too injured to do it. Walter fakes falling over, then yanks out the old pistol, only to discover that it's a dud. Chavez shoots him in the head, then forces the group to continue on their journey. As they barely get going again, Three Toes jumps up from beneath a pile of leaves and tries to attack the group. As she tries to hack the skinhead to death, Chavez shoots her. Then, to scare off Three Finger, they mutilate her with a knife.
They find the rafts, then realize that each one can only hold 2 people. Chavez shoots at the chain shackling the fake con's legs together, then gets them all marching again. Three Finger, meanwhile finds the head of his child on a spike and goes insane with grief and anger. Oh, and Nate destroys one of the rafts, to ensure that they have to remain on foot.
The sheriff gets a call from his deputy, and she tells him that she wants to go take a look in the woods for their campsite. He agrees, and informs her that he's going out as well, since Nate never called him. Well, I'm sure they'll both be fine by the time the credits roll...
The cons find another set of keys dangling from a branch, and Chavez goes to grab them, Nate realizes that it's a trap and yanks Chavez off of his feet, only for the undercover marshal to get his own face chopped off by a swinging blade when he makes a grab for the keys. Three Finger runs away cackling, while bullets are wasted trying to kill him. Chavez chops the dead man's legs off, and then adds them to the list of things that need to be carried as the group soldiers on. When Floyd, the redneck, tries to rebel against Chavez, Chavez wins him over with a bigger share of the money and a promise of safety.
Nate, Alex and Brandon(the "nice" convict) strike up a conversation, and agree that they need to take down Chavez and the others if they want to survive. Up the road a bit, they see Three Fingers' abandoned truck, and Chavez bullies Crawford into trying to steal it for their escape. Crawford approaches the vehicle, then gets snared in a barbed-wire net as Three Finger hoists the trap up and drives away with his screaming victim. As Crawford is dragged along behind the truck, the wires and the road basically both kill him and remove most of his face.
With only five people left, the money becomes too heavy to carry. Nate, Brandon and Alex all stop to rest, and both Chavez and Floyd threaten them. Chavez nearly wastes Floyd, and the group trudges on yet again. Nate tells Alex that he can ambush Chavez from inside the observation tower, which suddenly makes a bell go off in my head....is that the tower from the first film? The one that was burnt down and destroyed by Eliza Dushku? Because if it's that very same tower, Nate is royally screwed. Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a feeling I'm not.
The cute deputy, Ally, stops her car and hears Three Finger cackling somewhere near her location. At the same time, Floyd tries to kill Alex, leading to a scuffle between him and Nate, then Floyd and Chavez. Nate and Alex run away in the confusion.
The sheriff finds the bus, and calls it in on his radio. He examines the vehicle, then reports that he hasn't found anyone on board. DUH. This movie seems to wallow in repetition. I'll bet you a dollar that the group stops again soon, argues, then gets moving once more.
Getting back to Alex and Nate, they hear gunshots and start running. Chavez beats the crap out of Floyd, then forces Brandon to gather up as many bags of money as he can carry, and they leave Floyd to be discovered by any roaming cannibals in the vicinity. Mmmmmm, lunch!
Alex stops to catch her breath, and Nate tries to get her going again. At the same time, Brandon cuts a deal with Floyd for more money and help escaping with the folks Chavez is meeting up with that night. Both men agree to the new deal.
Floyd wakes up. He finds himself covered in blood, and limps his way through the woods. We then get a look at the lair of Three Fingers, which looks like it should be owned and operated by "Sanford & Son". As the mutant gets back in his truck, we see the sheriff and his dog trudging around in the dark. The lawman uses a pair of night-vision binoculars, then complains that he's "getting too old for this shit." Wow, stealing a famous line from Lethal Weapon is a pretty ballsy move! I hope Danny Glover never sees this thing.
As Nate and Alex resume the hike, Brandon and Chavez hear them and plan an ambush. Wait, wasn't Brandon a decent guy a few scenes ago? What happened, man? When Chavez prepares to kill the girl, Nate blurts out that the watchtower is over the next hill. They all start walking AGAIN, only to confirm my earlier suspicions...it WAS the same tower from the first movie! Ha!
Chavez puts a gun to Nate's head, but Leon the wonder dog attacks him. The sheriff has Nate grab the weapons off of both Brandon and Chavez, then they all get going again. Alex tells the sheriff about their ordeal, just seconds before Three Finger drops a spear from a tree into the sheriff's gaping mouth, as he looks up into the tree's branches. They try shooting the cannibal, but miss.
Floyd finds the money that was stashed away by Chavez and makes off with it. While he dreams of being wealthy, a team of U.S. Marshals plan to invade the forest, to find all of the folks who were supposed to be on the bus. Oh, and Chavez finds the money gone and goes nutzoid.
Floyd is making his way through the water, by way of several boulders. when he slips, he breaks a leg, and the others hear him screaming. After Chavez leaves to finish off Floyd, Nate tries to appeal to Brandon's decency, but Brandon refuses to let them escape. He claims that it's because he fears what Chavez will do to him when he finds out, but I'm thinking maybe I was giving Brandon way too much credit for decency.
When Chavez finds Floyd, the men trade insults. Then Floyd starts flinging money into the water, and Three Finger sets him on fire before Chavez can reach him. Along with the burly redneck, most of the money burns too. Well, I guess that means they can all play nice now, right?
Emerging from the woods, the remaining quartet find Three Finger honking the horn in his truck, which is just sitting there, parked near them. Chavez turns into Jennifer Love Hewitt, screaming, "What do you want??? Huh?" at the truck a few times. Three Finger responds by leaping up and firing an arrow at the convict, which lands in a tree next to Chavez.
Chavez grabs Alex by the arm, and shoves her toward the truck. He tells Three Finger that if he wants to have revenge, he can kill her. Chavez threatens to shoot Alex, who takes off running, only to be met by Three Finger. The psycho grabs her, then flings a Molotov cocktail at the others, to keep them from following him. Nate argues with Chavez about rescuing Alex, then Chavez prepares to shoot Nate. Luckily, Brandon hits Chavez with the butt of his gun, knocking him out. He apologizes to Nate for joining Chavez, then gives him the other man's gun. They part ways, Brandon attempting to reach a town, and Nate trying to rescue Alex.
In the truck, Alex is screaming like a banshee. At his home, Three Finger drags her out of the truck by the hair, and she cuts his hand. As Alex crawls away, the cannibal tackles her to the ground, throws her knife away, then licks her face. As she continues to scream for Nate, Three Finger drags her into the house.
Nate hears something move in his direction in the woods, but it's only Leon the police dog. Nate gives the dog something with Alex' scent on it, and off they go to track her down! Wait, what's that Leon? Timmy's stuck in a well again? Well screw him, that's a different movie!
Alex finds herself on her stomach, caught up in barbed wire. She tries to look around, and sees the deputy stripped naked, also wrapped in razor-sharp wire. As Alex watches, the deputy dies from her wounds, then Three Finger comes in to examine them both.
Before he can do anything to Alex, a helicopter arrives, bringing in the Feds! Brandon sees the helicopter as well, and hides behind a tree as the searchlight sweeps the ground. Chavez attacks him from behind, knocks him out, then chastises him for not being a cold-hearted killer. Nate also sees the helicopter, and tries to get it to land, but it moves in another direction.
Chavez and Three Finger spot each other on opposite ends of a clearing and have a face-off. Chavez attacks first, shooting the mutant in the shoulder, but then running out of bullets. He throws the gun, and Three Finger starts his counter-attack. He alternates between a hatchet and a scythe, while Chavez dodges blows and uses his fists. When Chavez gets the cannibal on the ground, he tries to pummel him into submission, but Three Finger plants his hook into the other man's shoulder.
Chavez rips the hook out himself, and gets the hatchet. As he taunts the inbred cannibal, Chavez manages to strike him in the side of the head. Before he can finish Three Finger off, the cannibal snatches up the scythe again, and rakes it over the escaped con's wrist.
Meanwhile, Brandon slowly gets back on his feet and staggers off into the woods again. Chavez and Three Finger both sit up, grunting, moaning, and both badly hurt. Three Finger drives the hook into Chavez' gut, with enough force to make him fall down again. Then Chavez is stabbed in the back and dragged to a tree, where Three Finger uses the hook to suspend him in the air. As Chavez struggles to keep breathing, Three Finger uses the hatchet to remove his skull cap, Hannibal Lecter-style. Chavez dies as the cannibal removes a large chunk of his brain and eats it.
Nate follows Leon to the cabin in the woods, and finds the house decorated with most of the supporting casts' limbs, torsoes, and heads. He eventually discovers the room where Alex and the dead deputy were being held, and tries to untie Alex as fast as he can without hurting her more than she already is. When Alex is finally able to stand up, Nate helps her out of the room.
Three Finger waits for them in the next room, hiding behind the door and slamming it shut once they're inside. As the cannibal and Nate brawl, Alex picks up a nearby knife and plants it up to the handle in Three Fingers' right shoulder. Three Finger removes it, then flings the girl across the room like a discarded towel. He picks up an axe and decides to finish off Nate.
Before anything bad happens to Nate, Leon leaps at Three Finger, snarling and biting. The inbred mutant kills the dog, just as Alex wakes up. She grabs a large, thick club and impales him with it, which effectively pins him to the floor. Nate retrieves the shotgun, and they leave the house.
Outside, after Nate helps Alex into the killer's truck, they drive away. We get a brief glimpse of Brandon making his way through the forest, trying to avoid being captured by the search party. When we switch back to the truck again, Alex thanks Nate for coming back to rescue her, then Three Finger pops up in the back, and uses the towing chain to swing around, trying to break the windows and kill the survivors.
When that goes nowhere, the cannibal stands up against the rear window to brace himself, then hacks away at the roof to get to them. One strike hits Nate squarely in the shoulder, and Alex picks up the shotgun. She fires a round through the damaged roof, but misses by a mile. Three Finger climbs the roof of the truck, and tries to grab Nate through the window on his side, which causes Nate to go off the road and crash into a tree. Three Finger goes flying, and the couple hit the dashboard.
Nate recovers first. He realizes that his leg is pinned against the steering column, and a trail of fuel can be seen leaking onto the ground. As the truck catches on fire, a hand grabs Nate from outside, but it's only Brandon. Nate tells him to rescue Alex first, because she hasn't regained consciousness yet. While Brandon complies Nate continues to push at the steering wheel, but it still won't budge.
Brandon goes back to help Nate, then Three Finger pops up again. He raises his axe, which gets stuck in the hood. Nate finds the hook, and shoves it under the mutant's chin, then it emerges through his forehead. Nate throws him onto the truck's hood, then he and Brandon make sure that Alex is okay. As they make their way down the road, the truck explodes.
They stop a short distance away, and Nate gets Brandon to admit that he was innocent of the murder he supposedly had committed. Nate then does the young con a solid, and concocts a story about Brandon dying, so the authorities won't come looking for him. As Brandon resumes his escape, Nate and Alex sit in the middle of the road and wait for the rescue team to find them, which they do in the morning.
In the final scene, Nate goes back for what's left of the money, only to be shot with an arrow by Brandon, who has ditched his prison garb for J. Crew. Brandon reminds the dead Nate that he should never trust a convict, then starts grabbing money by the handful. Behind him, Three Finger watches, brandishing a blood-drenched spear. The screen fades to black, and Brandon screams. THE END.
Well, if the movie had ended with Nate and Alex being rescued, I would have been happier. I mean, come on...leave SOMEONE alive!!! This film made up for some of the bad effects of the previous entry, but it needed a LOT more cannibal mountain-folk, like the first film had. Still, I really felt that this one was a better sequel. I hear they're making a fourth one, but it sounds like an in-name-only entry, so we'll have to wait and see how that one turns out. I'll give Wrong Turn 3 a total of 3 and a half killer trees out of five.
And what have I learned from watching Wrong Turn 3?
-All convicts turn out to be dickheads if you treat them with respect and mercy.
-It takes more than bullets, knives AND fire to kill an adult cannibal, but a young one will die if you just look at it the wrong way. And decapitate it.
-If, on your last day of work, your boss asks you to take a bus trip, say NO!
Next week, I watch a slasher starring some young kid by the name of Brad Pitt, a movie called Cutting Class. Will it make the grade, or will I make it ride the short bus? Find out next week!