Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)

Reviewed by Jeremy Melton

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A sequel is always better than the original. This is our credo-- no, our religion-- here at Tower Farm. To date, there is no documented evidence to persuade us otherwise. Frankly, I feel the same way about this as I do the Skunk Ape or Bigfoot. Some nuts may believe that an inferior sequel exists out there. But, until they let me actually examine the corpse inside the icebox, I will never believe in it.

This is not to say Wrong Turn is not a great a movie. In fact, it is. Certainly and easily a four finger treasure box (okay… that was gross, I know). It is full of great tension, great characters, attractive actors, and creepy monsters. Hey, it will never get a complaint from me.

But, as much as I enjoyed the original, the sequel to Wrong Turn is better. I am ready to make a bold statement here…

Wrong Turn 2: Dead End is the greatest movie of all time.

Not convinced? Let me lay this on you. Turi Meyer and Al Septien are the writers.

Alright, I’ll admit it. No one knows who these two are. But, let me throw out two titles to you. Leprechaun 2 and Candyman: Day of the Dead. Enough said.

So, why is this movie so wonderful? God, there are too many things to really get straight in one review. I will give it my best shot.

The movie begins with an absolutely insane sequence. We get Kimberley Caldwell, who made something of a name for herself as a contestant on American Idol, playing… Kimberley Caldwell. She is driving around the country, lost, and yapping away on her cell phone to her agent. A few moments in, she accidentally slams into some guy who was walking on the road. Kimberley stops to help the guy. But… Now are you ready for this? The guy bites off her lower lip. Then another guy walks up with an axe and cuts her in half. Vertically.

HOT DAMN! Now that is an introduction!

God only knows why Kimberley signed on for this. If the idea was to introduce her to a fanbase than might not otherwise know who she is, then mission accomplished. I never watched her on American Idol. But, I am definitely a fan now.

We soon find out that poor Ms. Caldwell was on her way to film a Survivor-type reality show. Once that setup has been… well… set up, we are introduced to the real characters in the movie.

I am not going to waste your time, though. Texas Battle, Aleksa Palladino, Steve Braun, and Daniella Alonso are all great in this. However, there are really only three characters that you need to know.

First there is Dale Murphy, played by Henry Rollins. The lead singer of the Rollins Band. This is the big muscular guy, covered in tattoos that painted himself red for the music video “Liar”. I am pretty sure I own every album this guy has put out. Other than having a military background, if you know who Henry Rollins is, you know everything about this character.

Next, there is Elena. Elena is this movie’s sexpot. She is played by the always enjoyable Crystal Lowe. From Center Stage 2, to Final Destination 3, to Snakes on a Plane, to the remake of Black Christmas, this babe knows how to comb through scripts. No kidding, I have to say she has yet to make a bad movie. As usual, she finds a way to be topless in this one. Thank you. Sincerely.

Finally, there is Nina, the greatest character in this movie. Nina is played by Erica Leerhsen. Oh, yeah… the same Erica that played Erica in Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. She plays a Wiccan again (I think… look at her shirt). But, she is a vegan, this time. So, it is really a totally different character. She is totally awesome.

I really have to wonder if the person in charge of casting this movie somehow read my mind. This is like some sort of fantasy football dream team for me.

Now for the monsters…

Well, we find out that Three Finger, the remaining monster at the end of the original, is back with a whole new family. It is never really explained, but I kind of get the feeling these new guys are cousins, or something.

You know, I guess Three Finger is going to be the Leatherface of this series. Through each of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies, old Leather keeps moving in with a new group of hillbillies. Can replacing one’s own family really be this easy? I mean if disgusting figures like Three Finger and Leatherface can do it every couple of years…

Watch your ass, Billy. It seems to me that demented brothers are just a dime a dozen.

Anyway, the real star of this new clan of monsters is Pa, played by Ken Kirzinger. He lives with two teenage (?) kids and his lovely wife. I guess they are supposed to be a grotesque version of the nuclear family. He is a classic. A big, lurching, muscle-bound freak. His best scene has him out hunting with his repulsive son. He lets the son shoot the final arrow throw a pair of victims. That’s right one arrow through two people. He pats the boy on the back like a proud father.

Pa’s son and daughter can’t keep their hands off of each other. They are even caught having sex in the woods at one point. Oh… and the girl is wearing the scalp of an earlier victim during this scene… because her brother was caught spying on that character before she killed her.

God, this is great stuff.
At one point, the grandfather of the family shows up and gets blown up by a stick of dynamite. Like an effing cartoon!

In an earlier review, Billy referred to Jill Sholen’s performance in Phantom of the Opera as “crack” for us horror movie junkies. Well, to quote the sagely Whitney Houston, “crack is whack”. This movie is pure cocaine.

Gore. Nudity. Monsters.

Five fingers.


  1. I really, really, really love this movie too.

  2. Sorry to keep posting these annoying comments but I'm having such a great time here going through your index and looking up these reviews. But here's why this one stopped me in my tracks -
    call me a hopeless amateur if you will, BUT I DID NOT KNOW THIS FILM EVEN EXISTED. And I speak as someone who has watched Wrong Turn so often I can lip-synch to the 'Eliza Dushku: Babe in the Woods' mini-documentary in the special features. Why didn't you tell me about this sooner???
    Now, a request. Please review Tobe Hooper's remake of The Toolbox Murders, a film I first saw at a 9am screening with one other guy and a rat that alternated between scuttling up and down the aisles and stopping every so often to watch the movie. "Teeth in a wall equals weird, no question." Masterpiece.

  3. Finally! Finally someone's looking at our older posts! Thank you!!!

    I haven't seen the TOOLBOX MURDERS. I will check it out soon and post.