I'm trying to write this review, and it's late at night and on the TV across the room is “Coal Miner's Daughter”, which like much of “Wrong Turn 2” takes place in the mountains, but it's not nearly as good a movie as “Wrong Turn 2” because while it does have a scene with Sissy Spacek getting spanked with a twig, it doesn't have any scenes with Henry Rollins beating up retarded inbred mutants and blowing up old people with dynamite. You get extra points here on Icons of Fright for that kind of behavior.

“Wrong Turn 2” takes place in the same West Virginia woods as the first film, with a Survivor-like reality TV crew and cast heading into the mountains to shoot a pilot. Henry Rollin's stars as “Dale Murphy”, the host of the “The Ultimate Survivalist: The Apocalypse”, which sends it's contestants off to spend a few days gathering sticks, completing missions, and getting tenderized by a family of pollution-mutated locals, headed up by stuntman and former “Jason” Ken Kirzinger.

The first “Wrong Turn” was a surprisingly nasty throwback to the 80's “killer woods” movies. Grim, and ugly whereas “Wrong Turn 2” is a lot more of a fun and splattery flick. Not that there isn't a great deal of ugly supplied by the extended family of the original films mutant freaks. The makeup on the mutants is a standout. I checked the IMDB pages of the people playing them and, seriously, it's a shame such attractive faces had to be covered up in cleft lips, bulbous heads, and hideous teeth. They look great!

There's a lot of great kills, starting with a very disgusting, gut spewing full-body split right at the beginning. We wouldn't want to give any more of them away, but trust us, splatter fans have something to cheer about with this one, especially from all the great practical effects. The only kill that left me unsatisfied was one that we already saw in the first film.

The cast and direction are excellent. Henry Rollins is a trip, it's great watching him stalking mutants “Rambo”-style, dirt smeared on his face. A lot of credit goes to Texas Battle, whose performance we knocked pretty hard in “Final Destination 3”. He's again playing a football player, but in a leading role here he has a lot more to do, and it's just a much stronger role for him. Ken Kerzinger, playing the head “Papa” mutant is very intimidating. Ashlea Earl as “Mama” mutant is a screechy, spastic disgusting mess, but I loved it! The rest of the cast are all decent, playing typical reality-show stereotypes without being too annoying.

You're used to getting Sci-Fi Channel quality special effects, hideous acting, and an overall and obvious sense of cheapness from these things. This is really one of the first “Direct-to-DVD” sequels I've actually been able to get all the way through. It’s surprising but almost not. Anyone who has seen director Joe Lynch promoting this film at horror conventions will know that it was made by someone who’s passionate about this film and the horror genre.

He’s crafted this film with love, not contempt for horror and it shows immensely. And finally the “UNRATED” slapped on the cover means more than just a couple of should-have-remained deleted scenes. Besides, if the MPAA had given this a rating they'd have to include the phrase “Pervasive Mutant Masturbation” in the warning tags. And any movie with pervasive mutant masturbation is a movie I can stand behind. - Mike C.   


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