Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings Celebrates Hillbilly Horrors
Stay at home with Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, out on Blu-ray and DVD October 25th 2011. This brutal sequel is the latest in a plethora of horrors which have given us all a healthy fear of hillbillies. Here, we go deep into the backwoods to explore some of the best in redneck horror films...
Something which, in this case, turns out to be something of a dead-end for the majority of the group. After stumbling upon an old gas station, medical student Chris (unwisely) takes an old trunk road where he encounters a barbed wire trap and another gang of unfortunate travelers. As with so many outback horrors the premise of the film rests on this titular 'wrong turn', with the majority of the original group meeting a grisly end at the hands of a gang of cannibals in a cabin in the woods. Whilst two of their number make a narrow - and bloody - escape; the imaginatively-named 'Saw-Tooth' and 'Three-Fingers' live to eat another day.
The 2006 remake of Wes Craven's 1977 classic sees a new round of 21st century victims fall prey to the same fate as their celluloid predecessors. The hapless Carter-Bukowski's are unfortunate enough to stumble upon a crooked gas station owner who directs them on a route straight into the hills of the title. Yet more spike-wheeled traps ensue, and the family is mercilessly hunted by the nuclear testing-affected mutants who roam this particular stretch of the New Mexico desert. Countless bloody encounters and an attempted rape ensue before four of the family members emerge - not unscathed, although not without giving (almost) as good as they get. Yet as in so many hillbilly-horrors their relief is short-lived, as their escape is revealed as being watched from the hillside... Sequel, anyone?
The grand-daddy of all hillbilly horrors and father of countless spin-offs: the 1974 version's original tag-line set a precedent when it asked, 'Who will survive, and what will be left of them?' Not much, it would seem, as of the party of five innocents who are - once more - sent to their deaths by way of an old and empty gas station, only one lives to tell the tale. The chainsaw-wielding cannibals of Texas were based on real-life hillbilly Ed Gein, who's somewhat anti-social and murderous peccadilloes have been the inspiration for a long line of bona-fide weirdoes, from Norman Bates in Psycho to Jame Gumb in Silence of the Lambs.
All the more terrifying for the fact that it is based on real-life events, this tale of murder in the outback is one in an increasingly long line of Australian horrors which take full advantage of the wildness of the antipodean landscape. Accepting the 'help' of a sinister serial killer after they become stranded in the desolate Northern Territory, three backpackers find themselves held hostage in what is revealed to be a particularly gruesome case of history repeating. With two of his companions meeting a grisly and protracted end, one of the trio lives to tell the tale.
If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise... the basic premise of all hillbilly horrors, and no more true than in this 1970s flick. An innocent canoe trip taken by four American businessmen swiftly turns sour as the remote Georgian landscape reveals the locals to be less than welcoming to outsiders in their midst. Although with a higher-than-normal ratio of survivors to hillbillies; it is the psychological violence of this film which appears to have most effect on its protagonists.