[Videolib] review of new horror film - WRONG TURN

Steve Fesenmaier (mystery12@charter.net)
Thu, 22 May 2003 19:27:25 -0400

Wrong Turn Comes to WV

For several months local newspapers have been writing about a new
Canadian film called
Wrong Turn. Directed by Pa. native son Robert Schmidt whose earlier
credits include
an episode in the TV series " An American Town," (2001) and Crime and
Punishment in Suburbia (2000), the film is about (from IMDB), A
carload of six teens find themselves trapped in the woods of West
Virginia, hunted down by "cannibalistic
mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding."
Several years ago
I found a similar film, Captured Alive that actually had Pat Morita
(of Karate Kid fame) in a film about people traveling from Pittsburgh
to Atlanta who are shot down with a Civil War era cannon and turned into
toxic waste slaves. The IMDB website for Wrong lists various comments
by people complaining about the film using the most negative stereotypes
of our state. I understand of course, but I have to say that who really
cares? Do people who watch all of the TV series on crime in NYC really
think that the town is just one giant crime wave? John OBrien, a great
WV author, recently wrote an op-ed piece for the May 10th NY Times,
blasting the proposed CBS doc series on The New Beverly Hillbillies.
He rightfully points out that the negative image of Appalachians has
been used by the Enron-style companies that have been raping the region
for a hundred years. They also use similar stereotypes to rape everyone
and everywhere else in the country and world. I know that many natives
dont like films made by in-state people like Daniel Boyd, hating
stereotypes like those shown in his last feature, Paradise Park. I
myself recently commented to the Huntington Herald-Dispatch that even
Appalshops wonderful films almost always use the same stereotypes,
making films about folk artists, coal disasters, and the standard
writers of the region, e.g., Harriet Arnow, famous for The Doll
Maker(that was turned into a great made-for-tv movie starring Jane
Fonda in her one such role.) Why, I have always asked since I came to
WV, dont people make films about contemporary-style Appalachian
geniuses like Allen Toney of Appalachian native Hunter S. Thompson?
Luckily, filmmakers like B.J. Gudmundsson and Ray Schmitt have come
along and made films about truly heroic natives of our state like the
people of the Galford Lumber Co. who helped save New England and Jim
Clark, world-class outdoor photographer? Robert Gates, like Appalshop,
has focused on stereotypic topics like disasters, folk musicians and
instrument makes. I look forward to seeing Wrong Turn because one of
the best young actresses, Eliza Dushku, is starring and a world-class
film production company co-owned by Stan Winston (Edward Scissorhands)
made the film. Other horrormeisters who worked on such classics as
Spawn and Resident Evil are part of the team.
I am sure that Canada has lots of places known for being in-bred, etc.
Probably someone connected to the film is from WV. In any case, I
wouldnt get too upset about the film. I know that Gov. Underwoods
press secretary did two stories about Matewan because he thought that
the film gave people the wrong impression of the state. I myself would
like to see a film about cannibalistic, in-bred bureaucrats who hide
behind their desks and destroy whatever good work is produced by WVs
many fine artists, writers, etc.By the way, the film was actually shot
in Toronto and Dundas, Ontario.

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