Friday, November 02, 2007

Return of the Greenbrier Backcountry Cannibals

For a while, my blog was one of Google's top hits for "inbred hillbillies West Virginia." I'd posted on James Dickey, Shelby Lee Adams, W. J. Cash, and Wrong Turn, a 2003 horror movie set in the "Greenbrier Backcountry of West Virginia." Time passes, and other Web sites have outstripped me, but lately I've been getting several hits a day looking for Greenbrier Backcountry.

That's how I discovered the release, last month, of Wrong Turn 2 - Dead End. Those unstoppable inbred hillbilly cannibals are back in a direct-to-DVD release. The Greenbrier has its headwaters in Pocahontas County, and runs right near Droop Mountain, so we're squarely in Greenbrier backcountry. That's one reason Wrong Turn is such a teen favorite around here. While it was actually filmed in Canada, the kids really enjoy trying to identify local landmarks. "I think I know that gas station!"

I'm sure the schoolkids will be interested in the sequel's synopsis:

Taking place shortly after the events of the original Wrong Turn, a group of six contestants are thrown together for six days in a simulated post-apocalyptic wasteland due to their participation in a reality television show called The Ultimate Survivalist: The Apocalypse, hosted and produced by a retired military commander Dale Murphy (Henry Rollins), in which the winner will walk away with $100,000. Located in a remote part of West Virginia, the contestants soon discover that what they really are fighting for is their survival--against a family of hideously deformed inbred cannibals who plan to ruthlessly butcher them all.

One of the things I liked best in the original was the parking lot the hillbilly cannibals kept by their house, filled with the SUV's and cars of the tourists they'd devoured. Mountain bikes and ski equipment filled the luggage carriers and back seats. Pocahontas County is being promoted as a tourist destination, and much of the real estate changing hands becomes vacation property. While the Tourism Board probably wouldn't agree, I think many natives might like to see a DVD three-pack in every ski condo rental unit: Deliverance, Wrong Turn, and this new movie, Wrong Turn 2 - Dead End. Y'all come back now, hear?

Some of the "do-it-yourself" movie review Web sites identify a genre of horror movie featuring "inbred hillbillies," but I've been disappointed to find they are usually about rednecks, hayseeds, or hicks, not hillbillies sensu strictu. Here are some examples of confusion about "hillbillies:"


OfTroy said...

It's the same everywhere.. big cities are portaited as dangerous-- deep country-side is dangerous.-- and the horrors that happen to teen age girls in the suburbs are ledgend!

there are many who think all of NYC is a den of iniquity.. (Ok so parts are)but its still a very safe place to be.. safer than most cities, (as safe as many small towns!)

no doubt there are some nasty people to found in the county side. people who moved far away from other people because they generally don't like to be with others.. but i don't think WV hillbillies have any more of reputation for being canabalizing zombies than anywhere else!

(are there any good scenes that were really filmed locally?)

I always watch set in NY movies and shows and to see where they are set

(it's always fun to watch a movie, and have the actors 'take a walk' and in 4 blocks of "talking time" they have covered SEVERAL MILES of real city geography! (they leave mid town for a "near by place to eat" and end up cross town, and 30 blocks north (or south!)

Jonathan Badger said...

Yeah, that's what was so great about the original three George Romero zombie movies -- they were set around Pittsburgh, and were actually filmed there -- fans make it a pilgrimage to go see the Monroeville Mall in person. Pretty rare these days; both the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" and Romero's latest "Land of the Dead" were filmed in Canada, like everything else is. Of course now that the Loonie is basically US $1, maybe this will change.

wvvista101 said...

"While the Tourism Board probably wouldn't agree, I think many natives might like to see a DVD three-pack in every ski condo rental unit: Deliverance, Wrong Turn, and this new movie, Wrong Turn 2 - Dead End. Y'all come back now, hear?"


The reference to Deliverance reminds me of when I was one of six or eight planning a float on the Buffalo (NW Arkansas). On the night before we left, we went to see the then-new Deliverance. Sure enough, on the first night, a pickup with a well stocked gun rack pulled up to the gravel bar where we had set up camp. ...

The truck occupants were friendly.

Larry said...

There is a whole genre of movies which panders to fears urban folks have about rural people. The 1973 film The Wicker Man is one, as is Deliverance.

The Hills Have Eyes is a more recent and extreme example, one which I had to quit watching due to disgust. Rape and murder by deranged mutants is not something I want to watch in such detail.