With Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, director and writer Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 3: Left For Dead, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings, Sharktopus) returns to helm of his third film in the franchise, with Doug Bradley (best known for his role of “Pinhead” in the Hellraiser films) in a pivotal role. Camilla Arfwedson, Roxanne McKee, Simon Ginty, Oliver Hoare, Amy Lennox, Duncan Wisbey, Kyle Redmond-Jones, Peter Brooke, Emilia Klayn, Rosie Holden and Andrew Bone round out the cast.
“In the next chilling chapter of ‘Wrong Turn,’ a small West Virginia town is hosting the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween, where throngs of costumed partygoers gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals kill all the fun when they trick and treat themselves to a group of visiting college students who are dying for a good time.”
Back in May, I visited the set in Sofia, Bulgaria and came back with some thoughts on the production – not to mention a bunch of pics! I’ve already written in with Part One of my visit (and a contest winner’s set report can be found here.) Now I’m ready to share my final thoughts and the second installment of my video interview with Declan O’Brien – if you’re a fan of the franchise you won’t want to miss it.
After a midnight dinner I return to the streets of the studio backlot in Sofia, Bulgaria. It’s starting to get cold and I’m, as always, underdressed. The extras have all been wrapped and, given the fact that the set is in the middle of the countryside, it’s starting to feel extremely isolated. The mood is certainly appropriate for the impending kill scene, which itself takes place in a lonely back alley on the lot.
After a few minutes of watching the crew prep for the sequence it becomes clear that they need a bit more time to ready themselves. I head back inside the studio, past the jail cell with brains splattered all over the wall, past the Cannibals’ shack (where I’ll later interview O’Brien) and into the warm confines of the studio offices. There, I meet with Roxanne McKee (“Game Of Thrones”), who plays Lita in the film. We head up to her dressing room for a quick chat about her role.
Had you seen the other films in the series before taking this on? “I haven’t actually! I still haven’t seen them! But I guess you don’t always need to!” What’s it been like coming to Bulgaria? “Amazing. I’ve filmed in a lot of different places and I have to say this is great. I’ve been really lucky to have been taken away to a lot of different countries and to experience a lot of different cultures. And you can’t always choose. But Sofia is phenomenal. The people are so warm and phenomenal and the city is beautiful. I didn’t realize there was such a cafe culture here as well.”
Did you grow up around horror? “I did. I grew up on a steady diet of ‘The Lost Boys’ and it’s bloody fantastic. I watched it again recently.” And what’s your character like here? “Lita’s smart and self sufficient. You’ll understand that when you see the film. She’s got good morals but she looks out for #1. She doesn’t want to ruin her bright future, she’s headed to New York to be an accountant. So when the opportunity presents itself to get out of something alive, survival instinct kicks in.” And what has Declan been like to work with? “Really lovely! He used to be an actor himself so he knows how to give notes. He’s so nice! And I know people say that all the time, but I wouldn’t. If he wasn’t nice I just wouldn’t say anything.”
After our interview I head back outside. The lot still seems desolate, but it’s crackling with that energy you feel when the crew’s gears are turning and they’re ready to shoot. Amy Lennox, who plays Cruz in the film, is ready to die. However, it’s an elaborate scene so it takes a while before she actually bites the dust!
You can actually see glimpses of this in the opening seconds of the film’s teaser (included below), but I’m assuming it plays out in much more detail in the film because what I saw onset was a luxurious stalk and slash scene. Lennox is wandering the streets at night. It’s barely lit, pitch black in all directions. She sees someone silhouetted at the end of the street. That shot is fairly easy to get in the can. Then the figure emerges from silhouette, it’s Three Finger. And even though his distorted inbred hillbilly visage is obscured by a clown mask – remember, the Mountain Man Music Festival takes place around Halloween so lots of people are wearing masks – he’s still pretty disturbing.
Lennox repositions herself to avoid an encounter with this fellow. She calls out, “Hello?” No response. She decides to take a detour down a side street. At this point the shot breaks and a steadicam is used to capture her movements as she speeds up through the streets. She looks over her shoulder and sees that Three Finger is following her. This is her cue to take off running with the camera operator and his rig keeping up behind her. Lennox looks again and Three Finger is gone. She slows down… until she hears him giggling at which point the takes off running again. She rounds the corner and runs right into Three Finger.
“CUT!” At this point everything has to stop. Why? Because Lennox needs to be wired for blood. And she needs it in her mouth. And she needs guts – which look like they very well may be made out of Bulgarian sausage. Once all of the practical effects are rigged it’s time to start shooting again. Lennox slams back into Three Finger and onto the blade of his knife! He pulls off his mask, revealing his even uglier face underneath, and begins to rip her intestines out of her abdomen. He doesn’t just pull them out though. Giggling, he feeds them to her! I actually felt kind of bad for Lennox having to bite into whatever that stuff was, the fake blood in and of itself couldn’t have been too tasty.
After that, it’s time to head back to the van for the 30 mile trip back into town. We pass some strange abandoned shacks on the side streets as we make our way back and – after spending 13 hours with carnivorous hillbillies – I half expect one to leap out at us. But no, we’re safe. I watch the sun rise over the countryside on the way back to the hotel and brace myself for a short night’s sleep and a long flight back.
Oh and, as promised, here’s the second half of my interview with Declan O’Brien. He talks a lot about Doug Bradley‘s role as Maynard so Hellraiser fans take note. I’ve included the first half directly below it so you don’t have to go searching for it.