Director Declan O’Brien has no problem giving horror movie fans what they want.
O’Brien, the director of three “Wrong Turn” features, routinely scours horror sites to find out what the fans demand in their blood-soaked genre. That usually means “over the top” gore, gratuitous sex scenes and old school special effects, O’Brien bluntly tells Big Hollywood.
They get that, and more, with “Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines,” the latest installment of the low-fi horror franchise.
The film, out Oct. 23 on Blu-ray and DVD, finds the flesh-eating mutant trio running into a “Mountain Man Festival” on Halloween. Meanwhile, a new cast of young pretty types end up on the mutants’ dinner table.
“I wanted to take the cannibals out of their usual environment and put them in a real town setting. They only way to do this is to set it at Halloween when their look blends right in,” O’Brien says.
What separates the fifth film from previous installments is the introduction of actor Doug Bradley as the mutants’ caretaker. Bradley is a horror institution having played Pinhead in the “Hellraiser” franchise, and while the mutants can barely put two syllables together Bradley’s character boasts a slick, barbed tongue.
“He definitely knows the genre,” he says of Bradley, adding the actor would work extensively on line deliveries to find just the right horrific note to hit.
The “Saw” franchise may have set the bar for discomforting horror movie sequences, but the “Wrong Turn” movies may be a close second. You need a strong stomach and an appetite for conventional horror makeup to endure these ghastly “Turns.”
“If you’re gonna go there in a horror movie you should go all the way,” he says sans apology.
Most filmmakers dream of seeing their features on the big screen, but the “Wrong Turn” franchise now exists solely as a direct-to-video extension of the first film.
O’Brien isn’t complaining. Nor are the folks bankrolling the franchise.
“They trust me at this point because I sell a lot of disks,” he says. “Thank God for the home video market. You can make a movie the way you want to make it and don’t have to worry about distributors or about the MPAA … people are afraid to make an R-rated horror movie.”
O’Brien is willing, however, to shoot extra, less explicit footage for television distribution.
The director is already mulling ideas for a sixth “Turn,” one he hopes will once again feature Bradley. He might even find inspiration from those very same fans who keep him informed on their horror movie tastes. “Wrong Turn” fans often send messages via Facebook to him about what they’d like to see in future installments.
So, have any fan comments made their way into the franchise?
“Not yet,” he says.