Exclusive Interview with Screenwriter Frank H. Woodward for ‘Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort’

– by Gig Patta

When will people stop making wrong turns and bumping into cannibals?

Our favorite cannibals of One Eye, Sawtooth and Three Finger are back in the next installment of the Wrong Turn franchise with “Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort.”

Here’s the quick synopsis:

The unrelenting terror starts when an emotionally troubled young man, Danny, inherits an isolated backwoods hotel that may hold the key to his secret past. A trip to the peaceful resort quickly transforms into a blood-soaked killing spree, as Danny’s friends are brutally murdered one by one. Danny discovers that Three Finger and his flesh-eating kin are to blame, but the chilling surprises they have in store for him have only just begun. Danny ultimately learns that he has an unthinkable connection to the clan of hillbilly cannibals, but now he knows the shocking truth, he will face an even more horrifying choice.

The cast includes Anthony Ilott, Chris Jarvis, Aqueela Zoll, Sadie Katz, Rollo Skinner and Billy Ashworth.

Latino-Review had an exclusive phone interview with screenwriter Frank H. Woodward about writing the next installment in this scary franchise. We discussed the popularity of the characters, horror genre and the cannibals themselves.

“Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort” is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD tomorrow.

Read the interview below.

Latino-Review: How does it feel to be part of this great franchise for the “Wrong Turn” series?

Frank H. Woodward: Well, I’m a long-time horror fan. I like the genre very much. I always think we could do a lot more with some of the stuff out there. Horror films sometimes just get a bad rap of being about blood, blood, blood and boobs, boobs, boobs with nothing much else. There are a lot of filmmakers out there trying to make it just more than that.

So any chance of writing any kind of horror film is exciting for me. It’s an honor to write for a franchise like “Wrong Turn.”

Latino-Review: How were you approached and why were you attracted to this project?

Frank H. Woodward: I was lucky. I was approached to write it up by the producers, because I wrote a few original sci-fi movies for them before “Wrong Turn 6.” The producers were Jeff Beach and Phillip Roth. They knew about my writing and my love for horror. They came to me and I was very, very lucky just be able to work with them again. That’s how it came about, but I wished it was more fun and sexy than that.

Latino-Review: Obviously, there had been five other “Wrong Turn” movies before. So how do you keep this…..fresh?

Frank H. Woodward: The things we’ve discussed going in are to try to take it, but not entirely in a whole new direction. The word “reboot” wasn’t thrown around with this. We wanted this to be part of the overall arc of continuity.

One of the things I’ve noticed while re-acquainting myself with the other films is that the mutants started to lose much of their backstory with the world getting smaller in some ways. The characters were introduced to the rest of the world—weren’t seemingly clicking for me. So I wanted to come up with a backstory that gave us some place to go for future films.

I came up with the idea with the inheritance. It explained on why they’re cannibals and why they look in the way they do. There’s a little inbreeding going on as we know. That became the story of this film and gave us a place to keep on going for future movies.

Latino-Review: So this is your subtle hint that there will definitely be more “Wrong Turn” movies?

Frank H. Woodward: It’s definitely my subtle hopes for more. I figured if I could keep on putting it out there, people will say, “Oh, yeah. It’s going to happen.” Apparently, there is a rumor out there that part seven is already in the works. I certainly hope that it is.

Latino-Review: Yeah. I always imagined for a lot of these horror movies—the last movie always end up in space for some unknown reason.

Frank H. Woodward: [Laughter] As much as I loved “Jason X,” I’m not entirely sure if we’re taking the Hillickers into space.

Latino-Review: Why do you suppose people just keep on loving this franchise?

Frank H. Woodward: I wished I had an answer to that to be honest. Since the first one and my favorite of part two, there always has been this movement towards malicious fun to it. That to me is something you want from a horror film. You want that sense of fun. I certainly hope we carry that tradition out in “Wrong Turn 6.”

The Hillickers, themselves, are the standard boogeymen on why people want to see this horror film in the first place. With all of these films, they’re just all crazy and I think that’s the appeal. It definitely just more than wants to see people killed an eaten. We can go to something like “Cannibal Holocaust” for that. For that movie, it operates on a whole another taboo level. “Wrong Turn” films are just about the fun.

Latino-Review: Of course, you’ve brought back some of the favorite characters from the “Wrong Turn” series that people loved such as One-Eyed, Sawtooth and Three Finger. Did you thought about introducing someone completely new? Obviously, there are new characters, but not as memorable and unique like those guys.

Frank H. Woodward: You got the core three brothers for sure as the franchise goes on and they became the Jasons of the series. We did introduce some new characters with more of a backstory this time around. I wanted to explore the ideas with some new family members, which I think the fans are interested in. Without giving too much away, I think people will certainly be happy from “Wrong Turn 6” on that front.

Latino-Review: Humor me on this. Speaking of cannibals, why do some of them look like freaks and some of them looking normal?

Frank H. Woodward: Ah, well. We do talk about that in the film. How could I put this again without going into spoilerland? There are inbreeding of all types from the people in the backwoods to the royal family. Obviously, sometimes people come out looking just fine and other times you get the [freaky] looks. I think by sticking with your own kind—it’s a bit of a lottery or more like a genetic roulette. Some guys will come out right and some guys are not so much.

Latino-Review: So what was the greatest challenge for yourself while developing your story?

Frank H. Woodward: With number six, especially as a young writer like myself, you have all these ideas and these grand notions you want to explore, but you also know you’re coming in to write the sixth installment of the series. So you don’t want to rock the boat too much. Just like you don’t want to suddenly set it in outerspace like we were talking about before. You want to make sure that you’ll stick around and keep the job. You do want to come up with ideas, but you also want to take in the direction that producers want it to go. That’s one of the initial challenges.

When I came on the film, I was given certain parameters. They had a location on where they wanted to center the story around. I was told that the three brothers will be back. I was also told that it would be set apart from the previous events of the past couple of films. I had that to work with, but other than that—they were very, very generous and gave me free rein to generate my own ideas. It was really a blessing.

Once we got through the initial treatments of me saying, “How about this? How about we do this with these people?” That became a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t say it was easy.

Latino-Review: One of the things I’ve noticed about the franchise now is that it’s not necessarily about a movie on people taking a wrong turn anymore. Now it’s more like they’re out here in normal civilization. Care to address that?

Frank H. Woodward: In my mind, how long can you be killing in the woods before someone eventually finds out? The world is not a big of a place as it used to be. Eventually you’ll have to take into account that the backwoods private moments of killing and eating sexy ladies is going to attract the attention of somebody in the real world.

Originally, the concept is based on wrong turns into the backwoods, but as the story has any place to go—it’ll have to branch out. It gives us more story possibilities. In the sense of “Wrong Turn 6,” I would say the wrong turn is more about the choices. Is it the right or wrong choice that some of these people make? And this is as opposed as getting lost in the woods.

Latino-Review: Without spoiling anything, is there anything you wrote in the script that didn’t make it into the movie?

Frank H. Woodward: Oh, there were little things. When you write something and then give it to those people who had to make it real—there are going to be changes and there are going to be adjustments. There are little things that I wrote that may have not made it in.

On what was the delight for me was watching the stuff I wrote with the actors and the director ran with it. They took it to the level that I didn’t explore. I was like “Wow! That’s great.” As a screenwriter, you’re the beginning of the whole process. You planted the seeds [into the ground]. You gave it the initial watering and fertilizing. You hope it grows into something.

There were sick and twisted things that Valeri [Milev] came up with for this film. I was like “Wow! I wished I thought of that.” That was more of a delight for me than anything else. As for the things that aren’t there, they’re very little tiny things. These things always fall by the wayside in filming. I don’t think there were any gems that didn’t make it.

Now there were things that didn’t make during the screenwriting process. I may re-visit or re-suggest them again if we do go forward.

Latino-Review: Personally, after watching it, I think the whole film is sick and twisted.

Frank H. Woodward: [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Can you go ahead and tell me some of your upcoming projects?

Frank H. Woodward: For me, I was shooting a short film which will soon go into editing. I also wrote a new feature film right now that is in the process of developing. The short film is called, “Balloon.” And the feature film is called, “Exit.”

I also have some more documentary work. I have a background in documentary filmmaking. I’ve done some documentaries on H.P. Lovecraft and “Men in Suits.” [Men in Suits] is about the guys in costumes who play Godzilla and all that. So we have other projects on the documentary side too. I can’t really say at this point, but that it will definitely be in the horror, science fiction and fantasy stuff.

Latino-Review: And I want to wrap it up with one last fun question. If I did actually get lost in the woods and meet up with these cannibals—how do I survive this ordeal since you’re now an expert on this?

Frank H. Woodward: Thank you for thinking that I’m an expert. How do you survive? I hate to say this, but I think you’re screwed. Running is just going to encourage them. Maybe if you sat down and start eating on your own arm—they’ll pity you and take you as one of their own. [Laughter]

Latino-Review: Just great. Eat my own arm so that they won’t eat me. Terrific. Thanks for this conversation.

Frank H. Woodward: What’s an arm for a life, right? Thank you and take care.

“Wrong Turn 6” is out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow on Tuesday, October 21.

Source: Latino-Review

Interviews, Film, LRM Exclusives Wrong Turn 6, Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort, Frank H. Woodward