Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Trouble in West Virginia

West Virginia cannot get a break. In 1972, the movie "Deliverance" with Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Jon Voight was quite a hit. Hillbilles causing trouble for city fold.
"This is the story of four men on a weekend canoe trip on the Cahulawassee River which turns into a frenzied retreat from horror." Although frequently associated with West Virginia, this movie takes place on the Chattooga River in Georgia. And it is set in Georgia. But the mention of hillbillies automatically brings West Virginia to mind. This gives hillbillies a bad name.
Then along comes "Wrong Turn" which is set in Greenbrier county, West Virginia. Where "Six people find themselves trapped in the woods of West Virginia, hunted down by cannibalistic mountain men grossly disfigured through generations of in-breeding." Another movie that gives West Virginia a bad name.
Next is "Wrong Turn 2: Dead End" set in a West Virginia wasteland where game show contestants are "being hunted by an inbred family of cannibals determined to make them all dinner!" Makes you want to make your vacation plans for West Virginia right now.
Most recent is the report of a lion being on the loose in Greenbrier county. A man "watched a full-grown male African lion, complete with a four-foot-long tail, pace around his hunting shanty for about 40 minutes before running off into the woods." A the woods of Greenbrier county, West Virginia.

What else would one expect from Wild Wonderful West Virginia?


CharlesTheKungFuMaster said...

I saw Wrong Turn on TV a little while back. It was your standard slasher with negative hillbilly cliches thrown in. I told Eric he should check it out, but I don't think he did. :)

David Wayne Hampton: said...

West Virginia just can't get a break. Since the time that the media became nationalized, I believe West Virginia has been the target most cliches and jokes about Appalachia because its the bullseye in the target. And once a stereotype is established, its perpetuated because that's all that people know. I couldn't count on my fingers and toes the movies I've watched where there was a Hillbilly reference to the movie Deliverance, and I wonder how many people actually have read James Dickey's novel, or even seen the movie. But they know what the reference, "Squeal like a pig,"or "you've got a purty mouth" means.

Buzzardbilly said...

I honestly think the pinnacle of the WV/Deliverance connection has to be when CBS was showing the team introduction packages for the WV-Louisvill "Elite Eight" game. WV's package started with the beginning of "Dueling Banjos."

With "Wrong Turn" and "Wrong Turn 2" we're missing an opportunity to advertise the contrast between the reality of the state and the malicious portrayal of the state in the film(s). If it had been approached properly by the gov or newspapers, then any "Wrong Turn" movie coverage on TV would include coverage of what WV had to say about the movie.

I hate missed opportunities.

John Byrd said...

Greetings from L.A. They're terrified of us, because of what they've grown up with on the TV. All they know is the televised stereotypes. Truly, the west-coast city kids have absolutely no idea who we are.