12 Surprisingly Awesome Straight-To-Video Movies

Bargain bin bliss.

Universal Soldier Day Of Reckoning Jean Claude Van Damme Dolph Lundgren
Magnet Releasing

Though its reputation has been majorly repaired in recent years thanks to the surge of great movies landing on VOD platforms, the "straight-to-video" label is still derisively sneered at by many, and given its history, somewhat with good reason.

After all, did you know there's a Cruel Intentions "franchise" with two STV sequels? And Wild Things made it four films deep before the gravy train ran out of steam.

Home video can indeed be a haven for quick, cynical, lazy cash-grabs, but sometimes those movies many of us dismiss as not having the filmmaking skill or general interest to land in cinemas are actually far more worth your time than you might expect.

From surprisingly solid sequels in long-stagnant series to riotous one-offs nobody saw coming, here are 12 surprisingly awesome straight-to-video movies...

12. Wrong Turn 2: Dead End (2007)

Fox

Why It Should've Sucked: 2003's cannibal horror flick Wrong Turn came and went without much fuss and, when a straight-to-video sequel was released four years later with none of the original's surviving characters returning and first-time director Joe Lynch helming, it was tough to expect anything more than a forgettable reprise of what came before.

Why It's Awesome: Wrong Turn 2 is, oddly enough, a far more entertaining film than the original despite costing less than one-third of its price tag. The key here is tone: Dead End doesn't even begin to be a serious horror flick and instead focuses on self-aware humour, relentless gore and Henry Rollins' memorable performance as the former marine-turned-reality TV show host. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a major step-up from the forgettable original.

Plus, it's got a mutant cannibal baby feeding on a severed finger. What more could you possibly want?

Contributor
Contributor

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.

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