Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Lets get the basics down before we examine this sorry mess (this EXPENSIVE sorry mess) of a 3D reboot of a "sequel" of a classic. We're apparently supposed to forget about the five movies that followed the original and consider this THE sequel. Pffft. In 1974 Tobe Hooper for the low price of less than $300,000 (that's $1,418,269.78 in 2013 dollars) put up for the unsuspecting public the story of the cannibalistic Sawyer family with a simple minded boy (huge, but simple) with a penchant for chainsaws. We've all heard the stories - people vomited, women fainted, and the movie made $30,859,000 and probably that is is rising as we speak. The movie claimed to be 'based on real events'. <facepalm>

But at least they admitted that well, no, this didn't really happen we just wanted to sell tickets. They picked an item here and there from the story of Ed Gein who didn't have a family and probably never picked up a chainsaw in his life. He was a quiet guy living with his mother until she died and something inside him... went south.

First he wanted his mother back so he went and got her... out of her coffin. That prompted parts of both TCM and Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. Then he decided (if he was even thinking anymore, I'm guessing he was not) that human skin and bone was rather handy to have around so he dug up some more 'material' to work with, inspiring a little of Silence Of The Lambs. I've always thought that the first Men In Black borrowed a little too, when the bug from outer space decided to wear an 'Edgar suit'. Cute.

But mostly the human face masks and the fact that Gein's only two victims that he actually killed himself were hung up like meat in the process of being butchered is what inspired the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I of course was much too young to see it when it first came out <snickers> but I have watched it and can appreciate that for the seventies this was pretty hard core. Great job on Hooper's part. Now let's attack this sorry mess.

It's shot in 3D which means if you went to the theater expecting dazzling effects your money, as is usual with these 3D pieces of garbage, was wasted. The 'special' 3D parts were so stupid, it was like they were right out of a 60's 3D movie (yes they had them then too) - where it's just objects being poked at you. We're talking fingers, needles, chainsaw, maybe a fall here and there. Pffft.

We begin with footage from the 1974 movie, picking up where the girl jumps in the pickup truck covered in blood, Leatherface running but not catching her. Now the town of Newt is all fired up for some swift 'justice'. While the sheriff attempts talking to the family (while safely outside) about giving Leatherface (known to them as Jed) up for arrest, a bunch of good ole' boys show up with a bunch of guns and Molotov cocktails. They don't care about justice, they want revenge. Well, if not revenge, just an excuse to be even more monstrous than the Sawyer family. They all look for 'trophies' to take with them.

If you are a fan of the original TCM, you might want to pay close attention to this scene. Several actors who appeared in the original are in this scene, albeit as different characters although one does play the same role (briefly) as he did in the original. The original 'Leatherface' (Gunnar Hanson) is now the character of Boss Sawyer. So what exactly is this movie about? Oh, about 90 minutes long. That's a joke, son.

Gavin Miller finds Loretta Sawyer and her baby Edith - he takes the baby and kills the mother and he and his wife adopt the baby. Uh, what? They sneak away a baby and are able to adopt it? Legally? Pffft, this is not even the biggest duh in the movie unfortunately. She grows up believing her name is now Heather Miller and she works as a butcher <laughs and snorts soda up nose>... she, she works <coughs up more soda> she works as a butcher in a supermarket... <I'd be rolling on the floor laughing if I was sure I could get back up>

Her grandmother (mother of her biological mother) dies and leaves her the estate. Okay I have to say WHAT? again because how the hell could the grandmother know there WAS a baby and where the kid is if it wasn't legally adopted and why the hell didn't she get the kid before now? She's richer than God, so it's not like she couldn't find her. IF she knew about her in the first place and how could she, living apart from the family in her huge mansion. Geez this is getting... insulting.

Heather gathers up the usual teenagers - her boyfriend, a couple more meat bags, and they pick up a drifter named Darryl on the way who's a really nice guy - oh come on you idiots, this isn't the 70's! You pick up a stranger and instantly trust him with everything! DIE! DIE! DIE!

Ahem. Sorry about that. So they decide to drive to New Orleans (have no idea why, don't ask) but will stop in Texas on their way to see what prizes Heather has won... I mean what she inherited. To her shock, they arrive at a huge mansion filled with tons of expensive stuff. Her grandmother's lawyer gives her the keys and a letter from her grandmother telling her it's very important she reads it right away. So of course she doesn't.

They all decide to go into town for supplies 'cause to hell with New Orleans, they've got a mansion now. The drifter Darryl offers to 'clean' the place. Yeah, clean it OUT. Duh. While gathering all the goodies he finds a large key and goes down into the basement and unlocks a metal door because... because this movie has to start somewhere. Despite the original Sawyer house being burnt to the ground with absolutely no way anyone could have gotten out without being seen much less being burned, Leatherface is not only alive, but still strong as an ox. Oh and he's learned good grooming - under his human 'mask' you can clearly see a very neatly trimmed beard.

He kills the drifter with a mallet. Not his MO but the splashing of the guy's head was pretty gory. No chainsaw. The rest come home, find things missing and no drifter. Oh well, there's still plenty of expensive stuff there, so Heather does... something, her friend's boyfriend starts dinner, and Heather's boyfriend gets it on with her BFF in the barn. Nice. We have to wait until 38 minutes in before Leatherface discovers the dude cooking and dispatches him with a tire iron, then hangs him on a hook like a piece of meat. Still no chainsaw.

Heather explores the place, finding a parlor - and her grandmother. A very dessicated grandmother propped up in a chair. More Ed Gein references no doubt. In a panic she tries to find her friend but instead finds Leatherface who knocks her out and drags her to the basement. For some reason <rolls eyes> he doesn't kill or maim her.

Meanwhile, we finally see Leatherface do what he does best - okay what he does most often. Out comes the chainsaw and he goes after the two in the barn. Heather comes to and somehow all three manage to get back to the van and although it receives some punishment from the chainsaw they drive - only to crash movie-duh style less than a block from the gate AND turn upside down. These are truly gifted drivers. Well that takes care of the cheating boyfriend, now it's the two girls.

Heather distracts Leatherface from her remaining friend and leads him on a chase where he keeps up with her very well. And how convenient, a carnival is in town! Weaving in and out of all the people Leatherface manages not to hurt anybody (?!?) in his pursuit of Heather. She manages to get on the ferris wheel - well okay she manages to hang on a bar of one of the seats as the thing lifts her up and away from him. Somehow she manages to get to the police and tells all. The sheriff is still the same and can pretty much figure out why this is all happening.

The mayor, who was one of the good ole' boys who burned out her family wants her and Leatherface taken care of - permanently. While they argue about it, by duh movie coincidence they leave the box of files on her family right beside her. She looks through it and learns the whole truth - Leatherface (Jed) is her cousin. her older OLDER OLDER cousin with the mind of an 8-year-old. Still. 

She reads and finds who her real mother was and that there was a baby 'missing and presumed dead'. Which, of course, was her. Again this blows a huge hole in the plot - how could there be a legal adoption when they stole the baby and moved away. And how did granny find her? Well, there is an answer even if it's a stupid one - Gavin and Arlene Miller didn't bother to change their names when they moved. Ohhhh brother.

Now it's the whole town (except the sheriff) against both her and Leatherface. They drag her to the slaughterhouse her family used to work in before it closed, trying to trap her cousin so they can murder both. Conveniently, because that's the only way anything is going to happen in this movie, Leatherface managed to kill a cop and listen on his radio, learning that Heather (aka Edith) is his cousin and their murderous plans. Even having the mind of an 8-year-old he knows what to do. 

He goes to the slaughterhouse and at first menaces the bound Heather/Edith with the chainsaw, coming within a hair's breadth of her mostly bare chest - but he sees the scar of an old burn. This makes him instead free her, and both lie in wait for those who destroyed their family. We get the switcheroo treatment where the movie is trying to tell us that the TOWNSFOLK are the real monsters who butchered her poor family.

Leatherface saves his cousin by killing the rest of the ones who killed his family. The two go back to the mansion and Heather/Edith finally reads the letter that she was supposed to read at the beginning. It tells her it's her responsibility now to take care of her cousin (in that freaking huge mansion), setting up a way to have a buttload of new TCM movies (no no no NO NO NO NO NO)...

I freaking hate scenes at the end of the credits. If I'm in the theater, I WANT to read the credits. If I'm watching a bad movie at home, the beginning of the credits means I'm shutting it off. BUT there is a post credit scene of her 'parents' showing up at the mansion, practically drooling as they think about how rich she is and that they could 'almost love her' now. Great. The last sound they hear is of a chainsaw starting up...