I know what you’re thinking, guys. Why is the Wolfman reviewing a prequel to a remake, that went relatively unnoticed, four years after its release? Well, I don’t have a solid answer for you, so just shut up and read the review anyway. I remember seeing this movie on opening day, first showing, and I left the theater underwhelmed. I do remember that there was a guy talking on his cell phone at full volume trying to organize a ride for himself after the movie, and discussing his lunch plans, and I think that trumped my thoughts on the film itself.
That looks like suede, not leather! I demand a refund!
The film tells the events that lead up to the legend known as Leatherface, and why exactly he decided to massacre people with chainsaws. He was apparently born from a fat lady, and thrown into a dumpster. He was taken from the dumpster and raised by weirdos, including R. Lee Ermey. He worked at a slaughter-house until it was shut down, which caused him to kill his boss for calling him a retard. While attempting to arrest him, the actual sheriff was killed by R. Lee Ermey. This established the roles that the characters played in the remake of the original film.
I cry myself to sleep at night, knowing I’ll never be as cool as R. Lee Ermey. Goddammit.
The story was about two brothers and their girlfriends driving cross-country to get shipped off to Vietnam. This really just seemed like an easy way to give people motivation to drive across Texas in that time period, rather than some arbitrary “concert”. They run into some bikers and end up getting into an accident and were found by Sheriff Hoyt, who was actually just R. Lee Ermey after he had self-appointed himself the position. When he finds out that one of the brothers was planning on dodging the draft, he gets pissed and brings everyone to his house for sake of being tortured and yelled at with generally harsh language. There is then an orgy of blood, amputations, people being skinned, beartraps, and obviously, chainsaws.
Contrary to popular belief, this film is not actually about incestual homosexual BDSM. At least, I don’t think it is.
I will admit right now that I actually enjoyed the remake from 2003 starring Jessica Biel. The reason I enjoyed the original wasn’t necessarily the acting or the script, it was the way it was edited as well as shot. Certain scenes involving extreme close-ups combined with screaming just really makes you physically uncomfortable. Did I mention the last fifteen minutes of the original is just straight up screaming and chainsaw noises? The remake was shot differently, with (arguably) better actors, with a higher budget, and slightly different plot elements. Was it as uncomfortable as the original? Not even close. But was it still an entertaining movie, that could have easily titled itself “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4”? Totally.
What kitchen is complete without a woman tied down to a table? Not mine, that’s for sure!
As far as this film is concerned, compared to the 2003 remake, it was shot similarly, also had entertaining gore/special effects, and had a solid enough cast. Diora Baird was in it, so that’s always a bonus. The plot was really the only thing this movie wasn’t too strong with. I have seen PLENTY of worse plots, but when it comes to Leatherface, you really don’t need to know why he is the way he is. At some points they almost made you sympathize with him, which wasn’t really necessary. It even seems like the less you know about him, the more terrifying he is. Is he retarded? Is he just a big softy who likes to play pretend? Is it Rosie O’ Donnell under that mask? Doesn’t matter, as long as he is cutting up people’s insides and chopping their heads of and making masks out of their skin.
Have I mentioned yet that Diora Baird runs around? Because she does!
I must say, that this film certainly paid homage to the original 1974 far more than the 2003 remake did.I felt like the remake was taking the character and running with it. They tried to steer clear of any resemblance to the 1974 version, other than a guy with a chainsaw and he had a family. This film specifically recreated a few shots similar to the original, such as a scene where one of the older characters is being fed and how it mirrored the original, as well as the female lead jumping out of a window looking for safety. Another bonus was that I don’t believe you actually see Leatherface unmasked in this version. That’s why the original was so terrifying, you didn’t know what was under there, and you didn’t want to know, whereas the remake had no problem showing you his face a.s.a.p. Had the creative minds of TCM: The Beginning been given the funds and freedom of creativity for the inital remake, I think the end result would have been a lot more satisfying. Did I mention Diora Baird is in this one though?
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