Posts Tagged ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Part Three: A Family Affair

Indianapolis, Indiana. August 25th, 2003 

“I’m so sorry you have to do this.” Marilyn said in embarrassment as her elderly hands gripped the walker.

“It’s OK mom, I promise.” Her daughter Kristina replied as she helped her mother from the bathroom into the living room. 

“At least I can still wipe myself.” Marilyn cackled.

“I would rather do that than lose you.” 

“Oh honey, you shouldn’t worry so much. You know I’m gonna be gone one day or another.” 

“Which is all the more reason I want to be here.” Kristina insisted as she helped her mother get back into the hospital bed that the nursing agency provided. As she lay in her bed, positioned in front of the TV, Marilyn naturally felt grateful for the help, but her daughter needed to live her own life. Her son, Kristina’s step brother, lived far away and had his own family now. She wished Kristina had started a family instead of being stuck here with her. Marilyn knew with her illness she didn’t have much time, but at least she was able to stay in her own home. A nurse paid frequent visits and she didn’t feel so bad most days.

Maryilyn laid back in her comfortable bed, and as she reached for the remote, she noticed a stack of old papers on the nightstand. They included old photographs and documents. Some of the pictures were so old they were from back before photos even had color in them.

“What do you got there?” Marilyn asked.

“When I was cleaning out the attic I found these.” Kristina said, now picking them up and looking through them. “It looked like stuff from,” she stopped for a moment. Marilyn let out a gasp as she recognized the papers. She thought she’d thrown those out long ago, but there they were in her daughter’s hands. Realizing what her daughter found, Marilyn’s own hand went up to her face, covering her mouth, her fingers pressing on the birthmark on her left cheek. Kristina didn’t have to finish the sentence, but she did. “back when you were looking for your parents.” she finished.

Marilyn never dreamed that part of her life would be unearthed again. She thought she’d gotten rid of all that junk, but Kristina must have found it when she moved into the attic. All the more reason she should be living her own life instead of rummaging through old garbage.

“Oh, honey that was so long ago, don’t you be worrying about that.” A pain shot through her hips as she saw these clues from her own personal scavenger hunt that she’d abandoned so many years ago now resting in her daughter’s hands.

“I’m sorry mom. I know it must have been hard for you, never knowing.”

“What’s hard is how your nephew’s going to pay for college! Let’s worry about that.” Then, pointing the remote towards her new TV, she added “Let’s also worry about the fact that I’m missing my shows!” Her elderly finger pushed a button on the remote control and the TV zapped on.

They were just in time for the 12:00 news. The lead story was the fallout from last week’s suicide truck bombing at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad where twenty three people were killed. News footage showed the aftermath of the blast and the people covered in grey dust and rubble.

“God that’s awful.” Kristina said. I don’t know why Bush sent us there in the first place.”

“He sent us there to fight those damn terrorists!” Marilyn retorted. 

“Those damn terrorists are in Afghanistan.” Kristina countered. “I don’t understand what we’re doing in Iraq.”

“Cause of what happened in New York, that’s what we’re doing there!”

Kristina knew Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, but she didn’t want to argue about it. She just wanted to enjoy whatever time she had left with her mom. Still, this whole mess with the war worried her. Her nephew was a teenager now. In a few years he’d be out of high school and was been thinking about joining the military to help pay for college. “God.” she thought to herself. “What if he gets sent to Iraq or Afghanistan?” Her family had enough hardships and didn’t need one more. She hoped Bush’s military excursions would be over fast, but who knows, maybe we’d stay in Afghanistan for 20 years.

Thankfully on the television the subject changed to entertainment news. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” the grey haired anchorman began, “was the number one movie for the second weekend in a row, taking in an astonishing fifty eight million dollars, almost doubling its opening weekend. Both critics and audiences are raving about the remake of the cult classic about a family of deranged killers and their deadly chainsaw. Noted film critic Rex Reed called it the most terrifying film he’d ever seen. But the film is not without its controversy. Some claiming George Kohler, the Wisconsin film director, took inspiration from the crimes of the late Milwaukee serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. The original 1974 film was about a group of youth’s on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert who run afoul of a family of murderous hillbillies, where as in Kohler’s remake a group of youths investigate the desecration of a local graveyard.” 

The program then cut to a pre-recorded interview from entertainment reporter Vanita Williams, who wore a tight revealing dress and looked like a movie star herself. She was on the red carpet at the film’s premiere with the director himself.  “Were you aware of a mass grave that was recently uncovered in the town of Plainfield Wisconsin, not far from where you were born? If so, is there any connection between that and the content of your latest film.”

“No I haven’t heard about this, but what does that have to do with my movie?” George angrily responded. “Jesus lady, are you trying to say I’m a damn murderer or something?” He didn’t wait for her response as he stormed off with his girlfriend towards the theater entrance. 

The program cut back to the studio, where Vanita herself was in the anchor chair. The camera made a wide shot so her long legs were visible to the viewing audience. Vanita’s ruby red lips made a perfect smile as she said “George Kohler may deny the connection between his newest film and this shocking discovery, but what cannot be denied is that possibly ten human remains have been found outside the small town of Plainfield Wisconsin. Even more gruesome, dried up chunks of human flesh were found wrapped up in a patch of denim. Police are still investigating the mass grave found weeks ago, missing persons cases have been reopened in the thought that some of these crimes may be solved finally. Even more shocking are initial reports suggesting that the bodies here may have been buried for decades.”

“Ahh!” Marilyn cried out as her hand touched her hip again.

“Mom, what’s wrong?” 

Kristina then pointed her remote control at the TV and flipped the channels. “I’m sorry honey I can’t watch this.” 

“It’s OK mom.”

After flipping through a few stations Marilyn and Kristina soon heard a crowd of people making that familiar chant. “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!!!!” Kristina rolled her eyes as a smile grew on Marilyn’s face. The topic of today’s episode of the ever so insightful Jerry Springer Show was “Who Wants to be a Porn Star?”

“Mom, we’re not watching this.” Kristina protested.

“The hell we’re not!” Marilyn said as she set the remote down beside her.

Kristina was repulsed by this show, but it was all the rage in America now. Every day America tuned in to see incest, adultery, fisticuffs’, and scantily clad guests, but she had enough. She looked down at these papers she’d recently found and rummaged through them. She hadn’t talked to her mom about this stuff since she was a kid. She knew that Marilyn’s mother put her in an orphanage at a young age, and didn’t remember much about either of her parents. When Kristina herself was a child, Marilyn was trying to find her own parents, that was before she got in the accident. Looking through the papers, she didn’t remember her mom making this much progress. It seemed she had a bit of a trail to follow, and as Kristina looked closer, she saw a name. Kristina never realized her mom had dug up a specific name before. Who was this person? What happened to them? Could they have been one of Christina’s grandparents?

Who indeed was this mystery person, and what connection do they have to the ghastly discovery in the plain states? Come back in two days for No Gein II Chapter 4, Enter Saw-man!

No Gein II: A Second Helping

Chapter Two: Terror Remade

Mann’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood California, August 15th, 2003

Paparazzi crowded around the approaching limousine which was soon bathed in a sea of flashbulbs. A beautiful blonde woman stepped out of the limo and waved to the cameras. As the lens of one particular camera zoomed in on her, the man behind the lens admired her dress, but wished it exposed more skin the way other starlettes did. The dress did expose her back, which is where her partner placed his hand as he nervously waved to the cameras. The cameraman didn’t recognize this couple, and could tell no one else did either as the sea of camera flashes quickly faded away. As the couple slowly walked the red carpet, it was obvious this was a new experience to them. “Who is that?” The cameraman asked Vanita, the reporter he was accompanying. “She’s gorgeous.”

“I think that’s the director’ s sister.” the woman explained. “The square must be her husband.”

“Yeah, like I care who the dude is Vanita.” 

“Just shut your mouth and keep recording.” Vanita ordered as an older couple stepped out of the same limo. Once again the woman, an older but still attractive redhead, also in a conservative dress, waved happily to the crowd, while her partner, who was dressed to the nines, waved timidly to the cameras.

“That’s the director’s dad and I think his new wife.” Vanita explained.

“Wasn’t asking.” The camera man said.

“Bill, you’re going to be asking for a new job if you don’t lose the attitude.”

Another wave of camera flashes swept the area, this time maintaining their intensity as a young man emerged from the same limousine. He posed to the crowd with a confident smile and a voluptuous woman on his arm. “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Bill shouted as his lens zoomed on the woman’s exposed cleavage, he then moved the camera up and down her body to catch all the exposed flesh her dress revealed. Billy was quickly yanked out of his own private fantasy as Vanita’s voice shouted “Let’s go!” 

Vanita shoved her way through the sea of reporters all making their way to the young couple. She almost reached him when another reporter pushed ahead of her and got the man’s attention. “We are with George Kohler, the director of tonight’s world premier.” The reporter said. “George this isn’t your first rodeo, but are you confident about how your audience will receive this?”

“Honestly, I am always nervous whenever a project is done.” The young director spoke modestly. “I never assume anyone will like it. The original film is such a classic in the eyes of horror fans, and I hope I have done it justice.”

“Well the early buzz is this film is quite scary. Your name is fast becoming associated with horror films. What is next for you?” 

“Well,” George said looking over the crowd of spectators, “this is all great and I really do appreciate it, but I’m going right back to the set of my next film tomorrow and getting back to work.

Finally managing to squeeze her way through the crowd, Vanita got to George. “Vanita Williams, Inside Entertainment. Word is you’ve added elements of cannibalism and other shocking content to what you refer to as a classic. There is already some controversy surrounding this film, as some say this was inspired by the late Wisconsin serial killer Jeffrey Dhamer.”

Billy loved it when Vanita got under someone’s skin. He smirked as he could see George’s face instantly shifted from being happy go lucky to irritated and stern as he answered “Dhamer was a sick man and I in no way took influence from him. This movie is a period piece, and I hope it lives up to the original and the legacy it left for so many of us.” Vanita had one more question, and she knew this one would be the killer.

For most of Henry’s life he kept a lot of stuff to himself. That changed was Franki came into his life as well as when he reconciled with his son a few years back. Now here they all were at a Hollywood movie premier, something he never dared dream of working all those years at Bethlehem Steel. As he watched George taking questions from reporters Henry thought how things happened so fast and his son had been so busy that he never got to tell George yet how proud he was of him. 

“He looks a little upset?” Franki whispered, squeezing his hand and whispered into his ear as he also noticed George appeared a little agitated as he stormed away from a reporter. 

As George approached his family at the entrance to the theater his father aked “What’s wrong son, that reporter piss you off? They didn’t say jack shit to me!” Henry laughed. 

Holding his girlfriend’s hand tightly, George answered “I’ll tell you later.”

Entering the theater, George felt more nervous than usual. Since cutting weight he felt more capable of dealing with all the stress the film business has to offer, but he put extra pressure on himself tonight. This latest project was a lot to live up to. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe his face. “You’re sweating again.” His date said sternly as they sat down. Her nagging only heightened the tension as he looked around at the packed theater. 

While the lights dimmed George remembered the breathing exercises Franki taught him. The curtains pulled back, and a beam of light shot through the darkened theater hitting the white screen ahead.  Soon the color switched to green as an MPAA rating was shown for the upcoming trailer. 

“In 1980,” the white letters read on the now black screen, “terror was born.” These words faded, before being replaced with “In 1984, the nightmare began.”

“Yes!” George pumped his fist while his date looked at him confused. “I heard this was coming!”

A series of images involving blades and claws flashed by the screen before words reappeared reading “2003, the legends come together.” 

“Warn your friends,” the voice of a little girl now filled the theater, “warn everyone.” Then the words “face to face” appeared. 

The whole audience cheered as Kane Hodder burst onto the screen as Freddy Krueger, the villain from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. The tall muscular actor spouted out lines “Welcome to my nightmare,” and “Why won’t you die!” as he battled what appeared to be a vicious monster. 

“This Halloween,” the screen read, “evil will battle evil.” before a female character appeared saying “Place your bets.” According to the end of the trialer, on October 17th, after years of the characters being in literal hell and, what was worse in the eyes of fandom, Hollywood development hell, Freddy vs the Devil would finally be released. The crossover between Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th would at last see the light of day. George yelled out a cheer that everyone soon followed. He was almost as enthusiastic for this as he was for his own movie premiere. “Someday I’ll direct one of those.” George proudly stated as his date checked her makeup in her pocket sized mirror.

A few other trailers followed, and part of George wished these previews would go on forever. As the feature presentation was about to begin, he felt the anxiety creep back up on him. His heart raced as the studio logo hit the screen. This was it, the moment of truth. George remembered Franki’s advice about focusing on the moment. George concentrated his whole attention on each second of the now rolling film. As the introduction commenced, he remembered how thrilled he was when he managed to get John Larroquette to reprise his role as the film’s narrator to the opening crawl. The actor, now known for his role in the 80’s sitcom Night Court, explained what the audience was about to see was one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history. It wasn’t really a true story, but that added touch always gave this title an extra sense of dread. George’s adrenaline washed away his anxiety as the audience cheered again for the opening of this highly anticipated remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Part Nine: Yours Truly, Robert Bloch 

October 26th, 1990. Hallow-Con New York City

George browsed a book vendor while waiting for the auditorium to open for tonight’s panel. A blue covered book caught his eye, on the cover was the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolfman. Flipping through the pages, he remembered reading Movie Monsters by Alan Ormsby as a kid. He put it back, then noticed a few movie novelizations and spin-off books were present. George spotted a Halloween novel. It wasn’t an adaptation of one of the movies though. The title read, “Halloween: The Return of Michael Myers.” by Nicholas Grabowsky. This book also brought back memories, as he borrowed it from Dan back in film school. The novel was an original story where both Michael Myers and Dr. Gavin survived the explosion at the end of Halloween II. Myers awakes from a ten year coma to wreak havoc on Haddonfield. Dr. Gavin returns to again save Laurie Strode, who now has a daughter. Myers is legitimately blown up in the climax, but the novel ends on a great twist when Laurie is killed by her now psychotic eight year old daughter, who has inherited her uncle’s madness.

George then picked up the next book, which he never read. Halloween: The Revenge apparently followed the exploits of the child psychotic. It looked pretty cool, and he soon put it down to browse Halloween: Child’s Play, which was a crossover novel where the killer girl gets with Chucky, the evil doll from the Child’s Play series. The vendor told him a new crossover novel was coming out soon, mixing the two aforementioned series with the new Puppet Master films. “That sounded fun,” George thought to himself.

He put these books back when he noticed two others. American Gothic was a novel he’d read as a teenager. It was about this guy named H. H. Holmes who had a literal torture chamber in his house. George made the mistake of lending the book out in college and it never got back to him. The thing was, this case was actually real. Dr. Holmes Murder Castle, was a factual account of the real life case by the same author of American Gothic, the same author he was going to meet tonight. He hadn’t read the factual account, and decided to buy both books. After paying and putting both books in his bag, he went into the now open auditorium. 

The special topic tonight was the history of the horror film, hosted by the man George sought to meet, Robert Bloch. George was growing to like his work, but he wondered why Bloch was presenting on this topic, since he had little if anything to do with horror movies. As the author was introduced, George now realized, per the MC’s introduction, that Bloch wrote television episodes for shows George liked, such as Monsters, Tales of the Unexpected, and Darkroom. Not only that, but he also wrote episodes of the original Star Trek, Night Gallery, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. The MC joked that Robert Bloch had the heart of a young boy, which he keeps in a jar on his desk. This elicited laughter from the audience and Robert Bloch took the stage.

After receiving a warm reception, the author graciously thanked the convention for having him, then jested “You were too cheap to ask Stephen King and you knew I needed lunch money.” The audience laughed some more. George did not expect to find the master of psycho tales to be cracking jokes, but there he was.

Naturally Bloch started with the golden age of horror of the 1930’s and 40’s. He pointed out how the classic monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman were all foreigners, and/or characters from European folklore. Then in the 50’s you had the nuclear monsters in the wake of the atomic bomb. George remembered watching those movies. His dad and his sister liked them too. He remembered one time he covered himself with a blanket trying to scare his sister while they watched The Blob. He rolled over to her in his disguise and Helen just laughed hysterically.

There wasn’t as much to cover in the 1960s, but Bloch noted that the 1970s brought a pronounced change. George cheered ferociously at the mention of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Hearing such an exuberant response, Bloch pointed to George and said “I bet you loved the sequel, the Tennessee Slumber Party.” to which George and everyone else howled in laughter. Bloch went on to explain how the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a 1974 film about a group of hillbillies in rural Texas. The lead villain, a deformed character named Saw-man, dispatched random motorists with his trusty chainsaw. George wished with all his heart that that movie could have turned into a series. In his mind it could have stood up there with the modern franchises like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Unfortunately, in the real world, a sequel never came.

Bloch’s point about Chainsaw was, while it was not a big hit, it marked the beginning of a trend of homegrown American horror, of scary stories of not a foreign or alien menace, but about your neighbor, the guy next door. Other movies mentioned included Last House on the Left, and The Hills Have Eyes, which Bloch joked was followed by the sequel the Woods have Noses. Bloch theorized that in the wake of the Manson murders and the social unrest of the 1960s, audiences were developing a taste for real life and brutality in their horror. George was never academic about his fandom, but he was unsure of Bloch’s theory. After all, as the author himself had said, the aforementioned films were not big hits.

Halloween was mentioned, which brought about a big cheer. “If you remember, the first two Halloween movies weren’t about ghosts and werewolves,” Bloch reminded the audience. “It was about a boy, Michael Myers, who was a psychotic killer. Michael Myers wasn’t from another country or from outer space, he was from anytown USA. Now, hearing the cheers in this crowd, assuming you’re not cheering for me,” to which the audience laughed again, “these movies obviously found an audience.” Another cheer erupted as Bloch continued, “but the truth was these weren’t very successful movies when you look at the box office. Now if you look in the last decade, we seemed to have taken the idea of the home-grown threat, and brought it back to the monster. If you look at Halloween, it did inspire a sub-genre known as the slasher, with movies like the Burning and Sleepaway Camp, but they weren’t huge hits like 1980’s Friday the 13th with it’s Jersey Devil, or like CHUD, or Critters, or the Thing remake. You did have ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, with Freddy Kreuger being slasher-esque, but he’s also like a ghost, more supernatural. Halloween itself got away from the slasher genre it helped create in its later installments, bringing in witches and ghosts and werewolves. Reportedly the next entry of that series is going to involve vampires. I have an idea for the following one though.” He then suggested, pointing his finger up in the air, “It should be about Jack the Ripper!” Again the audience laughed, especially from those familiar with Bloch’s frequent works involving the infamous London serial killer.

“So what will the 90s bring to horror cinema,” Bloch asked as he reached the end of his speech, “who knows? Sequels for all the big franchises are still in the works, but undoubtedly a new generation will come along with new characters that will make us scream.“

After dinner Dan and Victoria sat in on a presentation on entertainment law. The presenter was a young woman, a lawyer who specialized in the entertainment business. Dan found her quite attractive. She had a certain special poise and intelligence about her, similar to what Dan saw in Victoria.

When the presentation ended the woman stayed to take questions from the audience. As Dan and Victoria approached, the woman greeted Dan with a smile and said “Nice shirt.”

Dan looked down at his Halloween shirt that he forgot he was wearing. “Thanks.” he said. Then looking back up at her he asked. “Are you a Halloween fan?”

“Yeah I got a soft spot for the original.” The lawyer revealed. “Actually I auditioned for a role in it.”

“Wait what!?!” Dan and Victoria were both surprised as Dan asked. “You were an actress?”

“Well my mother was.” The woman said. “You probably never heard of her. Janet Leigh?” 

Dan drew a blank but Victoria recognized that name. “Oh, I know her, she was in the Machurian Candidate and Angels in the Outfield!”

“That’s right!” The woman said, pleasantly surprised.

“And she was in Touch of Fear!” Victoria added enthusiastically.

“The Orson Wells classic.” The woman said. Then pointing at Victoria she said to Dan. “That’s a smart girl you have there.” 

“Thanks,” Dan said, “she’s the best.” 

“Aww that’s so sweet.” The woman said, admiring the young couples affection for each other.

“So what happened?” Victoria asked.

“Well when I was young the acting bug got me, so I dropped out of law school to give it a shot. My big break never came though.” she explained, revealing no remorse over her path in life. “So eventually I went back to school, became an entertainment lawyer, and here I am!”

“That’s really cool.” Victoria said. “Do you ever regret it, not getting to act?”

“Sometimes I think about it, but I like what I’m doing.” she answered.  “Who knows, maybe someday I’ll take a stab at it!” she said laughing while she thrusted her hand in a stabbing motion. “In the meantime if you ever need representation here is my card.”

Both Dan and Victoria took her business card. Dan looked down to read it. “Jamie Curtis.” Looking up he said “Well it was nice to meet you.”

“Nice meeting you too!” Jamie Curtis said. She smiled as the young couple walked away. The lawyer then turned to chat with the last few people remaining in the room.

Leatherface is a prequel to the 1974 classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and focuses on the origin story of the franchise’s chainsaw wielding lead character. For whatever reason, Leatherface was given only a limited theatrical release and was then sent straight to Video On Demand services.

The majority of this film takes place in 1965, the premise being that years prior local law enforcement took the Sawyer children into protective custody. Now, nearing adulthood, they have spent several years in an insane asylum. One night there is a riot, and four inmates escape along with a kidnapped nurse.

Surprisingly this entry takes the feel of a horror road trip movie, akin to The Devil’s Rejects or Natural Born Killers, with some scenes reminding me of Hannibal and the more recent Revenant. The majority of this prequel focuses on the inmates being on the run from the police, one of which is shown to be pretty crazy in his own right. I suppose this is an attempt to make Leatherface more sympathetic.

There’s also the issue of which of these inmates turns out to be Leatherface, which adds a hint of mystery to it. However, maybe because of this, the cannibalistic nature of the Sawyer family is downplayed until the end, and once Leatherface’s identity is revealed, it was unclear to me what ever made him think to make his first skin mask.

Clarice, one of the escapees, was to me the most intriguing character of the film. Given she was a supporting character, I suppose that counts as a weakness. The scene taking place in a diner was the highlight of the film. If you pay attention to character names, you’ll catch few nods to the first second, and previous chainsaw films. Until the end there is limited onscreen violence, but if you recall the same was the case for the original. It does have a modern polished look to it, and it could have used more of the grit of the first movie.

Leatherface is not a great movie, but it is not terrible either. It is better its previous entry Texas Chainsaw 3D from a few years ago. If you’re a fan of the series I would recommend it.

I’ve never reviewed a movie on here that I haven’t seen in a theater, but I wanted to review this as I’m a fan of the Texas Chainsaw series. It came out the first weekend of 2013 and I was in Korea at the time where horror movies always seem to come late. To my knowledge it never came to Korea, the fact that it bombed probably didn’t help.

Texas Chainsaw is unique, in it’s not a remake, but a direct sequel to the original movie, ignoring the other sequels and the remake and it’s prequel. So it’s kind of a reboot of the sequels. To my knowledge that’s never been done before.

It opens with a brief recap of the first movie. We get highlights that have been digitally restored and looks incredibly sharp. Picking up immediately where the original left off, the local Sheriff goes to the house and wants to bring Leatherface in. We see the family, including Grandpa. Other family members show up, (including one played by original Leatherface Gunner Hansen) and after a tense moment it appears they agree to send Leatherface out. However the local towns people show up, and acting as vigilantes they burn the house down. The look of the film in this sequence matches the re-mastered look of the original highlights that were just shown.

After the fire one of the men from the town finds a woman from the Sawyer family holding her baby. The man kills the woman and takes the baby. The rest of the film picks up with that baby, now and adult woman named Heather, learning of her birth right. This isn’t a plot twist, it’s established right up front. Apparently she had a grandmother that recently died that married into an oil family and has this big mansion. Upon first viewing I didn’t catch how she got all this money.

Texas Chainsaw starts out great and has a good premise following up on the theme of family. Unfortunately it’s not scary at all. Leatherface, who obviously survived somehow, has a very underwhelming reveal, and while starting off strong it lost me when Heather and her friends do something incredibly stupid regarding the house. 

The commentaries and features are interesting, as it’s revealed that the actual original chainsaw appears on film. The Sawyer house from the first movie was meticulously re-created, only to be burned to the ground. That opening scene that I loved was actually directed by original Chainsaw director Tobe Hooper. There’s three different audio commentaries, during which some of the other chainsaw films are subtly knocked. However most of those sequels I feel are better than this.

One of the commentaries has cast members from the original, including Gunner Hansen and Marilyn Burns, who played the surviving character from the first movie (who’s character isn’t mentioned in this, I was curious about what happened to her) and makes a cameo in a flashback scene as Heather’s grandmother. Most of that commentary is spent talking about the original film. This may be the only case where the DVD features are more interesting that the feature.

One issue is there’s a big time gap the film makers purposely ignore. The original explicitly states that it takes place in 1973. This new movie definitely takes place today, and Heather is a 20 something. On the commentaries they say they basically ignored this, and put some 80’s era cars in the Tobe Hooper directed opening scene to make up some time difference. But even the 1980’s is 30 years ago now. This would have been a good movie to make in the 90s (only scarier) instead of the even worse Texas Chainsaw New Generation. 

I really wanted to like this and I really wanted this to succeed. Before it was released Lionsgate stated that something like 6 sequels were planned. I was curious where they would take it, but it probably won’t happen now.