Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Crap: Texas Chainsaw

When Michael Bay says 'I can't do anything more with you,' what does that say about your Franchise?  Today's film is Texas Chainsaw, yet another film that seeks to be a sequel to the original film.  Seriously, this is like the Godzilla Millennium films- in which all but one was a stand-alone sequel to the original Godzilla- all over again!  It also does one my pet peeves- taking words out of the title for a sequel- to an all-new low/high.  It's one thing to go from The Howling to Howling II, but it's another thing to go from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Texas Chainsaw!  What is the logic here?  Did you think that you'd lose the Horror Market with the word Massacre in the title?  Is this a weird example of how we're changing as a society?  You can make horror films about people being cut to pieces by a Chainsaw, but you can't call it a Massacre (in the title)?  If so, that's odd.  Regardless, there is enough to talk/complain about in the actual film without diagramming our society as a whole and its quirks.  Set immediately after the end of the original film, this one explains what happened to the family- ignoring all of the other sequels in the process- and moves to the present day.  That means that there is a pretty major time-gap here to address.  How do they do it?  Well, I won't SPOIL that just yet, but it's worth covering later.  A couple of the original Actors are back, but it's mostly just to appease the 5% of the audience that really expects continuity between the films to be solid.  They clearly didn't see the other films- and will be annoyed later- but that's okay, I guess.  Leatherface is back along with...well, just Leatherface.  Maybe this explains the missing words in the title- they didn't will it to him.  To find out why this film fails on a number of levels, however, you'll have to just read on...
The film plays footage from the original film over the opening Credits.  It mostly serves to remind you how much the original film works, which proves to be a detriment to the film.  It ends with the woman escaping...
 ...and jumps right to the Sheriff- and most of the town- arriving for revenge.  They get the look down pretty well here, to the film's credit.

To the film's discredit, they shoehorn a Gunnar Hansen cameo in and Retcon Bill Moseley- who appeared in the first real sequel as someone else- into the original film.  He's here to say maybe four lines and die.  What was the point of that?!?
After the house is burned down- which sets up a continuity fiasco later-, a child is found with a young female family member.  She's killed (via Orton-style punt kick), but the baby is raised by one of the townsfolk.
Now in the present day, our heroine finds out that a Grandmother she never knew has died.  This leads to a road trip to Texas en route to Louisiana.  Ironically, they filmed the whole movie in that State instead of, you know, Texas!

Sorry, Rick Perry, but Bobby Jindal must have offered a bigger Tax Credit.  Conservative fight!
Just like in the original, the pair pick up a Hitchhiker.  Will this guy go on to be evil and later voice a Power Rangers villain too?  Only time- and SPOILERS- will tell.
This brings us to the film's biggest issue: time itself.  If this film is in set in the Present (which it is), then how is this baby that was born in 1973 only in her TWENTIES then?  I know Texas can be a backwards place sometimes, but time still moves at the same speed there!

They try to hide this all of the time.  Take this piece of Police evidence from later.  Who the hell blacks out the year on stuff like that?  Oh right- lazy Producers!
Since I don't want to SPOIL the whole thing, I'll just give you a basic rundown of the rest of the film.  Leatherface- who should be around 70 here- kills a bunch of people.  Nobody hears or smells him coming, it seems.
Random 3-D shots that add nothing.  That's something you have in common with Silent Hill: Revelation as well.  Interesting.
Oh and lots of silliness ensues.  The highlight: this guys walking around the house later and showing the Police Chief and Mayor (who could just go there) what he sees via Face Time on his phone.  That's...clever?

It all turns extra silly as motivations are revealed, characters turn Vince Russo-style and it all degrades into a mess.  To find out all of the details, watch the movie (if you insist).
Seriously, Platinum Dunes thought that this franchise was done, but you brought it back! This film is highly-confusing, highly-improbable and highly-unnecessary. Where do I begin? You made a direct sequel...forty-years later and still screwed it up. So many things happen in the movie with no major explanation and they really need one. If the Sawyer were reviled and all but one killed, how come Leatherface's little metal den was intact? Wasn't that part of the house? How did it not get burned?  After that, who is the Carson family, how did they get rich and how did they cover up the existence of Leatherface for all of these years?  Never mind the fact that nobody was apparently looking for him when the heroine from the first film had to have mentioned the GIANT WIELDING A CHAINSAW.  Getting past that, Mrs. Carson always knew where the girl was, even after she left the State?  How?  The film's basic plot is just chock full of stuff like that, plus unresolved sub-plots like the boyfriend having an affair with the friend, what exactly the Hitchhiker's real back-story is and so on.  It's a film that is both over-Edited and in need of some serious Editing.  I would start back at the Script phase, but it's too late for that.  In place of R. Lee Ermey, here's someone dressed like Jigsaw (for no reason at all)...
Next up, a look at a user request for a film with a very direct title.  When in doubt, kill Surf Nazis.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. This was soooo fucking terrible, I'm still pissed. Terrible continuity, lame-ass Leatherface, imbecile characters.

    And the title? Well, I think they were just lazy. Texas Chainsaw - short and 'sweet'. Sucks!!!