Sunday, June 23, 2013
Texas Chainsaw (2013): The Saw Might Be Family, But The Family Is As Unhinged As Ever....
And truth be told, Texas Chainsaw 3D is just that. A poorly-conceived sequel-slash-remake that should have never made its way to my DVD player. But it did.
And here's the thing. Maybe I was feeling especially genial when I sat down to watch this movie, but it didn't suck. I almost wanted it to, as I seriously couldn't imagine any reason to sit down for a seventh time with 'ol Leatherface.
But I read a very candid review over at Freddy in Space and was forced to admit I wanted to check it out.
Here's the deal. I hate 3D. So there would have been little to no chance of me checking this out in the theater. I feel like 3D is probably the worst gimmick quite possibly ever and see no reason to have the chainsaw come out of the screen at me. What am I, ten years old? That might have been cute back in 1982 when my best friend and I went to see the third installment of Friday the 13th....but nowadays it is just plain stupid. So that was out. I wait for DVD on all these gimmicky flicks, period. That way I don't have to be subjected to vomit-inducing special effects.
I've always been a fan of the original 1974 film. I won't say "who isn't", because I'm sure there are plenty of people who thought it wrought with overly dramatic screaming and waaaay to much grunting. But it has such a shameless, gritty charm to it that it's easily one of my favorite older horror films and I take it off my DVD shelf on a fairly regular basis, turn down the lights, and let that saw rip!
When Michael Bay (cough cough) resurrected the series in 2003 to make a few bucks, I'll admit I couldn't look away. But I did not grace the seats of any theater to witness the films made in '03 and '06. I waited for DVD and at least was satisfied that they brought back the actual horror of the original and cut out all the silly stuff. I mean, as funny as a grown man wearing a mask with makeup should be, it's actually on more on a disturbing level than funny-haha.
Really? Someone felt the need to dig that grave up and subject us to body parts flying into the camera?
So I've come full circle to how I came to watch this latest installment. And I said all the previous comments simply so you could understand - in no uncertain terms - that I really wasn't excited about this new film.
But again, after reading the FiS review, I became slightly more intrigued.
Apparently the townsfolk came to the Sawyer place and demanded Jed (Leatherface) be brought out to pay for his crimes against humanity. When the clan won't bring him out, gunfire ensues and consequently, the entire Sawyer home is burned to the ground with everyone in it.
One of the townsfolk discovers a female Sawyer hiding in the barn with a newborn and he promptly steals the baby and kills her mother. How convenient for the storyline!
One day, just as her and her equally as beautiful friends are about to head out on a road trip, she finds out she is the sole heir of a home in Newt, Texas. Her grandmother (that she has never met - and is portrayed by the original Sally, Marilyn Burns - score!) has died and left everything to her. So the quartet decides to make a detour through Texas on their way to NOLA and "check it out".
All pretty convenient so far. But I kind of stepped back an "pretended" I hadn't seen any of the sequels or remakes, and treated it almost like a stand-alone film. This can work, if you try hard enough...
I was kind of enthusiastic about all the little homages to the original. Heather's friend Nikki has on a lovely pair of very short red shorts that mimicked Pam's in the '74 version. They drive a van to Texas. They pick up a hitchhiker. Etc.
Hitcher Darryl immediately starts looting the place when they leave, until his nosy investigating brings him face to face with Leatherface, who apparently has his digs in the basement wine cellar of the manse. Whoops!
When Heather & Co. return to find the place ransacked, they frown but quickly find other ways to spend their time (cooking, searching the house, having greedy sex). That is, until Leatherface makes himself known.
There are some good kills (as you would expect with a goddamned chainsaw, right?) and many of them mimic the kills in the original film.
They have some nice cameos in here too. As I stated, Marilyn Burns has a short spot as Heather's grandma, and John Dugan reprises his role as Grandpa, can you believe it? Gunnar Hansen ('74's Leatherface) even shows up in the beginning as one of the Sawyer clan at the doomed house. You have to love it. I also must give a shout out to Bill Moseley, who is here as Drayton Sawyer in place of the deceased Jim Siedow. Moseley is welcome in anything at all, as far as I am concerned!