I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

VERN vs. CRAPPY TEXAS CHAINSAW REMAKE: THE PREQUEL!!

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Honestly, I didn’t even have the energy to write this one up. I am depressed by how much I disagree with Harry and anyone else who gave this a pass. This is what we’re settling for now in horror? I think it’s a huge mistake to demystify something as potent as Leatherface, and I think this is every bit as rotten and bankrupt as Nispel’s remake a few years ago.

But why take my word for it? Here’s Vern, who I trust to explain it for you:

My friends,

Against all odds, this is actually alot better than anyone could’ve imagined. Admittedly, a prequel seems like a bad idea, and the director has only done one movie (that even he says is bad), and he told the Fangoria horror magazine he never even saw any TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE movies before he signed on. But somehow this movie is good ol’ horrory fun!

That’s how my review would start if I was a lying scumbag. But I tell it like it is, so I gotta tell you, if you hated the remake like I did you should skip this one. It’s the same old shit. The best compliment I can muster is “It has a couple funny lines.” Or how about, “I haven’t decided if it’s as bad as the remake or not.” That would make a good quote on the poster I think.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The BeginningAt least I TRIED not to hate this movie. In fact I spent days mentally conditioning myself for maximum open-mindedness. Maybe I should’ve re-watched that fucking remake to remind me just how much this new so-called TEXAS CHAINSAW business fails to recapture anything I love about the original classic. Instead I watched LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION.

The idea was: this is not a remake, it’s a prequel, so it doesn’t have to compare to the original. It only has to clear the sequel bar. And those last two sequels, I thought, set the bar pretty low.

It didn’t work out how I expected it to. Instead of remembering how crappy those sequels were, I found myself thinking they weren’t as bad as I remembered. I appreciated parts of them. So maybe I’d appreciate parts of this. I tried to be optimistic. I figured hey, Michael Bay is only the producer. Maybe he was too busy crushing the dreams of nerds into a fine powder and snorting it off a breast implant to have much of a hand in this. David J. Schow, who wrote the not-as-bad-as-I-remembered part 3, got a co-story credit on this one. So maybe he’ll get some good ideas in there. The script itself was written by Sheldon Turner, who wrote, uh… only the remake of THE LONGEST YARD. Well, shit.

I know I know, Harry loved it, Bloody Disgusting loved it, everybody said it was great, etc. And I’m a sourpuss spoil sport type individual, I was skeptical. Number one because I remember the positive reviews for the fucking remake, and number two because I just don’t see why anybody who loved TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE would want to make a prequel. I mean, when you meet that family in the original you can’t conceive of how they got this far gone. So why would you want to have it explained? Are we gonna explain how Michael Meyers disappeared at the end of HALLOWEEN? Or which one of them was the Thing at the end of THE THING? I hope not.

But since I dragged myself out here and sat in this theater ready to watch the prequel, for fuck’s sake, give me a fuckin prequel. If you think you’re gonna get a BATMAN BEGINS approach, forget it. You get a short explanation of Leatherface’s birth (in a slaughterhouse – I believe this is what the L.A. types call “a little too on the nose”), this happens before the credits. His childhood is brushed over in a photo montage. Then he’s grown up, the slaughterhouse closes down, most of the people have left the town, and I guess that means there’s no grocery stores, or butcher shops, or fuckin berries to pick, so they decide to become cannibals. It’s a lifestyle decision, I guess. But here’s what you’re waiting for. When Leatherface (now named Tommy) leaves his last day of work at the slaughterhouse, there happens to be a chainsaw there (in case they need to cut a log later, I guess) so he takes that with him.

There it is horror fans, that’s history right there. THERE WAS A CHAINSAW SITTING THERE, AND HE TOOK IT! Finally we understand the story behind this classic American iconography. He found it sitting there. Now we’ll never be able to watch those other movies the same way again. Every time we see the chainsaw we’ll think wow, there it is. The chainsaw he found sitting there that one time. It adds so much depth to the whole thing.

There’s really no reason why it needs to be a prequel. It’s not that much different from a NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET sequel where they flash back to show what happened with Amanda Krueger and the thousand maniacs, then go back into being a sequel. Maybe that’s what they should’ve done because at least there would be a little suspense there. You would think maybe the soldier really could cut off R. Lee Ermey’s head like he threatens to. Or maybe the family could get caught. But you know these characters are still free and alive in the remake so nothing’s gonna happen, just the same old shit.

I don’t think you even got to see him use the saw the first time, you just see it bloody later, and somebody is cut up. You see him lugging it around, which I guess is cool. The movie doesn’t try to make you understand Tommy any better, but it did make me understand the main thing that is wrong with these movies. This “Thomas Hewitt” Leatherface is NOT the same character as the Leatherface/Bubba Sawyer/Junior we know from the original movies. Those Leatherfaces had personality. There’s the frightened, squealing retard of the original, the bashful, girl-crazy one from part 2, the walkman-toting teenage rebel of part 3. Hell, this “Tommy” may look better than the screaming slob from part 4, but that one had more substance. He was playful. That scene where he stands behind Renee Zelweger, touching her hair. It showed you something going on behind the mask. You gotta give us something.

This “Tommy” character only has a few token flashes of personality. 99% of the time he’s just one of those “evil” horror themed pro-wrestlers like The Undertaker or one of those guys. He even wears a mask like Mankind (but not the tie that Mankind copied from the real Leatherface). He’s basically the same as Kane in SEE NO EVIL with a different backstory and less creative kills. If this movie was honest they would have rockin theme music and pyrotechnics going off behind him whenever he walks into a scene. He could do one of those wrestler interviews:

“Jordana Brewster, when TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE THE BEGINNING opens on October 5th, you’re goin DOWN, bitch hog, and all the little leatherfaces around the world won’t believe what they SAW!” etc.

Because that’s all he is. He’s not Leatherface. He’s a big evil guy who kills. Might as well flex his muscles like David the Demon.

Since the movie has a few minutes of new backstory you might think it would try to make Tommy more sympathetic. But these filmatists don’t know how to do that so instead they go the “make the victims into assholes” route. There’s a scene where a slaughterhouse employee has to tell “that big retard” to leave while he’s absently chopping up meat. That’s a situation with serious potential, everybody can relate to that type of awkwardness of having to approach the guy and explain this to him. But then they make sure you can’t relate by making the dipshit blurt out “You need to leave, you BIG DUMB ANIMAL!” Later, in one of the moments that is supposed to make the audience yell “YOU GO GIRL!” Jordana Brewster calls him the same thing.

Most of the prequelizing is explaining the new characters from the remake. So you find out that R. Lee Ermey’s Sheriff Hoyt is not a sheriff, he actually killed the sheriff and stole his clothes. That’s a good idea, I like that, but they don’t sell it much. It happens and then we move on. They don’t even get much humor out of him being a crazy guy who thinks he’s a cop, they just act like he really is one.

But don’t worry, you get a detailed explanation of how Uncle Monty lost his legs. Remember, Uncle Monty? Yeah, I forgot too. The guy in the wheelchair that spilled his pee cup. Thank God I finally know how that guy I forgot about lost his legs. Also you find out that everyone left the town, including police, and that’s why they can get away with all these killings. But I think that’s another example of Just Not Getting It. Part of what was scary about these movies (and Ed Gein, the supposed inspiration) was that it was all going on right under your nose. Sure, it’s a rural area, but it’s not the middle of the fuckin desert. It’s just that house over there, who knew that was going on inside? Well, not anymore. Now it’s an evil ghost town in the middle of nowhere.

Other than that important new information, though, it’s mostly another rehash. You got another carload of young people (this time the two boys are headed to Vietnam – BECAUSE IT’S A PREQUEL. THE SIXTIES, MAN. PREQUEL.) This time they get chased by a “biker chick”, crash into a cow, get snatched by The Evil Fake Sheriff, then they’re tied up and tortured and cut and what not. The girls run around screaming, etc. Like in the remake, the girls wear futuristic low-rider jeans.

When I rewatched part 3 the other day it occurred to me what a wasted opportunity it is that Ken Foree doesn’t go get the survivalist buddies he mentions, come back and show the family some of the weapons that are available that are more powerful than saws. This one misses a similar opportunity. They show a large biker gang at the beginning, later they have only 1 (one) member show up at the house and quickly die without much of a fight. They could’ve had a Texas Altamont, instead they have just another nothing character to get chopped up. Of course, nobody can put up much of a fight, because it’s a prequel. They didn’t even have the common sense to include some never before seen family member that could get killed.

They don’t do much with the Vietnam thing, either. There’s a mildly ironic use of the phrase “stay the course” that implies it might have some sort of Iraq commentary in there, but who knows what it is. I guess you can’t expect them to say something smart about the world if they can’t even be smart about scaring people. Even the six or seven BOOOOOONGGGG!!! sudden loud music cues that are supposed to be the “scary” parts aren’t very effective.

If you just want gore, there’s a couple parts, but you’ve seen worse. This time they remembered that they’re supposed to be cannibals, so there’s some disgusting soup in one part. Rated R for scenes of disgusting soup.

These filmatists at least had the sense to understand the importance of the dinner scene. They don’t know how to execute it though. Somehow it’s not as scary when the characters aren’t as crazed but the camera is rotating around like a big Hollywood movie and the orchestra is telling you how momentous the occasion is. They also redo the part where Sally jumps through the window and runs across the field… but then she goes into the spooky slaughterhouse, just like stupid Whistler’s daughter in the remake.

Once again R. Lee Ermey is the best part of the movie, but he’s still just straight evil and not as interesting as the apologetic evil of Jim Siedow in the original parts 1-2. He has a couple of good lines (probaly not scripted) that show at least somebody remembered that the CHAINSAW movies have humor in them. There’s also a scene I liked where some ladies have a tea party with a girl tied underneath the table. And in the last shot Leatherface is kind of hunched over, maybe he might be sad, there might be some personality there. Or maybe he just walks like that. Anyway it’s possible that he has personality there, that is one possible interpretation. So I liked that shot.

Seriously, part 4 is a crappier movie, it has a way stupider ending, it’s not as nicely lit. But it captures more of the substance and tone that is so great about CHAIN SAW. These new movies are just shallow restagings. Don’t give me Lenny Kravitz’s cousin and tell me he’s Jim Hendrix.

And I don’t understand, if you insist on making a prequel, why you don’t take the opportunity to do something really different, put these characters in situations we haven’t seen them in before. If this is the first time they ever turn to murder shouldn’t there be some kind of tension there? Some kind of gradual slide from weirdo to psychopath? Maybe some parts where they almost get caught? Wouldn’t that be more interesting? And besides, you already got a generation of fuckin retards believing this is based on a true story. I heard actual college students discussing it in line. (“And it’s a true story, that’s why it’s scary.”) If they HAD to do a prequel they should’ve gone for more of a true crime feel. Weird details that seem true to life, the kind of little incidents and mistakes that would get worse and worse and build up until everything goes south and a massacre occurs. Instead it’s one little thing and then BOOM, we leap into the same old shit again.

They don’t even make it challenging for Tommy. In the real CHAIN SAW movies he always fucks up and his brothers yell at him, in this one he’s just Jason, the unstoppable killing machine. If this is the first time make something different happen. Just SOMETHING. In the end Jordana Brewster gets a car and takes off down the highway, and without giving anything away, there just MAY be a possibility that Leatherface will SUDDENLY SIT UP IN THE BACK SEAT! HOLY SHIT I HAVE NEVER, EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT, if that is what happens, but who knows. Anyway, he saws her and up ahead there’s some cops that pulled somebody over on the side of the road, but the car crashes into them and they all die instantly and he walks away, the end.

And that’s fine, it’s an okay ending, but why not mix it up a little? Wouldn’t everybody be more satisfied if the cops didn’t die right away, he had to crawl out and they got some shots at him and he had to actually use some fuckin elbow grease? You’re telling me if he had to run around and saw up some cops to save his ass it wouldn’t be more satisfying for both me and the stupid kids that the movie is made for? Because I think we all would enjoy it together and be friends, and I would apologize for calling them stupid.

I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused by me writing one of these “I think they should’ve done it this way, and this should’ve happened” type of reviews. But there are a million ways this could’ve been interesting and they managed to steer clear of all one million. If you’re gonna take this great cinematic masterpiece that I love and have the balls to give it a beginning that was never there, at least humor me with a small amount of imagination or cleverness. These guys won’t do it, they got nothin. It’s just the same old shit, but with a baby at the beginning. If you want to see a bad movie with a baby in it, that one where Bruce is the voice of the baby has been playing on cable lately. Save your money.

I would like to sum up by saying fuck Michael Bay, fuck WWE Leatherface, fuck fake scares, fuck fake true stories, and fuck Hollywood for letting assholes like this chew up our heritage, spit it out and say it’s been upgraded. Unfortunately, the movie was pretty boring and I just can’t work up that kind of hatred, I’m not gonna be able to say any of those fucks. So instead I’ll end by saying something nice. But I got nothing nice left to say about the movie so I’ll say it about the local radio station dude who introduced the screening. He asked trivia questions and they were all about the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, with only one mention of the remake because it also has narration by John Larroquette. That’s the way it should be. The remake is a footnote, the prequel is a rehash of the footnote.

And Harry, your severed head isn’t in this one so you have no excuse this time. What happened bud. I want answers.

thanks,

Vern

p.s. Oh shit Harry, this is a prequel, you could’ve been a character in this one, we would find out how you lost your head. Maybe you are the guy who picks on Tommy at school that makes him so Evil. No buts about it, your character should’ve been in there. You shouldn’t stand for this.

APPENDIX: Note to director Jonathan Liebesman

Dear director Jonathan Liebesman,

Come on dude. Don’t do this FRIDAY THE 13TH “PREQUEL/REMAKE” bullshit. Don’t let anybody do it. Just pull the plug.

I’m sure you’re a nice guy. I’ve seen worse movies than your prequel. But don’t listen to Michael Bay on this shit. If he has advice for you about buying sports cars, listen to that. If he says anything about a movie, surprise garbage can battering ram to the face and run like hell. The guy is a maniac.

I know you come from South Africa and I have nothing against South Africa. You got rid of apartheid so we’re cool now. But I’m an American so just take my word for it that these movies are important to some of us here. FRIDAY THE 13TH is not sacred like TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, but it’s dumb-stupid-fun. Platinum Dunes makes dumb-pretentious-not-fun. Say goodbye to JASON X, say hello to 90 minutes of nicely lit torture scenes. If these assholes start the series over, that’s the end of FRIDAY THE 13TH forever. No more fun to be had.

Be honest with yourself. You watched the CHAIN SAW remake after you got hired, even you were like “How the fuck did they remake it without the dinner scene?” You can’t trust these people. Don’t do it bud. Take a stand. Be a conscientious objector. Don’t do this to us, Liebesman. Just walk away.

thanks bud,

Vern

Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/30317

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Agree totally with Vern

    by DarthGuapo

    Anyone who likes this film needs to be shot. How does gore compete with tension and scares? It’s the easiest thing in the world to gross someone out. To really scare someone you have to be smart and inventive, which this movie is clearly not.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Agree totally with Vern

    by DarthGuapo

    Anyone who likes this film needs to be shot. How does gore compete with tension and scares? It’s the easiest thing in the world to gross someone out. To really scare someone you have to be smart and inventive, which this movie is clearly not.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:03 p.m. CST

    What happened in part 3?

    by bluebottle

    i never saw it, but i thought there was some allusion to leatherfaces backstory… at least in the teaser there was that thing with the “excalibur” like discovery of the chainsaw. btw, vern… start your own site. this pigsty doesn’t deserve you.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Jason X and Michael Bay

    by nuetro

    Michael Bay seems to ruin everything he touches. The only movies that were remotely intelligent and good were The Rock, maybe the Bad Boys movies, and maybe Armageddon. But seriously, Michael Bay doesn’t need a trashcan to the face. He needs to be the hot college girls in the sleeping bags at the end of Jason X. If you saw Jason X movie, you know why.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Have a cookie!

    by DerLanghaarige

    Seriously. I got some here! And for any reason I feel sad, because you hate the film so much. (I’m serious! I’m not making fun of you!)

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Vern needs to get laid or something…

    by jojo-pimp

    and get rid of this pent up anger. Dude…the remake really was not that frickin bad….i still cant believe so many people on this site like to badmouth it. It will never compare to the original, but its still a decent flick. Chainsaw 2, 3 and 4 sucked balls….admit it.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Fucking awesome review!

    by captaincosmos

    Vern that was review was almost as hilarious as it was insightful. Honestly, I don’t think this piece of shit deserves the amount of effort it took you to write this up, but my god, I so wish someone would forward this to that douchebag Bay, and the obviously clueless “horror director” who apparently has never seen an American Horror flick in his life. Hell, every horror movie producer in Hollywood should have this written in reverse and pinned to their goddamn forehead. Thanks, Vern!

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:48 p.m. CST

    I seem to remember Leatherface flying a plane in part 3

    by pokadoo

    …or he took one out, with his chainsaw or something. Their was defintely a plane in there somewhere.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Vern=The Voice of Reason

    by dancinggopher01

    I read all the reviews, and then pick Vern’s all the fucking time. TCM:The Beginning is already on my Netflix list. Fuck seeing this in the theatre.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST

    So…

    by richier123

    I read the first paragraph, but I don’t have time at the moment to finish it, I will later. I just wanted to comment… The original Texas Chainsaw sucked serious ass, as it was laughably bad when I rented and watched it a year ago. Serious, she runs out of a window, falls to the ground, then stands up like nothing happened. Now, I am assuming I think it sucks because I did not see it when it came out, I saw it however many years later it has been…. but I thought the remake was good, it had all the stuff that seems to make a horror movie a horror movie these days. And I expect that this one will be similar. ***
    ***
    *** Lets see if those line breaks work

    So in conclusion, I liked the remake, but it may be because I am one of the few people that thinks the original was damn near pathetic

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    The reason why so many people like this:

    by DerLanghaarige

    It’s not PG 13!

    If there is anything worse than a bad horrorflick, it’s a bad horrorflick that has been cut down to a PG 13.

    Splatter doesn’t make a good film, but it can make one a lot more entertaining.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    Vern always speaks truth!

    by dejectedgeek

    I’ve never disagreed with a Vern review since I’ve gone to this site, this was no different, and it was damn entertaining.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4 p.m. CST

    vern, i liked this write up

    by Bob C. Cock

    i liked the fuckin’ berries part especially

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 3:59 p.m. CST

    Is it as bad as…

    by Mr. Nice Gaius

    …”The Hills Have Eyes”? Cause I just watched that POS last night and I want that 2hrs. of my life back. Holy shit.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:04 p.m. CST

    I HATE when critics say these films are gory

    by IndustryKiller!

    When they are as tame as a fucking kittne. now I’m not some gore fetishist who needs to see every viscral detail of the killing but critics talk like its Cannibal Holocaust or something. These big budget hollywood horror films couldnt be less visceral and easy to stomach. The horror equivalent of disney films.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Let me guess….

    by moviebuff2

    Now that everyone hates Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, I guess Harry will put out a review for the Departed where he doesn’t see why everyone likes it so much. Watch!

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Paid by the Word, Vern?

    by Read and Shut Up

    …hay-zeus, dude. I like your insight but you can cut 40% off that review. More does NOT equal more!

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:09 p.m. CST

    WTF is up with horror movies

    by godzillasushi

    At least Hostel was entertaining, but garbage everywhere.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    I think, I will print this review too

    by DerLanghaarige

    Good idea. Thank you! :D

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Vern’s Review Is The Doorway To True Evil

    by The Ender

    I’ve officially been talked out of seeing this steaming pile of shit. I was going to go there, spend the 9 dollars, and laugh at all the fucktardery. Now, I think I’ll just go see the Departed.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:09 p.m. CST

    And how do these directors get work????

    by IndustryKiller!

    He made one movie that sucked and he gets to direct a high budget potential franchise installment?? Are studio selling raffle tickets to direct movies nowadays?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Oh Neutro

    by godzillasushi

    Dont be silly lol. The Rock was somewhat alright. But WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY DOIN WITH A GATTLING GUN IN OUTER SPACE in Armageddon. And it had ammunition. :) I just made myself laugh.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:18 p.m. CST

    I liked the remake

    by performingmonkey

    If you block the original from your mind and consider how many uber-shit horror flicks get made now, the Chainsaw remake isn’t so bad. The cast is very good, there isn’t too much gore (although there IS plenty). The hitchhiker scene is well played, certainly good enough to freak out a mainstream audience (I bet you anything some people walked out when she blew herself away). The original Chainsaw is a different animal. It’s not even worth comparing ANYTHING to it. Fuck you.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:21 p.m. CST

    How about Chainsaw! The Musical

    by Lance Rock

    …or any more franchise opportunities?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:22 p.m. CST

    Talked out of seeing it?

    by DonkeyTron

    Did anybody really need to be talked out of seeing this? Really? This is why they keep making these dog turds. People keep going. They know they shouldn’t. They know they’ll hate it. But they go anyway. I don’t get it. And if anybody is thinking of seeing this because Harry liked it; you’re kidding yourself. Harry liked it because he got to see it in a strip club with naked chicks dancing with chainsaws and R. Lee Ermey giving him a hummer with a mouthful of Orbit Gum that he got from Target on the way back from the Alamo Alehouse where, apparently, every movie is just orgasimic because every fucking celebrity that ever lived comes in and rims everybody and gives them cigarettes and money. I’m just kidding Harry is the pilar of integrity. (cough)

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST

    heh

    by Spaz_Monkey

    “Rated R for scenes of disgusting soup.”___ Funny!

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Hahahaha… VERN made a Demon Dave joke…

    by Frijole

    It’ll never end!

    PS I love the original 4 (even 4… actually ESPECIALLY 4… I know Vern hated the Illuminati angle but I thought it was batshit crazy enough to be brilliant) and I really dug the remake. Sue me.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Just read Vern’s Wikipedia entry…

    by ScarranHalfBreed

    …Not only does Guillermo Del Toro call him a “national treasure”, but it states that he’s an ex-criminal who did armed robberies and stuff. Is this true or another display of his humour??? Millions of kids around the world will be devastated if it is.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:02 p.m. CST

    “The horror equivalent of

    by Ridge

    “The horror equivalent of disney films.”

    Industrykiller I could not agree with you more. Brilliant way to put it. It really does feel like generic mass produced drivel doesn’t it.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    I’ve pretty much lost interest

    by Mechasheeva

    in mainstream horror. The TCM remake was cliched garbage. It wasn’t scary, it just made me feel a little sick (mostly the meat-hook thing). I was hoping this one would turn out better, especially when I found out they were including the dinner scene, but no dice. Wanna know how to make a movie scary? Good characters, a creepy setting, a suspenseful buildup, and a release of tension that’s so intense it practically pins you to the seat. The Descent is a perfect example of this.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Oh, and richier123

    by Mechasheeva

    You are no longer allowed to watch a horror movie ever again. Unless it’s Pulse. You can go nuts with that one.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    A simple reason all these horror films are shit…

    by alienindisguise

    is because the dumbfucks directing them haven’t seen the originals! All they understand is the shit that has been force fed to them over the past 10 years.

    It will just continue to get worse my friends until someone wakes the fuck up in Hollywood! Which probably won’t happen in our lifetimes.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:20 p.m. CST

    “Don’t give me Kravitz’s cousin…

    by triplefive

    and tell me he’s Jimi Hendrix”. Fuckin’ classic right there.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Ah, instead of covering butts by greenlighting remakes,

    by kabong

    Hollycrap goes with the prequels. Okay, buttheads, then make prequels to the prequels and then prequels to the prequels of the prequels. You get the boring picture? It’s the boring picture of the crap movie industry. Make something new or get out of the way.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:22 p.m. CST

    “Explain how Michael Meyers disappeared…”

    by JackPumpkinhead

    “…or which one of them was the Thing at the end of THE THING?” OF COURSE they will. Isn’t that shithead responsible for the worst film of the last ten years, “House of 1000 Corpses”, remaking Halloween? You can expect some “back story” and “explanation” there, definitely. And when the remake of the remake of The Thing comes out (I’m betting it’ll be in two years) then you can be sure of a crappy ending like that.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:24 p.m. CST

    “Thomas Hewitt” Leatherface is NOT the same character a

    by future help

    I love ya’ Vern.

    The very best critic on this site.

    Like the Glory days of Joe Bob Briggs reviews

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:31 p.m. CST

    fuck you Richier123

    by future help

    dumbass

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Print review, take to theater, post on door

    by Jonesey1111

    Anything to decrease ticket sales. No money = no movie. Hollywood will listen if we speak in their terms.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 5:52 p.m. CST

    Another good review.

    by rbatty024

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a good horror movie. It’s a real shame.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 6:02 p.m. CST

    What’s the last

    by veritasses

    horror/fantasy/sci-fi flick with any sort of buzz/star power/geek history/ associated with it that Harry absolutely hated?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but

    by film_chic

    Vern was really, really, REALLY sure that he was going to absolutely hate this movie long before he saw it. I’m taking this review with a large grain of salt.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I usually love Vern, but hes dead wrong here

    by BitterMan23

    He compares the film entirely too much to the original 4. I dont mind if you compare the remake to the original film, but the only film to compare the prequel against, at least in the manner Vern is here, is the remake. I fail to see how Leatherface’s rather silly discovering of the chainsaw has any bearing on what happened in the original series, or how we should interpret them. If you dislike the film for its own internal shortcomings, that is perfectly fine, but you shouldnt judge it based on what you liked about part 3 or whatever. Its a different series. I guess we should also dislike Batman Begins because Jack Nicholson didn’t kill his parents?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 6:47 p.m. CST

    TCM = juggfuckled

    by ubersnarf

    right on, Vern! Why can’t Hollywood take all the movies that kinda squelched and could be awesome with a little makeover, instead of going after beloved classics? Like Michael Bay reworking The Birds? Worst idea ever. However, if Michael Bay wants to redo, say, Zardoz, that could have potential. Well, actually, no, Zardoz is pretty bad all around. But still.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 7:10 p.m. CST

    If you thought Descent sucked

    by BitterMan23

    why do you even watch horror movies?

    (Note – this question only applies to those above the age of 16 or so.)

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    As soon as UPS brings that 55-gallon drum of Anal Lube

    by BannedOnTheRun

    I’ll watch the Dawn of the Dead remake again. Oh yeah, baby. “You will believe a remake can fly.” (TM)

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 7:20 p.m. CST

    I didn’t mind it

    by jackinitraw

    I guess my cinematic palet isn’t as refined as “Vern”‘s is. I didn’t mine the remake though either. People who argue the merits of horror confuse me. These so called rules and social commentaries seem to be beside the point. I’d recommend this. It’s not like the Pink Panther remake or anything which wasn’t funny and was suppoed to be. This is a decent horror movie. You geeks need to calm yo’selves.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Jonesey111

    by readyoufool

    I think Hollywood is done listening to people who post on film forums. Look how much good all that “internet buzz” did Snakes on a Plane. Cause that was such a blockbuster, eh?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 8:15 p.m. CST

    vern

    by llephen

    is the best movie reviewer on the internet.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 8:24 p.m. CST

    Part 4 was mostly crap but…

    by ZombieisaDouche

    I loved the hint that the government was somehow funding the family to keep killing. At least, that’s the idea I took from it. Think about it , that would explain how come they’ve been around for like decades. When they need someone to squeal, they send them to the family for a little torturin’. But what the fuck do I know?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Poor form

    by blackwood

    “But I’m an American so just take my word for it that these movies are important to some of us here.”

    Kind of ignorant, Vern, and not in the funny way. Boo. Hiss. Etc.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Friday the 13th

    by DarthGuapo

    Are they seriously letting him make this now?

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I saw Bay’s TCM three times at the theatres…

    by The Dum Guy

    and I must say that two times I was forced to go since I was out voted on which movie to see each time. I didn’t think it was great, but compared to TCM 3 & 4, it’s fucking brilliant, so I don’t really get the hate it receives.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Gore does not equal horror.

    by Larry of Arabia

    Modern horror is pretty much crap on all levels, and the good stuff is roundly ignored by kids who get off on torture and misery. Horror is about fright and suspense, not blood and entrails. Think about how little gore you see in the truly GREAT horror movies. Alien. The original 13 Ghosts. The Shinning. The movies picked their shots and shocked you with their images. Modern horror has lost that. How much gore was realy in the original Nightmare on Elm Street? Not much.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Best part about TCM remake

    by Phategod2

    Jessica Biels T-shirt meat. everything else complete crap.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    I want to have Vern’s poop babies

    by SuckLeTrou

    Seriously, my ass is wide open any time you need to drop a load, bud. And Richier123 can eat them after I give birth.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST

    re: Gore does not equal horror

    by The Dum Guy

    Isn’t horror supposed to be horrible? The Shining had a lake of blood spew forth from an escalator and it had images of hacked-up little girls. The first Nightmare had a chick getting dragged upside down around a room being cut up. Granted gore doesn’t equal effective scares, but alot of iconic horror is helped by it’s sometimes excessive gore.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Think this is bad? Wait for Transformers

    by Doc_Strange

    A movie DIRECTED by Michael Bay. Not just bad, fuckin’ terrible bad. Not so bad that it’s good but just fuckin’ awful shit.

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 10:10 p.m. CST

    What’s a “horro” movie?

    by BitterMan23

    Anyway, the above 16 comment was my way of saying that i wouldnt expect idiot kids to like The Descent (or any other good “horro” movie, as you call them). Because they are mostly morons, and make things like The Grudge a blockbuster. When a horror film possesses some intelligence and respect for the audience, those folks usually stay far far away (note – these people are the ones who will say the Dawn remake is better because the original is “too slow” or some such idiocy).

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Vern I watched Uncut TCM 3

    by sentient

    Vern I watched Uncut TCM 3 last week. I’ve had it for ages now on DVD, but I just couldnt bring myself to watch it again. I was more interested in the Bonus stuff about the films making more than anything else. I wanted some insight from Greg of KNB and the Director- The Darkskys DVD made me do it basically. I re-emembered the The VHS shocking Truth Documentary I bought thats on that Darkskys TCSM DVD and I wanted to know more about TCM3, and why it failed so badly.

    I felt privy to a historical gem. TCM3 grabbed the director and began shooting with in a weeks time.

    F13 redone- How much development time is it getting…. Almost NONE!

    Sound fimilar!

    What gets me is they are filming the Friday the 13th remake with the same sort of time rush done for TCM 3. Simply put a Rush In, and the results will be… Shit! This for the fans remake of Friday the 13th is not a nurtured baby. It’s a shit it out fast before this Remake Trend dies, and get that easy green.

    ———–Sad world my man. The Saw is Family. The Rehash is shit!

  • Oct. 6, 2006, 11:59 p.m. CST

    Wow! First time I’ve ever DISAGREED with Vern!

    by Kasch

    Vern, I agreed with every single line you wrote in your review of the remake. I can’t believe it, but I’m disagreeing with almost every line of THIS review. Dude, you’re an awesome writer, but to say that this film is the same as the remake is totally missing the point. I actually think Harry Knowles hit all the right notes for once.

    When you get down to it, Nispel’s remake drowned in its own style. There’s a genuine gritiness with this one that makes it far superior. The remake felt like it was trying to be a hardcore 70’s horror film, while this one felt like it WAS a hardcore 70’s horror film. It’s offers that same intense level of hopelessness and nihilism. You know nobody’s walking away from this. You just have to sit and watch it unfold.

    Does it have a formula to it? Yes. But it’s executed with such a high level of tact that it transcends that. Sure, the victims are “teens passing through.” But at the very least, there’s an actual attempt to make these kids engaging – we don’t just get mindless babble before the slaughter (See: Jessica Biel and Friends). They’re not the be-all-end-all of characters, but they have more going on than the kids in Tobe Hooper’s original, and a HELLUVA lot more than the stereotypes in the remake. Most importantly, the stuff that was happening with them at the beginning of the film actually played into the horrors that followed. WOW! What a concept!

    But the evolution of the villains is what made this a story worth telling. In the remake: No sense of family. Just maniacs who would pop out at predictable moments to go “Boo!” Here, they were an actual entity and you watched them arc. That in itself is what this series has tried to be about, and it’s what the filmmakers captured perfectly.

    My only real gripe: The final kill. The “back seat pop-up” was just so unbelievably cheap. There isn’t a single person – horror fan or not – who won’t see that coming a mile away. I thought the makers did a good job of keeping clear from those telegraphed scares, so they should’ve known better than to play that card.

    Other than that, I will continue to harp my love for this film. I think it’s the most worthy successor to the 70’s original as we’ll ever see.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Vern nailed it as usual

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    I don’t recall ever disagreeing with one of Vern’s reviews or film opinions, including those concerning DTV junkfood like the “Wild Things” sequels.

    While there can NO EXCUSES for liking the TCM remake (aka “THAT 70’s SHOW CHAINSAW MASSACRE”), I didn’t even like “The Hills Have Eyes” remake, though I will concede that on some levels it was a superior movie to the original. Still, if I had to choose which to watch, I’d take the original every time. More fun, more exciting, and yes, less brutal ( or at least, not brutal in that tired, unpleasant 21st-century-Hollywood-shock-cinema way).

    The “Dawn of the Dead” remake gets a pass from me, because its success brought us “Land of the Dead.”

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I think it’s scary when…

    by thatpeterguy

    Vern’s review provides more chills and thrills than the movie he is reviewing. Well done sir, you are now my favourite reviewer on this site. Moriarty and Quint are reliable and Harry, well Harry gives an entertaining read but his opinions are irrelevant.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Yeah, it’s weird when the Talkbacks talk more…

    by ScarranHalfBreed

    …about the reviewer of the movie than the movie itself. Whenever I see the name “VERN” on the AICN front page, I can’t wait to click on the link. He is the only reason why I frequent the site. And I have to agree with the Harry thing – a positive review from Harry means nothing to me. I’d rather listen to Ebert, and that’s saying something.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Why do people do “preparation work” before a movie?

    by GibsonUSA

    It’s a f’n movie. Get off work and just go watch it.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 1:53 a.m. CST

    In true VERN FORM.. (Or: For the Love of F**k,SELF-EDIT

    by topaz4206

    yet another review that’s longer than the script. THREE THOUSAND-plus words, Vern. I don’t think even people that loved this movie are willing to subject themselves to such verbal incontinence.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:13 a.m. CST

    In true VERN FORM.. (Or: For the Love of F**k,SELF-EDIT

    by topaz4206

    yet another review that’s longer than the script. THREE THOUSAND-plus words, Vern. I don’t think even people that loved this movie are willing to subject themselves to such verbal incontinence.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:23 a.m. CST

    Kasch

    by Vern

    Thanks for your comments bud. I’m glad you enjoyed it. But I just don’t see it. I wrote that review last night and sort of blurted it out without any finetuning so I could sleep, so it’s kind of garbled. But in thinking about it today the main reason I thought the movie failed for me is this prequel thing. I don’t like the idea of explaining where the characters come from, but I even less like that they half-assed it so much. If this is THE BEGINNING then let’s actually see how Leatherface goes from harmless retard to cutting off people’s faces, and how R. Lee Ermey goes from (whatever he is) to guy who kills a cop and wears his clothes. There is no build to it, it just happens right at the beginning. There is no gradual slide, no insight, no feeling of “this is how it would really go down.” They’re just as crazy and evil at the beginning of the prequel as they are at the end of the remake, they’re just wearing different outfits. I like what you say about the hopelessness, but it didn’t work for me, instead it just seemed like suspenselessness. Maybe it doesn’t help that I have recently rewatched all of the original movies so I’ve seen these type of scenarios over and over again. But to me there was nothing with the thrill of even, say, Renee Zelweger running through the house and out the window in part 4. I didn’t give a shit about the characters or feel like rooting for them. I do think WOLF CREEK is kind of like what you’re talking about, I liked that movie. But even in that one somebody gets away. I guess maybe this could be a philosophical disagreement, too. To me, somebody either escaping or getting revenge is part of the primal thrill of slasher movies. If everybody dies at the end that can work, but I think only if you really believed they could get away and rooted for them and they just missed by the skin of their teeth. I don’t know. By the way, do you disagree with what I said about Leatherface’s lack of personality? Did I miss anything there? Anyway, thanks Kasch, I appreciate it.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:28 a.m. CST

    topaz

    by Vern

    Then don’t read it, dude. I didn’t read your talkback. Oh wait, I think I did. Fuck.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Great review and richier123 = idiot

    by smellmycheese

    Great review, Vern. Great review. And richier123, you’re an idiot. You saw the original last year?? WTF! Some horror fan! I’m guessing you saw the remake first. Yeah, in fact, I know you did. It’s written all over your smug little post.

    =====

    “Serious, she runs out of a window, falls to the ground, then stands up like nothing happened.” – because you NEVER see that in modern films, do you?! Sure, it’s a LOL moment, but it’s not detrimental to the authenticity of the film unlike the poor acting of the remake.

    =====

    “Now, I am assuming I think it sucks because I did not see it when it came out” – I’d be very surprised if most folk here saw it when it first came out as I doubt AICN is that popular with the over 50s!! Dumbass.

    =====

    “I saw it however many years later it has been” – it’s been 32. Thirty two. Is the IMDB blocked on your browser?

    =====

    [the remake] “had all the stuff that seems to make a horror movie a horror movie these days” – yeah, it was a boring, predictable, creatively bankrupt piece of shit that you’ve seen 1000 times before – and done better.

    =====

    I could go on but I cannot be bothered.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Great review and richier123 is an idiot

    by smellmycheese

    Great review, Vern. Great review. And richier123, you’re an idiot. You saw the original last year?? WTF! Some horror fan! I’m guessing you saw the remake first. Yeah, in fact, I know you did. It’s written all over your smug little post.

    =====

    “Serious, she runs out of a window, falls to the ground, then stands up like nothing happened.” – because you NEVER see that in modern films, do you?! Sure, it’s a LOL moment, but it’s not detrimental to the authenticity of the film unlike the poor acting of the remake.

    =====

    “Now, I am assuming I think it sucks because I did not see it when it came out” – I’d be very surprised if most folk here saw it when it first came out as I doubt AICN is that popular with the over 50s!! Dumbass.

    =====

    “I saw it however many years later it has been” – it’s been 32. Is the IMDB blocked on your browser?

    =====

    [the remake] “had all the stuff that seems to make a horror movie a horror movie these days” – yeah, it was a boring, predictable, creatively bankrupt piece of shit that you’ve seen 1000 times before – and done better.

    =====

    I could go on but I cannot be bothered.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 4:04 a.m. CST

    richier123 is an idiot

    by smellmycheese

    …three times a charm…

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 5:04 a.m. CST

    cheers vern

    by axemurder

    I hated the remake, but was kinda excited by this Bloody Disgusting gave it such a stellar review and they dont seem to cock-suck many studios, horror movies are a big part of who i am (i own a horror t shirt company) but i am having my love beat out of me everywhere i turn. Basically there is not too much you could do with the story unless you had the balls to turn it completley on its head, thee guys are intent on giving us passable horror fodder that the myspace emo-retardos lap it up, and then we bitch and moan cause they dont make REAL HORROR ANYMORE but, how many people out there are supporting & buying releases from Unearthed Films, Code Red and Synapse etc HOW are releasing real horror movies???

    you cant trust harry anymore, he his hollywood dick so far down his throat that its coming out of his ass.

    this site is in bed with some many filmakers i am really thinking of letting it go, but then Mori & Vern make it worthwhile whoever said they should start their own site is correct…they should.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Vern wants his own prequel

    by wildjem77

    Vern, get over the fact that not everybody has the same taste as you. If Harry liked it, so be it. You still don’t get the difference between re-imagining and remake. While some elements in your review are true, (like having less tension because it’s a prequel) it still is an enjoyable movie for horror fans. You can clearly read that you were already busy making up ‘smart’ remarks during the movie to thrash it anyway. Maybe you shouldn’t waste your time writing reviews that need swearing ( yeah we’re all so impressed by that…), instead stay home to watch the originals over and over again to say to yourself they’re better.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 5:10 a.m. CST

    spelling mistakes

    by axemurder

    I just got out of bed.

    I am ashamed of myself

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Descent sucked because…

    by triplefive

    all of the “horror” is based off of stupid character decisions, e.g. purposefully leaving a map behind, running blindly through unknown, dark caves, despite several of your friends doping just that earlier and suffering great harm because of it, and there was a serious lack of continuity with the cavedwellers, and which senses they use and which they dont. oh, and JUMP scares. i fucking HATE jump scares. Does The Thing have a single fuckign jump scare in it? Fuck the Descent.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 10:27 a.m. CST

    “Does The Thing have a single jump scare in it?”

    by Osmosis Jones

    KURT RUSSELL: Pretty good spook comin’ up…

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Sometimes a chain saw is

    by TheTalentedMrBond

    Sometimes a chain saw is just a chain saw.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I agree with Vern… but

    by WolfmanNards

    it was better than the remake, so it went way above my expectations, so I didn’t leave the theater angry like I was expecting. Dude, when I left the theater after I saw the remake, I was cursing my arse off. My face was red. I was so pissed. Everybody was looking at me like I was the freak for not liking it. FUCK THEM. And Vern, about hearing college kids say “what makes this scary is it really happened” in line…. SAME FUCKING THING HAPPENED TO ME. Only I told them it wasn’t, and they told me I didn’t know what I was talking about. This generation sucks, even though awesome ol’ me is part of it. I work at a video store, and I have told people that bring the remake up to the counter, to instead, get the original, which they usually didn’t even know existed. Sad thing is… I’ve been told that some people who bring it back, don’t like the original, and “liked the remake better”. You’re right about the lighting. Just light it well, and whatever the shit is that you’re lighting, people will like it better. Fuck them.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST

    DAMN GOOD MOVIE!!!

    by jojo-pimp

    I dont care if Vern is pissed that it wasn’t up to his standards of what a “Prequel” should be, or that it didnt make him as wet as the original did….this was a balls out gorefest with some pretty damn good scares and intensity. The push-up scene kicked ass!

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but…

    by DocPazuzu

    …does Diora Baird get ’em out?

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    If you support this film, please answer this question

    by Immortal_Fish

    How do you account for hip-hugging jeans that are so very “futuristic” as Vern aptly describes? Sorry, but that’s a deal breaking show stopper for any period piece, which includes the advanced technology in the (admitted) fantastical Star Wars prequels. Eye candy is one thing; audience pandering is another. It’s flat out insulting. Shit, 70s porn still gives me a boner, whatwith the Mr. Furley / Scooby’s Fred neck sashes (and Albert Einsteins in knee-locks), so what’s the deal with the complete absense of high-waisted, bell bottom jeans from this Vietnam era ‘remake’? Oh, I get it. It’s to provide commentary (read: criticism) on “staying the course” whilst providing the same demographic titilating visuals of both the bouncy meatsy and bloody meatsy kind. How predictable. How Hollowood predictable. Will pass. But looking forward to worthy counterpoints. Yes, even though this is the sack of rabid weasels known as AICN TB.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 12:49 p.m. CST

    i am a rabid weasel

    by ectocriminal

    for jordana brewster in low-cut tight jeans. that being said, i don’t think your average attendee of this film will even realize that they didn’t have low cut jeans in the 60s. in fact, i’ll bet they banked on their core audience not even knowing exactly when the vietnam war took place until they dropped it on them during the film. the reason why contemporary horror is stagnating is partially its willingness to please a crowd instead of grabbing said crowd in an unexpected way and forcing them to watch or walk out. they won’t risk money on this. i don’t mean to be insulting, but most hollywood business types won’t take risks on known cash cows (the remake made 80 mil domestic, pretty good for an r-rated flick). we’ll keep getting this same stuff because horror, as a rule, shouldn’t appeal to the mainstream. this is money-making ‘horror’. sure, some of it can be scary at times but i’m sure that although i haven’t seen the film yet there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    I don’t get the “balls out gorefest” thing though

    by Vern

    I mean I got no criticisms of the gore, I’m not saying there’s too much or too little in this one. But it’s not like there’s a huge amount in here. Go check out the new DVD of TCSM part 2 when it comes out this Tuesday, THAT is a balls out gorefest, and they make it fun. That one was released unrated so it pretty much put the kabosh on any Michael Bay studio sequel coming close to topping it in the grossout department. Just so we’re on the same page, where was the gore in this one? I remember he cut off a guy’s face, and there was the soup I mentioned. Anyway, I didn’t find it even mildly intense or scary, but if you did then more power to you. Glad to see somebody got something out of it.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    Chain Saw fundamentalism

    by Vern

    I know a couple of you complained that this review was too short and not in-depth enough (unless I got that backwards, no time to check) so I got a few more thoughts. First of all, yes, I am more hardcore about the original CHAIN SAW than any normal human being. That should be clear from this review alone and it should go without saying that your reaction to the movie may vary. But I probaly should’ve also said that if you liked the remake, I would think you would like this. Then again if you liked the remake I got no idea where you’re coming from so I could be totally wrong. If you want to really get me where it hurts, you could point out that my attachment to what the character of Leatherface used to be is like the way most of the people here felt about X-Men 3. But it’s subtly different because I think in the case of X-Men they knew when they were changing the characters but felt it didn’t matter, here I think they just don’t get the original movie and forgot that Leatherface wasn’t Jason. I think they don’t even realize that they look down on the material. That’s my guess. But I assume in part 3 it will take place in the modern day and Leatherface will have a long black leather jacket and sunglasses because kids don’t like those retard killers anymore, this is 2008. Anyway despite my chain saw fundamentalism I believe that my primary criticisms of the movie could easily be shared by a more casual fan. It’s not like they didn’t tell us this was “the beginning of fear” and make a huge deal about this prequel thing. So how come they don’t bother to actually do that? I just read a review on some place called Freeze Dried Film, the guy was pretty much opposite of me (loved the remake, thought it was brilliant that they left out the classic dinner scene from the original) but made these same criticisms. And you know what, even if the movie totally disrespected the original and didn’t make sense as a prequel, it could still win me over by kicking my ass on horror terms or general entertainment. For example DAWN OF THE DEAD is my #2 horror movie after CHAIN SAW, I think the remake is a hollow, substanceless version, I was raised anti-fast zombie, and yet I loved that movie on its own terms. Oh well, some of you guys liked the prequel, that’s cool. Here is a good tagline I made up. “TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING. This time… it’s a little bit earlier.”

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST

    i liked…

    by El Borak

    how the dumbass bitch from the film said that this was a prequel to the “original” from 2005!!! on jimmy kimmel.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Boo

    by team america

    ooooooooooo

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 2:53 p.m. CST

    oh and…

    by El Borak

    if you think the original tcm sucks you have some serious problems. you must be under 20 years old or a retard.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 3:18 p.m. CST

    If a late summer 2007

    by sentient

    If a late summer 2007 release date is done for friday the 13th remake. You can expect even worse results than TCM 3 and thats my statement. That film was also rushed and mistreated in order to make a date.————————-

    The Friday remake is alot worse…

    No script done. No real development time between now and then. It’s a Rush’Out to get it to come to theaters a few months back from Rob Zombies remake.——- I think Hollywood is catching on that the remake trend could go south at any moment. I’m growing more and more tired of it myself. I think it works because most teens are oh so newly exposed to horror in general and they dont have an adult horror fans mind or memory/seen-it-resume. These newbee’s are helping Hollywood continue it’s rapefest.————–

    I find my Horror film taste changing with my age. Chainsaw remains important to me, same could be said for the original Dawn, Night, Marvin, Phantasm, Funhouse, Suspira, Psycho, The Haunting, Frenzy, The Burning and a few others. I’ve lost alot of my Halloween love because I’ve seen it too much.. It doesnt have the power for me anymore. Nightmare, Friday the 13th, Childsplay- sure I can watch them but I wouldnt say that I balls out fucking love em like I love the other films. and these gusy like Eli and Mike T and Rob Z. Theyre not even close to Romero, Carpenter, Tobe, or Dario as far as Quality, Shock and Adding something new Strong, Unseen, Loud, and Undeniable as thier own to the horror world. ——

    I can take Devils and break the film down scene by scene and tell you where the shock moment and kill happened in another film.—–

    Where are the real new renegades of horror?!?!?!? The ones who will scare me again. Did I grow to old, or did the forumula get to easy? I dont get scared anymore and it sucks! But I keep my love for the ones that got me.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    Spoiling the ending.

    by evergreenoldboys

    Hey Vern! I know you didn’t like the flick, but goddamn dude! Did you really have to blab the ending without a spoiler warning? “In the end Bruce Willis helps little Haley Joel solve his ghostie problem, and without giving anything away, there just MAY be a possibility that Bruce Willis is ACTUALLY FUCKING DEAD! HOLY SHIT I HAVE NEVER, EVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT, if that is what happens, but who knows. Anyway, he has some flashbacks and realizes he was a fucking ghost the whole time, finds his peace and transcends, the end.

    Do you really think this movie needed a realistic true crime feel like the original? Why try to do that again when the original did it so well? This is the slick comic book version and it’s quite fun like that.

    Man, I can’t believe Bruce was dead the whole time…

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 4:47 p.m. CST

    Being one who hated the original films…

    by bishopfan85

    Maybe I just didn’t get it, or maybe I just couldn’t accept it but even as a kid the original Texas Chainsaw films did VERY little for me as a viewer. I hated Leatherface and thought he was nothing more than a goofy guy who was told to just go out there and act a fool (the image of him falling and cutting himself in the leg with his own chainsaw still makes me shake my head to this day). The latest creations of chainsaw has brought on a more serious tone to the idea of a group of backwood yokels who’ve decided to eat passers by because it somehow makes more sense then to move 30 minutes up the road to an area that has fast food joints, civilization and grocery stores. There are a TON of things wrong with this and all Texas films that has NOTHING to do with the direction but with the idea itself. Ed Gein was a solo artist and the Manson’s had their “Satanic Cult” thing going for them as an excuse. The excuse created for why an entire family would collectively agree to choose to live this way doesn’t cut it. Leatherface having a skin disorder and being “picked on” growing up may help to explain him being ok with killing people but why is the Mother or the Uncle or anyone other than psycho dad and Tommy on the rampage? Starting out, the “Sheriff” and Tommy should have been hiding what they were doing from the family and when it was finally realized that the plan is to eat people, Mama especially should have been given some cock and bull story about how the world is against them and they’ve been left no choice. A few “self defense” stories couldn’t hurt either to justify their selection in who’s edible and who isn’t. Hurricane Katrina proved that there are people out there who would prefer to stay in a dead town then move on but I’m pretty sure that when they realized they wouldn’t have anything to eat, they knew it was time to take a hike. Now I am aware that there is a religious extremist thing going on with the family but it doesn’t in anyway explain how they could justify their choice in living. If “Sheriff” had been able to somehow convince the family (and the audience) that he FIRMLY beleived that GOD wanted them to act this way and that there was NO OTHER CHOICE, then I would begin to worry about which Chainsaw flick was better than the other. But as far as I’m concerned, outside of the gore there isn’t much to any of these films and sadly enough, many of the knock off films have done a much better job simply because they could come up with a better rationality for their killers actions.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    “a better rationality for their killers actions”

    by BitterMan23

    So i guess you dislike Halloween too? They had no explanation for why he was after the girls. Man, thank god the apparently superior sequels explained that he was a pawn for a druid ritual that needed the death of an entire family, culminating in the sacrifice of a newborn in order to appease the gods for the festivity of Samhain, otherwise it would be totally stupid.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Vern.

    by Red Ned Lynch

    This is quite possibly the best review I have ever seen on this site. Stand proud, baby, stand proud.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 6 p.m. CST

    And about spoiling the ending…

    by Red Ned Lynch

    …if that’s the ending, sorry, but it wasn’t Vern who spoiled it. Remember back in the bad old 70s when even low rent horror movies had endings that came from the plots, that could be “spoiled” as opposed to an option 1: The twelve times dead monster man stays dead, or option 2: the twelve times dead monster man jumps out right at the end? That’s not an ending you “spoil”. Now the ending of Tourist Trap? There’s an ending you could spoil. The ending to this was just exposed.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Immortal Fish

    by Red Ned Lynch

    I hated this sequel even worse than the remake, and I hated the remake plenty, so I don’t qualify for the parameters you set as to who should answer this question. BUT. If I HAD to sit through these movies, and being a hopeless horror fan I did, at least grant me tight and revealing clothes on Jessica Biel and Jordana Brewster. Anachronistic or not. I mean please. No, actually, a hippy bare midriff thing would have been okay too. Maybe better for Brewster. Forget it.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 6:11 p.m. CST

    vern ruining the ending

    by ectocriminal

    yeah but no…glance through the reviews on rotten tomatoes and witness paid reviewers who not only give away the ending but, more importantly, describe the more gruesome and shocking imagery from the film, thereby taking away from its intended potentcy upon a first time viewing. vern vented his disappointment about the end of the film, but if you don’t want anything about your tcm tb to be revealed, then don’t read the fucking reviews. plus, there’s a spoiler warning thingee on the main page around the story. so stay classy evergreenoldboys, and have a great night.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    Sentient…

    by Red Ned Lynch

    …hurtfully sad. Hurtfully true.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I like my Vern long and rambling…

    by Alonzo Mosely

    Stop trying to cut his balls off people, you are as bad as the Hollywood guys who don’t get some classic 70s movie they insist on remaking…

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    Red Ned Lynch, when watching a horror flick set in 1950

    by Immortal_Fish

    There had better be a poodle on the bitch’s skirt, not fucking Hello Kitty.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 7:16 p.m. CST

    Vern — You’re right about the X-Men 3 analogy

    by Immortal_Fish

    What were they thinking with that sequel? They changed everything from the comics. Magneto was a frail, old man. Rogue was a screaming little girl. Wolverine was a 30-something chick magnet. Jean Grey was pre-menopause. Cyke was a creampuff that was no leader. And Iceman was more like Frostboy. You’re absolutely correct — that sequel was nowhere near as close to paying the same level of respect to the source material as X-Men 1 and 2 did. (/sarcasm)

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Sorry about the spoiler

    by Vern

    I was under the impression that people who don’t want to know what happens in a movie don’t read a long ass review marked “spoiler”.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Now I will respond to Richier 1-2-3

    by Vern

    Obviously I disagree with you but my question is, how old are you? Alot of people seem to see this movie when they are young and think it’s crap, then when they are older and have lived a little more and seen more movies they go back and say, holy shit, NOW I see what they were talking about. NOW I like this better than fucking WRONG TURN or some shit. I am guessing you are a young individual and despite my not-even-exaggerated comments about your Paris Hilton generation, there is still hope for you. Some day years from now you’ll see it again and you’ll understand. The downside is that when you see the remake again after that it will raise your blood pressure. anyway thanks Richard.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Saw the new one recently…

    by CowboyBob250

    …it was okay… I laughed a little. The ’03 remake I thought to be much better, managed to be scary without alot of ‘jumpy’ stuff, which too many horror movies rely on. I’m stoked to see the Beginning.

  • Oct. 7, 2006, 11:39 p.m. CST

    oops..

    by CowboyBob250

    meant to say “Saw the OLD one recently…”

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Vern you’re funny as shit, man.

    by DEFENDERS

    This line had me laughing so hard my chest hurt.

    “Now we’ll never be able to watch those other movies the same way again. Every time we see the chainsaw we’ll think wow, there it is. The chainsaw he found sitting there that one time. It adds so much depth to the whole thing.”

    top notch shit, man.

    Your wealth of film knowledge is valuable. At this level of criticism it’s only fair that you take the next natural progression and move onto the creative side of things. Seriously. Maybe someday I’ll look you up. If you don’t already have a development deal by then. Anyway great work and insight, man. Keep watching flicks and posting your commentary.

    Tron-1

    (DAC)Defenders of Action Cinema

    P.S. Yesterday I was hype to go see TCM. Then you gave the warning that they fucked us on the prequel tag and I got sad and didn’t support opening day.

    Now I’m looking at it as just a new take on Leatherface. So I’ll go see it with lowered expectations. To everyone, I strongly recommend TCM 2. It is the template for a ton of horror flicks. And in a sick way it’s very, very, funny.

    The whole scene where they show up at the radio station and he’s picking meat from his head and eating it and the chase that ensues is so gold.

    Out.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 4:53 a.m. CST

    Chicks in the ’70s

    by BannedOnTheRun

    BSB speaks the truth about chicks being tough back then. We kids ate meat regularly and there were no laws requiring us to wear bike helmets. Hell, I don’t think they’d invented bike helmets yet. Wiping out on your ten-speed on loose gravel? THAT was gore, in 3D, natch. P.S. Haven’t seen the remakes… no dinner scene? That scene WAS horror.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 4:57 a.m. CST

    Is it just Americans that never had hipster jeans back

    by half vader

    … then? What are you guys on? Haven’t you ever seen a photo of Robert Plant (never mind the chicks), for crying out loud?

    As for the rest of the review, loved the line about snorting off the breast implants. That’s classic Vern.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 5:01 a.m. CST

    I just mention Led Zep because

    by half vader

    My uncle had a poster of Plant and Page (in lowriders) in the early 70s when I was a little kid. That thing scarred me for life. That and the Bowie/Ziggy poster on the other wall.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 7:55 a.m. CST

    About that spoiler warning…

    by evergreenoldboys

    I saw no spoiler warning..Just an outline and the word “poile”. I assumed this was Vern’s subtle way of telling us he thought the film was a “poile” of shit or that it should be poiled out of theaters…How was I to know? I’m not really upset (in case you were wondering.), nor was I spoiled (I was at the premiere…). Seriously, this review takes longer to read than the movie does to watch so I don’t think there’s too much danger of people actually getting that far into it. I read spoiler laden reviews all the time and it doesn’t bug me a bit. But graphically describing the very end of the film simply as a set up to say that you’d have preferred it if Leatherface had had an all out gun battle with the cops? Yeah, how very in the spirit of the TCM.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Ectocriminal and his futuristic jeans

    by evergreenoldboys

    ECTOCRIMINAL- “i don’t think your average attendee of this film will even realize that they didn’t have low cut jeans in the 60s.”

    WIKIPEDIA (I know that’s not the most reliable fact source available, but I just smoked a bowl of the good shit and I’m feelin’ pretty fuckin’ lazy…)-

    Under hip-hugger- “Hip-huggers, the precursor to low rise jeans, rose to popularity during the late 1960s, with the ascendance of the hippie counterculture and psychedelic music. ”

    Under Low-rise jeans-“Hip-hugger jeans have been popular in the past during the 1960s and into the early 1980s.”

    God, guys! You really think these hip-hugger jeans are a recent invention? Are you fucking serious? Next thing you’ll be telling me about these brand new naked big haired troll dolls you saw right next to the never before seen pet rocks…

    ALSO: ECTOCRIMINAL. Lighten up, chum. You feel like insulting me and the best you’ve got is “so stay classy evergreenoldboys, and have a great night. “? Dude, in this talk back alone we have stuff like: “Seriously, my ass is wide open any time you need to drop a load, bud. And (YOU) can eat them after I give birth.”- Stay classy? How colorfully insulting!

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Amanda Krueger and the thousand maniacs

    by blacklodgebob

    …would be a great band name

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    the original is visceral

    by El Borak

    when a door opens, “something” comes out and a head gets wacked it’s so quick and unexpectedly frank. it’s like, “what the fuck was that!!!”

    and the uncomfortable, ill, sickening tension that film creates is unparalleled. all the way to the abrupt ending you’re unsure what the the hell’s happening. it’s unsettling and it’s genius.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Evergreen

    by Vern

    Hiphuggers aren’t the same, they are still at waist level, which was low at the time. But I don’t really care too much about the jeans, I just thought it was a funny aspect of these movies, not a dealbreaker. As for the “all out gun battle” you’re referring to, all I meant was that Leatherface should have to work for his meat. Not that he would have a gun and shoot it out Chow Yun Fat style. If the cops lived to take a couple shots at him it would be more challenging for him, it would show that he’s new at this and makes mistakes (almost as if he were some sort of interesting movie character in an entertaining movie), and it wouldn’t seem like the exact same shit we’ve seen a thousand times. Of course they don’t have to make every decision I want them to make but I couldn’t help but feel this was a lazy, dumb movie that steered clear of every possible chance to do something new and fun. That was one noticeable example. Did you like the way it ended?

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Although let’s be honest…

    by Red Ned Lynch

    …who read the line “Not that he would have a gun and shoot it out Chow Yun Fat style” and didn’t feel that the world might be a better place if they could see that, just once, on screen?

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Seriously…

    by Red Ned Lynch

    …and you have to really visualize it for it to be effective. The Gunnar Hansen model, with all his tics and twitches. You know it would make you happy.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    vern-did I like the way it ended

    by evergreenoldboys

    Well, I’ll say this: It took a retarded amount of suspension of disbelief. Leatherface is this huge dude hiding in the back seat of the car and she doesn’t even notice…and he’s got a RUNNING chainsaw. Can’t she hear it? Smell the gas fumes? What the fuck!!! So, you’re right. It’s incredibly dumb. BUT, I did like the ending, brainless as it was, because of the cool visual execution of it. When you try to compare this film to the original TCM of course it’s gonna’ look kind of bad. In my opinion, the original TCM is not just one of the best horror movies ever made. It’s one of the best movies ever made PERIOD As a popcorn horror flick, TCM TB is fun due to it’s high body count (no survivors….OK. Now I’m fucking up the ending too. If you’ve gotten this far down into the talkback and you feel spoiled, consider it punishment for having too much time on your hands.) and what I thought was some visually impressive death and gore. Bovine ramming. WHEEE!!!

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    I really enjoyed the 2003 remake…

    by El Scorcho

    but this was pretty crappy. Vern is right. All of the explanations and motives ruined everything. I didn’t buy any of it. It was unscary and overall lame. The pacing was tight. That’s the only good thing when compared to the 2003 version. The original is lots of fun because of the fact that it is pure 70’s and amateur-ish. This new stuff is all MTV/WWE horror. Gory? Yes. Scary? Not so much. And I actually did like the 2003 remake. But not this one. The unknown is what’s scary. Not an explanation for everything. They really should have left this alone.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 3:39 p.m. CST

    Vern and Scholars…

    by DEFENDERS

    Been thinking about these things a little bit today. And I was saying well it least they can’t fuck up Friday the 13th with a “prequel” because it started at the beginning. Then I think I heard somewhere that they are going to remake the first one. Is that right? ————————-So anyway I was just at the beach and I saw some toddlers having a Spider-Man birthday party. And I was thinking to myself this is the first time they’ve evr heard of Spider-Man. I read comic books and right now they are doing Civil War in marvel. You know with the continuity from the beginning. From 40 years ago, right? So I’ve also been reading the “ultimate spider-man” series which just reached issue 100. now these came out when spiderman the movie came out so they weren’t supposed to be here now. But they are. And the concept behind them is now just telling the original spiderman story OVER for a new generation. So I was like why would they do that? And I was thinking 40 years, 550 issues is a lot of time. So I softened up a little. Because what if a kid wants to get into Spiderman and he’s like well I don’t wanna have to read 500 issues of back story and forgoes spidey altogether. So I wonder if that’s whats happening with these ‘reimaginings”? Like if we examine it from another perspective will it be a little acceptable? ————- Then I’m thinking, like when you reimagine something, do you make it out of respect for the next generation? Or does this make the new generation lazy and disrepectful as far as the classics go? As evidenced by the smoke in here, you can see I’ve been thinking about this a little.

    and also since we are really in the first century of certain types of entertainment, when is time to really do a remake of a classic? 50 years? a decade? 25 years? 60 years? You know what I’m saying?

    Tron-1 (DAC)

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 5:31 p.m. CST

    And I usually agree with Vern

    by hktelemacher

    I think he missed the boat with this one. As far as Texas Chainsaw flicks go, it was fairly strong. I don’t want to go point by point because that would take up way too much room, but what I will say is this — I don’t think this particular backstory/explanation did any serious damage to the kind of rural legend mythology the Sawyer (or Hewitt, as the case may be) family had.

    It really just fleshed out what was essentially alluded to in the Hooper original – that the motley family of mouth breathers already instilled with super psychotic tendencies lost their jobs at the slaughterhouse and kept the business practices alive on the home front. Had there been a little more Steinbecky dust bowl poverty that jumpstarted the cannibalism sooner than 1969, it might have sold better, and I agree that Leatherface’s childhood would have made a very interesting at least brief post-credits sequence rather than the montage of report cards we get – but the total revisionist history of it wasn’t as godawful as all hell.

    I thought Harry’s review really nailed this one – the birth was kind of a tall tale thing, on the nose or no. Leatherface has fetal alcohol syndrome and that’s a pretty gruesome detail. And the Scarlet O’Hara “as God as my witness I’ll never go hungry again” was pitch perfect. I thought the iconography was very strong and in tune with the rest of the legendary aspects of it. Yeah, Leatherface in the back seat was a little too tried and true and altogether unbelievable – but that’s a big urban legend staple, the guy in the backseat of the car. I guess that DeLuca teaser for LEATHERFACE had everyone pumped on how he got his chainsaw, but why does it need to be Arthurian? Or even Conan’s sword? A scenario like that would have been lambasted for it’s lameness. He lost his job and took a souvenier home from the office, off his bosse’s desk no less. Stick it to the man, Tom.

    I though the victims in this one were quite strong as far as young and pretty horror victis go, and they were sure as hell more likeable than the wet noodle crew of milquetoasty cardboard people that were the bodycount in the Hooper original – a film I out and out love like no other, by the way – but c’mon, the only thing watchable about those folks were the girls asses and Franklin’s spastic and gleefully politically incorrect fits of handicapped angst. One just wants to see those kids murdered. These ones at least had some other shit going on. The Viet Nam stuff at least gave them something interesting to talk about, rather than the stock young person babble.

    The black comedy elements (like the push up scene and it’s pay off) were solid, and I thought Leatherface was well, Leatherface. The fact that Vern has even seen SEE NO EVIL is worrisome to his horror pedigree, and if he wants elaborate and creative kills – the third SAW movie is coming soon so hey buddy, enjoy the claptrap. But at least there were no institutions or doctors giving us expository psychiatric evaluations of his tendencies. Sure some of it was demystified – but how much explanation does this character merit?

    I guess being underwhelmed by this movie taking it’s obvious course is to be expected – and while I’ll admit it was nowhere near perfect and there was no deviation from the formula – it is what it is, and if this exact script had been filmed 30 years ago it would be a bonafide classic. Maybe that’s the problem. When we say we want old school horror, do we really want old school horror or just old school sensibilities?

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 8:01 p.m. CST

    You guys are pretty tight on chain saws but you know

    by half vader

    fuck-all about fashion. Which is fine if you admit your mistake like a man (it’s not like this is some girlie talkback). Nice sidestep there Vern but I don’t think even you were robbing English music festivals, Carnaby street or even Haight-Ashbury back then. Having said that like Bob Dylan sang you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows (as long as you know what you’re talking about). ;) Right. I’ll get back on track now. I reckon whether you disagree with everything else or not, Telemacher’s last point is a good one.

    P.S. To the guys that said Vern should get his own site, welcome. You’re a bit late to the party, man.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    I must say…

    by 9SilentNine9

    I DID enjoy this movie. But I only say that in terms of the recent stream of “horror” movies that get theatrical releases lately. And to be honest… I’ve never really watched any of the origonal TCM’s. So I can’t comment on the continuity. I liked this movie but alot of you hold a solid point. Objectively… this doesn’t put forth what alot of people are going to expect. It’s almost a cheap ploy in the way that it’s once big gift box of sadism anxiously waiting to be opened. But in response to that I would have to say that it delievers at least that much… not that that necessarily “makes” a film.

    As primarily a fan of the horror genre I really need to catch the origonals. Perhaps I may be offended too if that were the case.

    But again… “objectively” this movie will deliver to audiences.

    And R. Lee. Ermy’s role being expanding to pretty much the main character of the movie was great.

    I suppose that almost makes the movie less about leatherface, really, which is probably the beef with most diehard fans.

    And concerneing what vern said about the chainsaw… I would have to agree…

    but it was fun to watch nonetheless.

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST

    How many chainsaws can be found at a butchery?

    by Immortal_Fish

    How many cleavers can be found at a logging mill?

  • Oct. 8, 2006, 10:10 p.m. CST

    HK Telemacher/ 9SilentNine9

    by Vern

    Thanks for the comments. Let me clarify a little. I don’t feel the backstory really “did damage,” I even was fine with the birth even though it was more Elm Street than Chain Saw. Ermey’s line right before the credits was good and had me hoping I was going to like the movie. I do think the whole idea of doing a prequel to this is misguided but that’s fine, I just wish that once they decided to do it they would’ve gone full hog and made a believable how-it-all-began story. Any explanations were half assed and it mostly just amounts to seeing him put on a face the first time, eat a person the first time, pick up a saw the first time. You’re right, the slaughterhouse closing is alluded to in the original, but I’ve always thought it was grandpa that worked at the slaughterhouse (maybe because that’s what they say in part 2). I don’t care about continuity, it’s just that to me it makes more sense to be passed down from a previous generation and they were raised that way. Anyway, it’s one thing to imply it, when you actually show it it has to hold up to more scrutiny. As for the chainsaw – the part 3 trailer is hilarious, but I would never want something like that. But again, they’re the ones that wanted to make a prequel, so they know we are going to notice this is THE HISTORIC FIRST TIME that Leatherface picked up a chainsaw, so they could’ve come up with something less ridiculous than “it happened to be sitting there in a slaughterhouse.” I’ve never worked in a slaughterhouse, so I could be wrong, but I don’t believe chainsaws are used in slaughterhouses. Electric saws yes, probaly not chainsaws. Finally, I want to say that this particular hardcore fan was not upset that they focused more on Ermey. Actually I think that was one of the big mistakes of the remake, they thought it was The Leatherface Show and had almost no family interaction. Ermey’s character is clearly the best, and it was good that he was interacting with Leatherface, but they’re still one hitchhiker short of a Chainsaw movie. Anyway thanks again I appreciate the insights.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Bovine Ramming?

    by BannedOnTheRun

    I’m there. Gratuitous cow slayings in O Brother, Where Art Thou, Napoleon Dynamite, and Barnyard (well, my director’s cut) have awakened my love of a previously unknown genre that I believe only a viewing of Isolation can satisfy.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Vern: Re: Chainsaws in slaughterhouses.

    by FatPaul

    I’ve never actually worked in one of those places, but I do watch a lot of bad movies, so I’d like to draw your attention to Ringo Lam’s Maximum Risk, starring Jean Claude Van Damme. It’s not much of a movie, but there is a scene at the end where a villain attacks Van Damme with a chainsaw in a meat packing plant. When Van Damme finally shoots the villain, his fall is delayed because the chainsaw has to slowly cut through an entire pig first. Best scene in the whole movie. Anyway, back to the point, I believe this scene proves once and for all that the makers of the Chainsaw prequel are completely justified in their placement of logging equipment in a slaughterhouse. It also proves that they are Jean Claude Van Damme fans.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST

    “the Original classic”??

    by Snookeroo

    “The Original Classic” was a piece of trash. That anyone would waste money on the prequel to a sequel of a piece of trash is mind numbing. That anyone would bother posting a message on a thread about a prequel to a sequel of a piece of trash is downright flabberghasting. Well looky at me, I’m flabberghasting.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Well, Vern…

    by Childe Roland

    …you and I still disagree on the relative merits of the remake (I didn’t hate it…I’ll know next week if my ho-hum memories of the original are off base as I’ve got it on my Saturday night viewing list), but I’ll be damned if your ideas for a prequel don’t sound a helluva lot better than what they apparently went and did. I don’t know why studios like this don’t just hire you as a one-man focus group while they’re still shooting and have some dailies for you to look at. I think you’d have a lot of creative types who have forgotten what it means to do something other than a paint-by-numbers formula/genre movie slapping their melons and asking why the happy fuck they didn’t think of that. But then they can say they did, because you agreed when you submitted your comment card to accept the free popcorn and soda-pop they provided in exchange for any and all good ideas you might have…kind of like Awesomeo the robot. But with more value-added. I’m glad to hear R. Lee is in form. That will make it worth a rental. Too bad they didn’t give him more to work with. What’s the boobie count on this one? I mean, if it’s an R-rated movie, we should see at least side boob a couple of times, right?

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Hey Vern, don’t know if you’ve seen this,

    by Turd Furgusen

    but I thought it was damn funny.

    Great review once again.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 12:20 p.m. CST

    a nitpick back to Vern

    by hktelemacher

    I believe the hitchhiker did say he worked in the slaughterhouse in the original.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Hitchhiker did work in the slaughterhouse

    by magic_ninja

    “I was the killer!” Nubbins says while in the van.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 2:03 p.m. CST

    you’re right

    by Vern

    “I was the killer.” And also I gotta admit there’s good reason to believe Leatherface worked there (he has all the slaughter equipment at his house). But they also say in part 2 that Grandpa worked there, so that’s where I got the multi-generational business. Of course that doesn’t mean they were thinking that when they made the first one. As for Snookeroo, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but the original classic is THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, 1974, directed by Tobe Hooper, never seen in its entirety by Michael Bay. If you say that one’s garbage then I don’t know what to do for you there, bud.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I forgot to mention

    by Turd Furgusen

    If you see any 20% in the HTML that I posted, take it out. All I can say is that I’ll never look at Benny Hill the same.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Vern, please stop defending your POV to movie retards

    by www.valiens.com

    Dudes, if you liked the Chainsaw remake on some super aweful B-movie jerkoff level then I’m with you. I don’t agree in this case, but I understand the indefensible liking of steaming movie shit. However, movies are not all about taste–that’s just a line you hide behind when you have none. There are objectively good and bad examples of the craft because it is a craft. You may love a dribble glass but saying it’s just as good at getting water to your mouth as any other glass because both are glasses and you like that one better is WRONG. All of this is to say, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE REMAKE WAS FUCKING HORRIBLE! Objectively. So Vern, please, pretty please with sugar on top, don’t feel like you have to explain to morons that they are not morons so they don’t go all apeshit moron on ya. Ditto this for the so-called prequel.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Thank you Vern, for calling out Harry, kinda

    by chillzatl

    I can’t give you a full pass, because you didn’t come down on his “studio plant” self like you should have. But at least you wondered aloud how anyone could find this movie to have redeeming qualities, much less “good” as Harry did.

    Your take on the movie was spot on. They butchered the legend of a screen legend, one that was campy, but at the same time human. Now, in two remakes, we have a new version that is basically a tank with a chainsaw and no thoughts in his head other than cutting people up.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    most people

    by El Borak

    don’t even know what the “original” is.. sad.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    See, now, valiens…

    by Childe Roland

    …for a guy who tossed the word “objectively” into an entirely opinion-based post, you seem pretty sure of yourself. But even Vern has admitted that the remake wasn’t all bad as far as just being a movie goes. His problem (and feel free to correct me if I’m missing the point, Vern) was that it shouldn’t have been a remake of the movie he loved so much and, if it had to be, that it should have tried to capture more of what made the original work for him. I’ve seen both. Admittedly, it’s been about 15 years since I saw the original, but it didn’t impress me as much as it did Vern (I’ve promised to watch it again and will so he and I can talk/type more about it). I saw the remake again recently and thought (even on a second viewing) it was better than average modern horror fare (kind of like saying “X-Men wasn’t bad for a comic book movie…that doesn’t mean X-Men was a great movie). I thought it was well shot, had a pretty solid cast and prominently featured two of the most shapely young bosoms to ever poke their nipples through a perpetually wet t-shirt. Not a great movie, by any stretch, but certainly not “objectively” bad (you might want to look that one up, since I’m pretty sure you’re comparing the remake directly to the original in your analysis and even Vern, who is pretty much in agreement that it doesn’t stack up, will tell you there’s nothing “objective” about that comparison). In this case it most definitely is a matter of taste (ain’t nobody hiding behind no lines, neither). You want an “objective opinion?” Check back with me next week. I neither love nor hate the remake and have no nostalgia whatsoever for the original (kind of wish I did because it’s one of those few movies where I don’t know exactly where Vern’s coming from), but I’ll able to tell you which I thought was the better horror film after I watch the original again this weekend.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Childe

    by Vern

    You’re mostly right about my take on it. I think visually the remake is nice and it has a few inspired touches, mainly involving R. Lee Ermey. So yes I agree that on its own on some basic levels it is a little better than just another crappy studio horror movie. On the other hand it’s full of lame cliches (that by the way weren’t in the original), badly contrived “BOO!” type scares, purposely unlikable protagonists and that ridiculous BLAIR WITCH gimmick at the end, which are probaly what Valiens meant were “objectively bad.” I think on a primal scare people level it’s not executed as well as many recent horror movies like The Descent, Hills Have Eyes remake, Dawn of the Dead remake, Wolf Creek, even Hostel or High Tension (as painful as that twist ending is). But many people are actually scared by squeaky rats and shit and, in my opinion, this is America. Or whatever country you are reading this from. Anyway, I definitely agree that I am far from objective on this matter, and not trying to be. This is movies, not science. Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you think when you watch CHAIN SAW again.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 9:58 p.m. CST

    You are right on Vern

    by JustyHakubi

    I didn’t really read through all of the talkback, but I did read your comments. You observation is exactly what I thought. I saw the movie on opening day. I didn’t really even know this one was coming out, I just walked in and saw the marquee. Anyway, there is one part that is not really generating any commentary. That is the birth itself. That whole scene could have been played out so much better. They had a spark of inspiation when the poor fat lady was giving birth. Unfortunately, the spark just died out before they had a chance to develop it. This was a major portent of the crappy writing skills of the staff. Emotionally that whole scene with the lady givng birth could have been more drawn out. I felt sorry for her initially but before that pity could have been developed into something deeper, something that could have given more to the Tommy and the mother (the father too) the lady drops dead and Tommy is chucked into the dumpster. If that initial scene was played out more creatively the story could have branched into something that could have been respected as canon. The movie had a few glimmers, but overall was a steaming dump.

  • Oct. 9, 2006, 10:29 p.m. CST

    questions for vern and the gang

    by ubersnarf

    Ok, I’m not a *fan* of the original, I was about 26 when I saw it, and I respect it, I just am not a horror *fan*. Which leads me to a question. A lot of you are saying horror movies don’t need gore to be scary. But isn’t there a whole separate genre of movies that are scary without gore (suspense/thriller)? Like, does gore actually make something horror, or is there another identifying feature? I mean, would anyone consider Blair Witch Project to be horror? And does a movie like that (very high on character fear without any tangible reason for said fear) interest you folks as horror fans? Or do you like horror BECAUSE you want to see the actual events and people that would cause fear? I ask because I’m writing something (don’t worry, I have no connections, it’ll never get made, I just want to do it RIGHT) that is in my mind a pure suspense movie, but I could see how it might be deemed horror.

  • Oct. 10, 2006, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Ubersnarf

    by JustyHakubi

    Personally, I don’t think that blood and gore make a movie any better just being in the movie. Like any other element of a movie it really depends on how it is used and the impact that it has. The Original TCSM was not really a gorey movie, much of it was edited out. It was the actual production of the film, the camera angles, the score, the direction which made it a great movie. The original Halloween, probably one of the best horror flicks ever made, was not terribly gorey. So from my personal standpoint, no, its not the gore that makes the movie. You could have had buckets of blood and limbs flying all over place in this remake and it still would not have saved this movie. Writing and mood make a good horror flick. A gorey film is simply a sub-genre of horror. Gore has its fans, but I wouldn’t call them the majority of horror fans, just probably the most vocal. Simply put if your film is written well, and filmed in a manner that actually evokes emotion in people then it will be good.

  • Oct. 10, 2006, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Gore’s a device…

    by Childe Roland

    …(or a former vice president and current environmental activist) which can be used to create shock or gross out value in a film (of any genre). Some might characterize Fargo as gory, but it’s hardly a horror film just because one guy gets shot in the face and fed through a wood chipper. Movies can be scary without gore (in fact, some of the scariest ideas in film have been strongly implied but never shown). I think Night of the Living Dead would be just as scary (and actually a tighter film experience) if not for the various cuts to zombie/ghouls munching on chunks of people (I thought one of the scarier munching scenes was when the one zombie/ghoul ate the bark from the tree…had me wondering just how voracious these things were). But there are definitely places where gore works as an integral and even artistic part of the narrative experience (thinking of the first two Hellraiser films here, as an example). The risk a film maker runs with gore is that there are different ways audiences will take it. Given what we all see on the nightly news, it’s getting harder and harder to shock folks or show them anything they haven’t seen before. Folks are getting desensitized to horror or, and some might argue this is worse, are actually seeing it as funny. So if you do a horror film with excessive gore, there’s the very strong risk that the only audience you’ll appeal to is the “Oh, yeah…did you see that eye pop out? That was hilarious!” crowd and marginalize the potential impact of your film. I think it needs to be used carefully and consiously if you’re really trying to scare anyone. If you’re just going for a fun Jason X-style semi-humorous romp, though, have at it.

  • Oct. 21, 2006, 5:11 a.m. CST

    “Paris Hilton generation”

    by CuervoJones

    hahaha

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, October 6th, 2006 at 2:26 pm and is filed under AICN, Horror, Reviews, Thriller. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “VERN vs. CRAPPY TEXAS CHAINSAW REMAKE: THE PREQUEL!!”

  1. Historians will look back on this period of my life and wonder why, but I’ve decided to watch these other 21st century TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE massacres. Obviously Vern’s done all the heavy lifting and unpacking and deconstruction and other workmanlike metaphors for the art of writing about shitty movies that shouldn’t exist, but hopefully it’ll be okay for me to put something here as a warning to future Mouth not to revisit this shameful double-chapter in the reboot-prequelization of classic cinema.

    (A recent rewatch of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D [2013], however, was lots of fun.)

    TCM2K3: JESSICA BIEL RUNNING has its moments, just enough competent/standard slasher stuff to make it at least more entertaining than, I dunno, I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER or whatever. We’re talking bottom rung major studio medium budget horror fare, but the TCSM titleistical pedigree and the confident, clearly defined palette & glossy-but-grimy visual style makes these Platinum Dunes joints interesting on some level. They’re serviceable if you saw them opening weekend on a date with someone with bad cinematical taste or today if you’re a masochistic cinephile in search of a good headache & a greater understanding of the many flavors of bad horror.

    TCM2K6: RISE OF TOMMY is just miserable, though. It’s not scary. It doesn’t make you think. It doesn’t make you emote. There’s no “A-ha!” moment or “Oh shit!” moment, much less a “Fuck yeah!” moment. There’s no meaningful cause-&-effect to any of the short action set pieces or the stabbings or the torture scenarios. That cow in the middle of the street is just bad, lazy filmatism. The whole thing is a series of “Well this guy is evil and probably crazy so he’s gonna do the evil thing here and these other people are going to feel pain and scream or whatever and we’ll do this over & over again for 90 minutes The End,” which is especially baffling & disappointing considering this is supposed to be the piece of the TC[S]M lore that provides these characters their original motivations and explores how & why they became what they are in 1974 and beyond. If you’re going down this prequel route, what’s wrong with asking for some psychological depth, some emotional foundation-building (and the half-assed “Here’s a throwaway line about ‘He was picked on as a child and also there was a drought so now we slice & eat people’” doesn’t fucking count)?

    The Leatherface-family backstory material is not only unasked for and shoddily conceived & pieced together, it’s perfunctory and lazy in every way. The way it’s presented in the dialogue, this material is blunt & shallow and defiantly unengaging every time it should be probing or enrichingly mysterious. And it’s supposedly the raison d’etre for this film, this prequel, this origin story.

    I guess the 2 kinda interesting parts of the script, the brief moments that sound like maybe they required more than 3 functioning creative brain cells to imagine, is fake-Sheriff Hoyt’s motivation to hurt Dean for disrespecting the US Armed Forces by burning his draft card and Hoyt’s line about having to fend off “bikers and hippies.” Okay, now they’ve established a kind of isolationist right-winger mentality, and hey an actual biker guy comes to their house for revenge, fulfilling the patriarch’s prophetic fears, so that’s potentially interesting… and then they see this guy invading their house and they kill him just the same way they would kill any person they ever see who’s not in the family. It’s a novelty death of sorts, but the biker doesn’t receive special treatment, doesn’t interact in any memorable way that adds to the twisted take on the pathetically shallow Vietnam-&-1960s-related politics suggested by a tiny bit of the script.

    And do we really believe it mattered one bit that the guy’s partially burned draft card sets off Hoyt’s rage? Don’t you think Hoyt was planning to brutalize and kill all those youths anyway? There’s no cause-&-effect. It wouldn’t matter if the kids were wearing Marine Corps uniforms, en route to a training event, the guy still would have found a pretense to lure them to his estate and then have his son cut them up. He pretends to operate on a kind of code, as evidenced by that stupid push-up challenge scene, but it’s obvious he’s a simple killing-&-maiming machine. And that makes him an uninteresting character. An uninteresting character that talks way too goddamn much. Other killing-n-maiming machines of cinema history (Terminator, “the shape” Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, etc.) are fucking mute for a reason. And his little quips (none of which I can remember, from either TCM2K3 or 2K6) are such flat, lifeless, witless shadows of the quasi-improvised brilliance he brought to FULL METAL JACKET and ON DEADLY GROUND, it defies all sense. It’s like the stupidity of Michael Bay and crew somehow rubbed off on R. Lee Ermey, so that even in a fully R-rated setting his ability to colorfully belittle everyone in his purview dissipated once he heard “Action” on set. Hiring R. Lee Ermey for your movie and not getting him to say any ridiculously salty quips is like introducing a kickboxer character and then not having him kickbox anyone by the end.

    Also the death scenes are mostly boring and/or clunky, despite the apparently high budget making believable car crashes & impressively sicko gore-splosions possible.

    Also why not lie to the sheriff and say your draft card is partially burned b/c actually your mom back home started to burn it and then you stopped her from finishing the job? Makes you seem like a super-patriot, like you *prevented* the burning of a draft card. This was the first thing I thought of in this scene, but the heroes aren’t as quick on their feet as ole moi.

    Oh and I think the reason “Tommy” is “hunched over” at the very end, Vern, is cuz he had just got sliced in the back by that one guy, the blonde draft-dodger guy. And also he might have a little whiplash or even a concussion after that last automobile collision.
    Big thanks to Ralph Nader for making everyone use seatbelts around the time of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING’s timeline (and then fuck Ralph Nader for screwing us out of a President Gore).

  2. Hopefully one of your future biographers will have the clear head and quick wit to title the chapter about your inexplicable and unseemly desire to watch the TEXAS CHAINSAW premakequelboots “In the Madness of Mouth.”

  3. The completism monster got me. I’m working my way through all the sequels & TCSM-like products before I allow myself to rewatch o.g. TCSM and re-establish in my mind its greatness. It’s all about relative perspective, appreciation via deprivation, self-inflicted-torture-as-sensory-cleanse.

    It’ll be like visiting the suburbs for a while, maybe halfheartedly hooking up with some homely country chica (the shitty TCM movies) who wouldn’t rate a 6 in the city, then returning to your block and being freshly amazed by the abundance of dimepiece beauties in short shorts. Or, it’ll be like not smoking weed for a long time and then taking a blunt of kind to the face and feeling super-high like your lungs are virgins (TCSM).

  4. Its funny how this era of horror was so fucking torturous while we lived it, but now in 2014, what really remains in my memory is how during these dark times, you assumed the role of the “Desperate voice of reason” and the world became of a richer place because of it. I go back to a lot of reviews on your site, but the horror remakes I frequent the most. Its like comfort food. Vern wins.

  5. Thank you Randy, I appreciate that.

  6. Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after browsing through a
    few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

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