Who will survive and what will be left of them and also will they grow up to be Leatherface?

As you are all aware, Tobe Hooper’s two TEXAS CHAIN SAW masterpieces are holy horror writ to me. But since Hooper’s second chapter more than thirty years ago a succession of copyright holders have given us LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE the remake and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING and by then I was able to have realistic enough expectations to let it go and enjoy TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D as just some stupid bullshit where yeah, the Leatherface looks fucking horrible, but at least Alexandra Daddario finds out she’s his cousin and decides to side with him and throw him his chainsaw. That was pretty funny.

With that standard in mind, the new prequel LEATHERFACE (the second prequel/premaquel in the series, and the second movie called LEATHERFACE in the series, but the first of the series that is both a prequel/premaquel and called LEATHERFACE) is a really impressive feat. It’s the first TEXAS CHAINSAW that doesn’t at all follow the template of the original. It’s a different subgenre – outlaws on the run – that happens to take place in some approximation of Hooper’s universe. No, I don’t want a backstory for Leatherface, but after accepting that they’re set on doing that task (again), I was glad they found a more clever way to do it this time. The screenplay is by somebody named Seth M. Sherwood, but it’s directed by France’s Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury, who did the excellent INSIDE and LIVID.

A prologue set in 1955 establishes the prequel’s playful approach to the CHAINSAW mythology. It’s a birthday party for little Jed (Boris Kabakchiev), and everybody’s there: his mother Verna (still alive and played by Lili Taylor, BROOKLYN’S FINEST, THE CONJURING), Grandpa (more sentient than we’ve ever seen him and played by Eduard Parsehyan), Drayton (Dimo Alexiev, ENEMIES CLOSER) and even a little kid with the hitchhiker’s birthmark (Hristo Milev, credited as “Young Nubbins” after the nickname for the hitchhiker’s mummified corpse in part 2). Cinematographer Antoine Sanier (AMONG THE LIVING) imitates the camera moves of Hooper’s famous dinner table scene as the future Leatherface blows out the candles. At first it seems like just a funny juxtaposition of style and imagery, but then it reveals that there’s a special guest at the party, a neighbor they don’t like, tied to a chair Sally-style. Now, can you guess what the family got Jed for his birthday, and what they want him to do with it?

There’s a much subtler alternate opening included on the DVD where little Jed spies on grandpa sawing open a cow, then sneaks over and is about to curiously touch the bloody blade when it cuts to the title. I liked that too, but the birthday party is way better. You gotta have a sense of humor if you’re gonna keep making these. Remember Texas Battle Land.

We learn that the Sawyers are already locally known as deranged psychos, but they’ve gotten away with it so far. Verna is a fierce matriarch, socially normal enough to pass for a sane person who’s just real mean. She covers for her crazy sons, but she can’t stop the authorities from taking away Jed and putting him in the Gorman House Youth Reformery. Ten years later he’s one of a group of young inmates who take a nurse hostage and escape.

The nurse, Lizzy (Vanessa Grasse, ROBOSHARK) is a drop of clean water in a puddle of sewage. She’s new at the hospital and really trying to get to know the patients and make a difference in their lives. That’s no small thing in a Texas that makes Hooper’s seem wholesome. Not all of these creeps are gonna grow up to be Leatherface, but more than one of them could pretty much be in the family. Ike (James Bloor, “Irate Soldier,” DUNKIRK) is a scuzzy, rapey bully out of a scary true crime movie. He threatens, torments and gratuitously insults his fellow escapees. And his girlfriend Clarice (Jessica Madsen, Mr. Selfridge) is actually the worst one – she slashes the neck of an unsuspecting cop during his breakfast in a diner, kicking off a Texas gun massacre. There’s also a wonderfully “oh jesus” scene where she instigates… well, a nasty sex act.

SPOILER FOR NASTY SEX ACT. The gang are hiding out in an abandoned trailer. Well, not exactly abandoned. When they first go in it smells horrible, and they find the original owner dead, having hung himself. Because who wants to live in the world depicted in this movie? Anyway at night time you see Clarice’s dimpled ass as she rides Ike like it’s a Skinemax movie. But when the camera moves to her front he’s fondling a chest covered in heavy burn scars. That’s thing-that-takes-you-aback number 1. Thing-that-takes-you-aback number 2 is when she leans down and we realize that they’re doing this right next to the rotting corpse, and she starts making out with it.

I later read that they cut some backstory about her being an arsonist and the horrible life she’s had. Good move. Nobody needs to know what made her this way in her first movie. Save that for a prequel somebody else makes in 40 years. Anyway, my hat is off to the filmatists for creating an appalling sex scene that is entirely consensual (well, except for the dead guy I guess).

There are two other guys who seem to have been kind of pushed into this and who are nicer to Lizzy. There’s Jackson (Sam Strike, BONDED BY BLOOD 2) who is kind of the guy-who’s-in-an-asylum-but-seems-nice (see also FREDDY VS. JASON) and of course there’s a guy they call Bud (Sam Coleman, young version of Hodor on Game of Thrones) who’s a big long-haired lug who doesn’t talk and seems mentally challenged and is kind of a big teddy bear except when he feels threatened or demeaned and then he goes CELL BLOCK 99 on a motherfucker.

But it’s not just the Sawyers and fugitive spree killers that are evil, it’s also Dr. Lang (Christopher Adamson, JUDGE DREDD), who gets off on torturing his patients with electroshock. And it’s the Sheriff (Stephen Dorff, SOMEWHERE), who has a legitimate grievance against the Sawyers for murdering his daughter, but is so savage to all the other people he encounters that he ends up being a villain. He’s not a lovable nut like Lefty Enright, that’s for sure. In that sense this is a little bit more like THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, and he’s not that far off from William Forsythe’s character in that. One difference is the deputy (Finn Jones, the guy that plays Iron Fist) who objects to the sheriff’s brutality, leaving us hope that there might be other good people left in the world somewhere.

In fact, that glimmer of optimism gives this story a little different dynamic than usual, because it’s not just Lizzy trying to crawl her way out of a nightmare – she’s also putting her faith in the goodness of some of these people who have been condemned by society. She wants to trust them and she wants to help them escape too. And it’s more a matter of their behavior being unpredictable than them pretending to be normal and then revealing themselves as family members (see: the Cook in part 1, Viggo in part III, R. Lee Ermey in the remake).

The nasty shit these characters go through does Hooper proud. They have to hide inside a maggot-ridden cow corpse, Lizzy slips and lands lip-to-lip with a dead person, that kind of stuff. As they’re driving away from the hospital we see in the background some poor dude in a wheelchair flying out an upper story window, and that’s pretty representative of the insane energy of the movie. We’re following a carload of dangerous crazies and they didn’t even have anything to do with that, that’s just something going on on the periphery.

There’s one little touch I think was already done in the remake: somebody gets shot in the head and then you see smoke come out of their mouth. Creepy.

This turns out to be a SPOILER but it was the first thing I read about the movie when it was filming: we don’t actually know for sure which of the inmates is gonna turn out to be Leatherface. They point out that the kids have been renamed to keep them away from their parents, and that Verna wouldn’t necessarily recognize her Jed if she saw him, and anyway she doesn’t see him. Since I went in expecting this it was easy to spot the trick that the one who seems most like Leatherface is actually not him. But if most people fall for the misdirection it’s a pretty cool subversion of the “let’s explain how he became Leatherface” concept. By the time it gets around to explaining anything you realize you missed most of it because you had your eye on the wrong guy the whole time. And ultimately I think what it’s getting at is that whatever identity he had growing up was sort of burnt out of and off of him.

So, which one is this a prequel to? It seems it’s in continuity with CHAINSAW 3D, which, through footage, connected itself to Hooper’s original. My evidence is that 3D is the only other movie that identifies Leatherface’s first name as Jedidiah, or has a mother character named Verna (originally played by Marilyn Burns). I guess there’s another character that’s supposed to be the father of a character I forgot from 3D. From part 2 they take the last name Sawyer, and the first names Drayton and Nubbins, but unfortunately I still don’t think that movie exists in this continuity because in the opening scene they have “Nubbins” with the hitchhiker birthmark, but no twin brother to grow up into Chop Top. We can’t use the “he was in Vietnam during this” excuse this time unless he was there as a foreign exchange student.

By the way, I didn’t pick up on this at all, but according to Wikipedia the boyfriend of the girl killed at the beginning is named Ted Hardesty, and is supposed to be the future father of Sally and Franklin Hardesty. I mean, at this point they might as well be giving an origin for the Black Maria (the truck that pulls over when Sally is running down the highway at the end of part 1). This is some STAR WARS prequel level too-small-of-a-world stuff right here. Think about how terrible this guy’s luck is: A weird little kid murders his girlfriend. Two decades later his two grown kids happen to visit the area with their friends and all but one get killed by the same guy, now grown up. If part 2 existed, it would mean that another decade after that his brother or brother-in-law (since Lefty is established to be Franklin’s uncle) goes looking for the family and dies with them in a grenade explosion. I don’t know who it’s more dangerous to be connected to – Ted Hardesty or Paul Kersey. Anyway, I don’t like that, let’s leave him as Ted Unspecified in our minds.

The connection to 3D is a technicality of the script; in style and tone there’s no relation. 3D had a cheesy-slick look, an exaggeratedly beautiful cast and a late-FRIDAY-THE-13TH-sequel type of dunderheadedness that either made it a hoot or a disaster, depending on your level of moviegoing mercy. LEATHERFACE is more of the artistic, visually sumptuous approach to horror we expect from the INSIDE/LIVID team. There really is only that one problem: the problem of the very hook they hung the movie on.

That’s the only thing that makes me hesitate to recommend this one. I’m not sure how many people besides me can be okay with “yeah, the main premise of giving an origin for Leatherface is stupid, but otherwise…” And yet that’s truly how I feel. It’s really well made and has so many cool and gross ideas that really seem to “get” TEXAS CHAINSAW, and the birthday party scene cracks me up. I know this isn’t saying much, but I believe this is the best non-Hooper TEXAS CHAINSAW. Other than, like, the whole idea of it, I loved it.

p.s. I don’t know if you caught this but “hook they hung the movie on” refers to a famous scene from TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, hard to explain but this is a play on words you see

This entry was posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 11:56 am and is filed under Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

39 Responses to “Leatherface”

  1. I tried hard with this one but I guess I couldn’t get past the name. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do my usual ‘eh it’s just a name and let it go, it doesn’t affect the original(s)’ but now is not that time for this one. Glad you liked it though, it’s definetly a step up from at least the last three CHAIN SAWs (though 3D was funnier/crazier).

  2. emteem/Michael Mayket

    January 8th, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    As I’ve said to some friends, Leatherface goes onto a list with Alien Covenant as two movies that I actually thought were pretty good other than pinning the entire plot on a central conceit that I completely loathe. LOATHE! I’m not even sure I’d ever seen a movie before this year that I hate the entire idea behind, but somehow still didn’t entirely hate and then it happened twice. Hell, if this was just a random road horror movie and had nothing to do with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 I might straight out enjoy it.

  3. Oh Vern. You sweet, forgiving lamb.

  4. **As they’re driving away from the hospital we see in the background some poor dude in a wheelchair flying out an upper story window, and that’s pretty representative of the insane energy of the movie.**

    I’m sold. And I am still laughing at that picture in my head. Hope this doesn’t mean I’m an insensitive arsehole. In my defence I am imagining OJ as Nordberg in that wheelchair, as Frank Drebin drives away, clueless as ever. And maybe a bit of THE HIDDEN’s casual disregard for the invalid at the expense of insanity.

  5. Yeah I liked this one even though *MAJOR SPOILERS VERN HINTED AT* – the reveal of who is Leatherface is a total cheat. There’s a chubby slobby guy who looks and acts the entire movie just like the Leatherface we know, but *surprise* it turns out to be the hunky, broody Twilight-y guy who acts nothing like Leatherface. I actually find that intriguing and am not opposed to that twist, but by trying to make it a surprise, there’s no real progression; the twist just takes the character from A-Z with nothing in between. I mean, yes, they explain how his face gets mangled and I GUESS he really lets himself go between movies, but they never really explain why he acts mentally challenged for the last 10 minutes of this movie or the rest of the series. Or wants to wear a woman’s face and put on lipstick. (Obviously if they gave this character any lines hinting at that, the secret would be blown, so it’s just like why bother making it a surprise anyway?)

    It’s just a pointless twist that sounds like something a stoned guy would come up with when tasked to make yet another Texas Chainsaw Prequel. Other than that, I liked the atmosphere, liked the Natural Born Killers/Badlands vibe, liked the appealing Final Girl (who gets a really nasty fate in the alternate ending). Another deleted scene has Grandpa hitting her in the head with a hammer, and the Final Girl ALMOST jumping out the window. This may be the only series where I actually WANT the fan-pleasing boxes to be checked off instead of groan at them. Oh, and even though I like that they START the movie with The Dinner Scene, where’s the damn Opening Scroll/Narration? That’s two movies in a row that’s ditched it, I guess this universe is going to be like the Star Wars Stories and leave the scroll out.

    Also: yes, according to wiki, Stephen Dorff is related to the redneck posse guy/Scott Eastwood’s dad in Texas Chainsaw 3D. I kinda like the idea of them turning this series into a Hatfield/McCoys story with two feuding families, but this is a pretty one-sided feud, since everyone on Dorff’s side keeps getting killed. (Scott Eastwood was inexplicably left alive/forgotten about in 3D, how awesome would it be if they got him and Daddario back for a sequel to continue the family feud?)

  6. Haha, the description of that wheelchair scene is priceless. I can’t imagine the movie makes it funnier than what I’m imagining in my head.

  7. I also think this is the best non-Hooper CHAINSAW, but that’s mainly due to the crazy “teen freaks on the run” movie it sometimes hints at. It has some inspired direction, and maybe the French Extremity approach is a fresh take for this series. But it still mostly feels unnecessary and (a weird complaint, I know) really unpleasant. None of the sequels/remakes after Hooper quite understand the punk sense-of-humour of the first two.

  8. NOTHING BUT TROUBLE is the third best CHAINSAW movie!

  9. Pegsman, NOTHING BUT TROUBLE is totally from the same shared cinamatic universe as TCM films.

  10. It would take some time but someone should compile a list of films that are unofficial sequels to each other. Like TCM and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE or how the SAW films are unofficial sequels to the HOME ALONE films.

  11. Nothing But Trouble is one of the worst God damn movies I’ve ever seen a hundred times.

  12. I love NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, I wish the studio hadn’t gotten cold feet on releasing it as more of a straight up horror movie as Aykroyd intended because I feel like it would be remembered as a pretty great horror comedy, as is it’s a flawed but likable movie if you like weird, in your face shit as I do.

    Anyway as for LEATHERFACE I was under the impression that this was meant as a prequel to the original film, I’m surprised there’s any connection to 3D but wasn’t 3D meant as a sequel to the original film?

    Also, I wonder if this is going to be the last movie in this series.

  13. Because it took so long to be released the people who made this no longer have the rights, and this was barely released so I can’t imagine it’s profitable enough for them to continue. But I imagine someone else will pick up the rights and do another one not necessarily related to this one sooner or later.

  14. It is not a mater of if they will make another TCM film but when. In the world we live in today a recognizable well known property like TCM will only sit on the shelf so long before someone decides to dust it off again regardless if they have a good idea or not. Who knows we could see a TCM TV series.

  15. Apparently, it’s really hard to make a good:

    1) Alien Movie
    2) Jaws movie
    3) Chain Saw movie
    4) Halloween Movie
    5) Superman movie

    I could keep going, but I wont.

    I didn’t like this much. I thought it was a decent, somewhat forgettable horror movie that had little to nothing to do with the Hooper films. I am sick of them trying, at least in a half ass way, to make Leatherface the good guy, or at least make the people he is up against so warped that you want to root for him. I want Leatherface and the entire crazy family to be scary. I think a lot of iconic horror villains fall into this rut: fans wind up rooting for Jason or Freddy or Michael Myers more than they do the protagonists of the movie. I would really like to see a Chain Saw movie that made me feel very bad for the poor victims who stumbled upon these lunatics. As much as I hate the Michael Bay remake of Chain Saw, I do appreciate that they made the bad guys utterly loathsome. Colostomy bags, ass grabbing, skin em alive, spit tobacco in your face, you name it.

  16. Great, now I’m going to have to watch Nothing But Trouble. The Texas Chainsaw Binge Watch never ends! (On a side note, I watched Nocturnal Animals shortly after Part 4 and realized it’s the Oscar Baity art-house cousin of the series I didn’t expect).

    JeffG – yeah that’s a good point – I never really considered that the unlikability of the bad guys in the Platinum Dunes Movies might be a strength now, even though it seemed like a weakness at the time. In fact R. Lee Ermey’s character in Part 2 was so horrible and obnoxious, it made me actively hate the movie (made worse by the fact that you KNOW he’s not going to ever get a comeuppance since the movie’s a prequel).

    Which reminds me, we’re starting to get to the point where Texas Chainsaw is rivaling the Terminator Series for failed attempts to restart the series. (Texas Chainsaw might actually have more timelines going on, believe it or not). I’m pretty sure Part 2 is the only movie that has a definitive ending (albeit reversed immediately by the next movie) – every single one of the others (besides the prequels) leaves you hanging for a sequel that never happens. I suspect the next one is going to be another remake-quel/legacy sequel like 3D, even though to be honest, a legacy sequel to 2 or 4 would be like a dream come true for me.

  17. emteem/Michael Mayket

    January 9th, 2018 at 9:30 am

    The next iteration will obviously be Leatherface the CW Series. It will follow a hot, shirtless (in that hot Texas sun) teenage Leatherface as he navigates girls and high school and his family obligations.

  18. Leatherface is a iconic character, but I seriously question if it is a good idea to build a franchise around him. That is not a knock on Leatherface, but like Mike Myers in the HALLOWEEN films he is better when he is presented as less human. Leatherface is a monster/animal that communicates through squeals and grunts, and if you make him the focus of an ongoing story it is going to be challenging unless you make him more human. I don’t want to see him as a kid, and I don’t want to hear him speak. I think that Leatherface should be present but not the focus of future TCM films. What if they made one where Leatherface has been apprehended by the law and is locked away in an institute for the criminally insane and some of his physcotic family members decided to stage a raid of the facility to release him. It could be a sort of siege horror film that deals with the faculty at the institute trying the stop his family from freeing him and trying to survive the night.

  19. This has really gotten me thinking about what it is that makes the original Chain Saw work so well.

    The “protagonists”, for lack of a better term, are completely unremarkable and, in Franklin’s case, downright unlikeable. And like Zod pointed out about Ermy and the prequel, I don’t think you hate any of the “Sawyers”, you are just scared shitless of them. It feels like Friday the 13th movies and the Halloween sequels try so hard to get you to like the victims as characters, and usually fail miserably, to the point where you just root for cool looking murders, not for the victims. Even Saw and all these modern horror flicks are the same way, which I have a feeling is why horror movies took a turn towards the torture porn genre. You basically want to see all these little fuckers get killed, you don’t root for them. You don’t feel scared for them. I think of the first Hostel, the two leads are such miserable little assholes, and so uninteresting, you actually look forward to see how they will get tortured.

    I’m completely befuddled about what makes the original Chain Saw work, but damn it does.

  20. JeffG, good question. I think there is a number of contributing factors that make TCM a classic. Among them is that the film was made outside of the studio system, and is the unquie unfiltered vision of its creator Tobe Hooper. It is also a variation on the type of simple scary story people have told around campfires for ages.

  21. I don’t understand why there’s certain horror franchises that have to keep going for seemingly forever, why does there HAVE to be another TCM after this? If this movies doesn’t make it clear that it’s been bled dry then I don’t know what would, there’s also HALLOWEEN, just let these franchises die already and come up with something new you Hollywood hacks.

    There’s plenty of potential with the “hillbilly cannibal” genre, see: NOTHING BUT TROUBLE, it’s a really creative spin on the genre, I’d love to see someone either do a remake or borrow some of it’s ideas, point is it doesn’t need to be TCM and have Leatherface, make something within that genre but come up with your own damn ideas.

  22. Charles- yeah I’ll go ahead and say it – Leatherface is the least interesting character in the entire family. The fact that all 4 films since the first Platinum Dunes movie tried to make him the centerpiece/basically Jason and completely eliminated the wacky “brother” character shows a complete lack of understanding about what made the first ones work so well. (I would seriously be totally ok if the series just kept following the pattern of 1-4 and kept introducing new family members and wacky brothers and kept Leatherface as a supporting character)

    Griff – Yeah, I was thinking too about why Hollywood won’t just let these horror franchises die, but then I realized for every eye-rolling reboot/sequel like Flatliners, Alien Covenant, Jigsaw, Rings, the upcoming Halloween, etc…there’s also a a pretty solid group of “new” franchises people seem to like (Sinister, Insidious, Annabelle, The Conjuring, The Purge). There’s also a pretty good run of “original” non-franchise horror movies like Get Out, Happy Death Day, The Shallows/47 Meters Down, and possibly IT if you count that as not being a remake. Now I think about it, the horror genre’s way more creative and willing to take chances than the rapidly declining Summer Blockbuster Genre.

  23. Griff, I agree some stories and characters are best suited for standalone stories not ongoing stories or franchises. I love superhero comic books, but part of why I eventually quit reading them as much is because as time went on it became clear there was no end to any of it and nothing is permanent. Even if a writer tells a great story or kills off a beloved character it doesn’t matter, eventually there will be a new writer and they might choose to disregard what came before them and bring the dead character or reset events that happened in passed stories. Ongoing movie franchises suffer from the same problem and even if they tell good stories the longer a franchise is around it is hard to make any of it feel consequential or important.

  24. Neal2zod, the character design of Leatherface is classic, but there is not a lot of depth to the character.

  25. My dream for this franchise, a la Vern’s dream of a Beverly Hills Have Eyes sequel, is for an all out war to erupt between the extended Sawyer clan and…whoever. A rival family, the Hatfields to their McCoys; or a group of survivalists led by Ken Foree; or some cracker ass militia (shades of Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort); or the ATF with the Sawyers as a surrogate for the Branch Davidians. Whoever it is, the real point is to see a Sawyer family reunion, with dozens of crazy redneck weirdos. After all, the saw is family.

  26. Now that I think about it if they really want to make a scary TCM Leatherface focused film it should be about how a morally bankrupt TV executive gives the Sawyer family a reality TV series and Leatherface becomes the break out star. Over time Leatherface becomes so popular that despite his physcotic and disturbing behavior that he is offered a lucrative endorsement deals (Leatherface approved mallets, sewing kits, and chainsaws), and eventuality his celebrity gets so great that some rich fucking assholes get the idea to use him and his celebrity as the face of their depolrable self serving political ambitions and leather face runs for president. In the terrorfying climax Leatheface wins and becomes president of the United States ushering in an era of fear and instability in America and around the world.

    I know the idea a truly disgusting psychotic monster becoming a reality star and pitch man then president sounds preposterous, and to scary to imagine, but………….. Wait a second a second. Oh shit, we are fucked!

  27. Charles – Love it! I want that movie! (And my Sawyer family reunion movie, and The Beverly Hills Have Eyes, and…)

  28. Griff: Why do they keep hashing these movies out? Name recognition. Releasing a new Saw, Halloween, Chain Saw, half the advertising budget is taken care of.

  29. Sign me up for Charles’ idea and also Vern’s idea from years back suggesting the Sawyers travel across country to start shit with those guys who make art using corpses. Though my favorite idea is still the idea Bill Moseley had about the Sawyers moving to New York and becoming local liberal art/yuppie heroes (The Chef would be running a five-star restaurant and Leatherface would be the artist talk-of-the-town (Him and Stretch would be married with a baby). Problem with reality is that those (awesome) ideas follow the escalation from part 2 which while is finally getting the recognition is absolutely deserves I think it is still in general considered an embarrassment fuck-up by most (that and part 4 I still see trashed more than the Platinum Dunes films and even 3D one by norms and casuals) and as a result the rights-holders who give no-shits about quality and artistic integrity (if they did they wouldn’t be making like an eighth CHAIN SAW movie) feel the absolute need to follow part 3’s idea of just try to capture that lightning in a bottle of part 1 again (impossible) or just make shitty slasher films and slap the name on it.

  30. Charles – never understood why the comic book industry doesn’t self reboot every decade or so, say tell a complete story about Spider Man with a beginning, middle and end over a span of a decade or so (maybe even a little longer) and then end it only to reboot with a new generations of artists/writers and tell an all new take on the story.

    That’s sort of what they already do, save that they try to maintain continuity over decades which doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.

  31. Griff, I think the mainstream superhero comic book industry has wrestled with the issue. A couple of years ago DC launched the new 52 were they rebooted their brand and started all their comics from scratch at issue one. Partially they did it as a way to try to boost sales by giving new fans an entry point so that kids didn’t feel intimidated by starting to read a series at issue 700 or something like that, but they also did it to try to manipulate collectors into buying a bunch of first issues because they are relaunching all their titles. The move flopped and a few years later they eventually scraped the new 52 and rebooted the brand to try and get it back to they way things were before.

    The industry never will but I think they should end ongoing series. That doesn’t meen get rid of Batman, but instead of publishing new issues of a series ever month or (bi weekly) that continues indefinitely they should do what you are suggesting and have the series end at the wrap of the story the creative team is telling. That way Batman would have like a 12 or 24 issue story arc that would end with the story they are telling. Then a new story would start at issue one.

  32. I like Lily Taylor but instead of her they should have sticked to their muse Béatrice Dalle for the mother part.
    It would have been fun to see her working the scissors in the texas backwoods.

  33. Some of this movie actually has the kind of atmosphere and awkardness that the series hasn’t seen since Hooper’s sequel. At the same time overall I think I’d even take the Platinum Dunes one (the first never saw the 2nd) over this one. Not exactly a great endorsmet for either but at least the PD one had serious style. Perhaps not a style that was really suited to a TCM movie at all but style nonetheless.

  34. Nabroleon Dynamite

    January 27th, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Anyone seen the Inside remake?

  35. I haven’t seen this yet, but I did seethe Inside remake. At first it seemed like they were king the straight up remake route, and was stillpretty violent (though not nearly as gory or intense), but two things pulled me right out of it: first there is never any discussion or thought of her not wanting/keeping the baby, which is kinda what made me love the original, that she had to climb out of her depression and build a will to fight. Plus they added a big final girl chase with an upbeat twist at the end that undermined everything that happened before it. Another remake I wish I had skipped and watched the original again .

  36. Well, i finally saw Nothing But Trouble because of this comments section. And yes, I second the idea that a dark and gritty reboot of it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. The movie itself isn’t really as bad as I had heard, it’s just that it needs to be funnier or scarier or both. Because as is, it’s just a surprisingly strong horror movie setup with no real scares or jokes. There’s some cool makeup effects and practical sets, and that out-of-nowhere Digital Underground cameo, but the whole thing feels a little limp and aimless. I kinda can’t believe this is Chevy Chase’s followup to Christmas Vacation, or Demi Moore’s first movie after Ghost. It’s such a specific, niche love-letter to 70s horror from people we don’t expect it from, you kinda wonder how the hell this got made. If this script sat on the shelf and was made in the early 2000s by Eli Roth, Alexander Aja, or Rob Zombie, instead of Dan Aykroyd of all people, I suspect it would have been a pretty decent, Wrong Turn/House of Wax-style hit.

    Btw, it does check off more boxes than the last few Chainsaw sequels. *SPOILERS* There’s an old crusty patriarch with a colorful family. (John Candy’s mute, hulking sister is clearly the Leatherface of the movie). There’s a pretty great dinner scene. People jump out a closed window. There’s booby traps and rooms full of souvenirs from previous victims. The heroes escape and get help from someone who turns out to be in on it. It’s definitely a better sequel than Texas Chainsaw: The Beginning, I’ll give it that.

  37. Add me to the list of viewers who thought this one would have been a decent nasty little horror crime thriller caper if left to its own devices, but it’s completely scuttled by its reason to exist, i.e. as a Leatherface origin story. Every time I try and imagine Jimmy Cheekbones over here growing up into any version of the Bubba we know and love, the movie just completely falls apart. I also don’t believe a single second of the Verna character or anything she represents. To me, the Sawyers are what happens when you leave gross bachelors to their own devices for a couple generations. They’re not trying to be evil, they’re just too lazy and dumb to not be. Adding a matriarch, especially one who seems to be making the calm, collected decision to turn to savagery, just completely ruins Hooper’s vibe of inexplicable devolution. And having them boldly display the trophies of their murders while there’s a psycho cop living right down the road who’s been onto them for a decade is laughable. You need to believe that these people have been isolated from society for so long that they truly don’t realize how nuts they are. I never got that sense from these Sawyers, who seem to have turned to chainsawing people at children’s birthday parties because “You can’t trust outsiders.” That’s just…come on, man.

    But other than, you know, the only reason the movie got made, it’s alright.

  38. Total agreement with neal2zod. The need for a twist sinks this thing. You know there’s a twist coming because they made a big deal of renaming Jed, it’s way too obvious to be the guy who looks and acts exactly like Leatherface, so of course it turns out to be the handsome, sympathetic one, even if that makes the climax into a redo of the opening of Last Crusade, where Leatherface goes from nice, normal guy to sideshow attraction cum killing machine over the course of, like, three hours. If they’d just been upfront about him being named Jed, maybe they could’ve milked some pathos and interest out of just how this kid who has a shot at a real life instead turns into a serial killer, but no–it’s like they flip a switch from handsome leading man to psycho. This is the whole point of the movie and they treat it like an afterthought.

    Also, didn’t like the idea of the Sawyers as this backwoods criminal gang that pays off cops and hires fancy lawyers. Seems like people Raylan Givens would deal with, not Dennis Hopper and a chainsaw. I know the Sawyers are able to play possum long enough to get their victims into chainsaw range, but managing to be a gold digger? C’mon.

  39. Also, the ‘fugitives on the run’ thing… it seems like obviously it’d be better if they were honest-to-God Sawyers, but then that’s just The Devil’s Rejects.

    I imagine that whole series has kinda taken some of the wind out of TCM’s sails.

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