Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: The Beast Reviews: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Beast Reviews: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

For all my true horror movie fans out there, this should make you jealous. . .I had the opportunity to meet, talk with, and get a picture signed by the original Leatherface, Gunnar Hansen! He was so nice and signed his picture, "Hey Philip, You're Next!!" Awesome.

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in 1974 and sent the nation into shock with its brutal depiction of a family torturing and killing young teenagers for no apparent reason. Director Tobe Hooper created one the most disturbing films in horror movie history. Not so much because of the gore or cheap scares, but because the movie kept you feeling "weird." It is a classic.

Fast forward to 2006 where director Jonathan Liebesman brings us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. The attempt here is to pre-date the first movie in terms of chronology and see just how Leatherface turns into the monster we all know and love. A few TCM sequels have been made, with part 2 staring Dennis Hopper and being halfway descent. But this one decided to do the Star Wars Trilogy thing and take us before the 1974 TCM to show us how it all started.

I don't mind the concept of the film, although I think sometimes the mystery of how evil comes into existence is best left a mystery, but this picture didn't do it for me. The cast was led by veteran actor R. Lee Ermey who has been in more motion pictures than Mike Lally has been seen in Columbo episodes. Interesting enough, R. Lee also played in the 2003 TCM remake (which I will be reviewing next week) as the same/similar character of Sheriff Hoyt. So, I give the movie makers credit for trying. The movie just comes up a little short in all areas. It comes up short in creative kills, comes up short on the disturbance factor, which is what drives the TCM series, and ultimately leaves you searching through your dvd collection for the original movie.

What I enjoyed about the film was twofold: 1) It was kind of neat to see Leatherface piecing together the beginnings of his "masks" that are made famous by TCM 1974. 2) The end of the film had Leatherface busting out the front door of the family's house chasing after the one girl who has managed to jump out a window and start running for her life, exactly how it happened in the 1974 film. I kind of was like "YEAH!" but then I realized that the only reason I was pumped up was because this scene reminded me of how good the 1974 film is.

If you are a fan the TCM series, or even the first movie, this is worth a look just for the sake of seeing Leatherface come to be. But you will quickly forget about it and move on to the next movie. Which is what I am doing.

The Beast Paw Rating: 1 1/2 out of 4 Paws


Blogger Danny said...

I do envy your signed photo. Our friend Kyle has a similar one and also a photo of Pinhead signed by Doug Bradley, signed "Hey Kyle, see you in Hell"--which is even less comforting.

As for the film, after seeing the TCM remake, I refuse to give this production team any money. Until I catch it on late night cable, I'll will settle for pretending it does not exist.

February 23, 2007 2:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home