Monday, August 23, 2010

#61 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning - 2006

The 5th movie I chose to watch this week was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. This film was actually a prequel to the original remake in 2003 (does that make sense) that starred Jessica Beil. This franchise is not a favorite of mine but I did add this film to my list since I had never seen it and had heard good reviews about this from friends and online websites alike. So I thought Id give it a chance and see if I enjoyed it as much as the original one (2003) that once again was the remake of the original original, confused yet? Below is my detailed review.

As is in most horror films even the big ones the actors and actresses involved are not your big hollywood A-listers. Now sometimes you'll get luck and get a Jennifer Love Hewitt for the "I know What You Did Last Summer" films but c'mon you cant always get a star of that nature. haha. Ok yes that was my ode to Jennifer Love, one of my favorites of all time!! Ahh the I know what you did films, good times!! Ok so the cast is pretty basic. Besides Leatherface and Sheriff Hoyt you have the four basic main characters who are made up of two couples who are twenty something college kids as it seems in almost 90% of horror films. The two most recognizable ones for me in this film are Jordana Brewster and Diora Baird. I have seen them in previous films before but not the other two guys. Obviously the main actor and the most notable one is R Lee Ermey who plays Sheriff Hoyt. He is by far the best one in this film.

This movie basically shows how Leatherface became the monster he is and how he became that way. We also learned how Uncle Charlie became the Sheriff. Its real simple, he killed the Sheriff when Sheriff Hoyt was about to shoot Leatherface. Leatherface is Uncle Charlie's nephew and. Uncle Charlie basically takes over as the Sheriff and becomes Sheriff Hoyt. Sheriff Hoyt lives with a bunch of other inbred whacko's including among others Leatherface, Monty, Tea Lady. This cast of misfits is quite the arrangement of family members and not a family I would ever want to know and not even care to meet. It does make me think there probably are families out there like this sans the murdering psychotic tendencies or course.

One thing I remember hearing about this film is that they upped the ante on the gore and blood in this film and I would have to agree with that. According to some research I did on this film it originally had to have 17 scenes cut in order for the MPAA to give it an R rating as opposed to an NC-17 rating. Now I'm assuming they had to cut out quite a few real disturbing and gut wrenching scenes for that to take place because although the blood and gore was stronger in this film than in the 2003 version I don't think anything in there was that crazy or controversial at all and I've seen much worse in other films. Maybe there are more horror movies that require scenes to be cut to get down to a rated R than I ever thought. Below Ill list some of the goriest scenes the film had to offer and some others that weren't necessarily gory but which I found pretty interesting.

Lets start with the initial scene with the baby when Leatherface is born. Kind of gross and upsetting but not half as bad as the birth scene in The Hills Have Eyes 2. Obviously right from the start the directors want to hit the audience with a shock factor and it did sort of. Had I seen this prior to the HHE2 I might have thought it was more graphic and disturbing but I didn't think it was that bad. There is one scene that is not gory at all but disturbing to watch and that is when the Sheriff is beating with a stick one of the guys as he is attempting to do 10 pushups. One thing I found very unbelievable and unrealistic is that this guy a few moments later is able to run and move after such a beat down but that is typical hollywood movie mystique right. The unbelievable becomes believable at least in Horror films I know.

The gore and blood pick up as the film nears its end. The dark haired main guy in the film is pinned down face up on a table down in the basement and Leatherface literally skins off his arms. With nothing but ligaments and muscle over his bone this scene was pretty graphic even though it didn't show all that it could have. No doubt this was one of the scenes they had to scale down or cut in order to avoid that NC-17 rating. Leatherface increasingly became more brutal as the film progressed mainly due to the Sheriff's yelling and screaming demands to do so. After killing a biker who was looking for his girlfriend by chainsaw he became very comfortable with his new toy. He even sawed off both of Uncle Monty's legs right at the kneecap. This led him on a rampage and he eventually went downstairs and jammed the chainsaw up the guys chest killing him as well. Very brutal scene.

There were only two left, Chrissie (Brewster) and the blonde haired guy, Dean played by Taylor Handley, yeah I know you have never heard of him. haha. Dean in a failed escape attempt ends up getting a chainsaw through his chest as well and is literally picked up off the ground and flown across the room like a doll. Chrissie ends up stealing the tow truck and right when it looks though she is about to reach safety after seeing cops investigating the original car crash scene Leatherface appears from the backseat and plummets the chainsaw through the seat and into her chest killing her and ramming her into the two police officers which completes one more final devastating scene of death. The final sequence of the film shows leatherface walking down the dark highway alone with his chainsaw and the screen pans out to show the carnage he left behind. In my opinion this film was ok at best. Yes it was a gore fest and yes there was some brutal killings throughout however I felt this film was just ok and I guess that I was looking for more in the plot then just the inbred cannibalistic family finding four young kids torturing them and killing them. All in all I give this one a C!

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