Sunday, January 6, 2013

A chainsaw by any other name...


There are few films that horror owes as much to as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". It was one of the original based on actual event films. A film that multiple decades have not lessened the impact. It's true, horror fans world wide hold a large number of films in very high regard for their influence, or camp value, or simple awesomeness, but how many can you throw in your bluray player tomorrow night and still freakout a room full of non horror-hounds? I dare say it is a very small number indeed.

So this here... is, let's see... The seventh reincarnation of the Chainsaw franchise, and it's star, the chainsaw cutie himself... Leatherface. I say reincarnations because there have been sequels, prequels, next generations, remakes... so ya, reincarnations.

I went into this film with very little in the way of expectations. I knew that a) there would be someone wearing human faces and swinging a chainsaw around, and b) it was in 3D. That was enough.

I folks, am very torn on this film. Ok, let's get to the basics...

The plot
This is an actual sequel to the original film. Whoa, I was not expecting that. Nor was I expecting the insanely cool 3-D clips from the original film... Ok. Interest officially peaked. It leads up by way of these wicked sweet clips to the famous closing scene from the original film. Those of you that need a refresher - Leatherface chases last girl, loses her, gets mad, dances in a rage circle with his chainsaw - and so this movie begins. Girl goes to cops, cops and town show up to deal out some justice. Fire. Dead read necks. Surviving baby... and present day. Those of you keeping track... that means 38 years have passed. Annnnnnd den, baby grows up into super sexy young woman - Alexandra Daddario - who finds out she is adopted when papers show up saying her grandmother has died and left her a house. She then decides to go on a road trip... in a um... familiar looking van. I love homages, but that one was a little weird. Anyway, she takes her three sexy young friends with her, they pick up a drifter on the way. Arriving at the house they quickly start partying, then they start dying... then all the dirty little family secrets come to the surface... and Leatherface goes the F off.

But mom, I wanted to go to the fair :)
Hmmmm... first - the opening was really awesome. Throw in a cool cameo from the original lady of survival herself - Marilyn Burns, and you have a few well appreciated threads to the original. Then you add some very sexy ladies, the aforementioned Daddario, and Tania Raymonde (of the criminally underrated Death Valley). Things are looking good. Add some very impressive 3D that never fails to make you happy and sometimes legit grossed out. Things are still in the green... heck about 3 quarters of the way through this movie I was willing to forgive its failings because it was just so much fun... but...


It just got way too stupid. Inexplicable to the left of weeeee-tarded. Stupid characters is one things (It's a slasher horror film, I am not expecting Tarantino dialogue), but when those characters do things that are so unimaginably stretching of the bounds of believable, well... it's hard to hold onto the joy. No joke, the last ten minutes of this film I was just staring at the screen while in my head a small little old lady rocked back and forth on a chair chanting "WTF".

For instance, dumb moments - You hit a stranger with your car. You then give him a ride. You then leave this stranger that you have known for what 45 minutes of travel time? In your new house with countless valuables... by himself. Okay, fine, right, horror film, I can live with that. Cliches, car not starting, people going alone where no freaking human being would ever go alone... especially if they knew there was a chainsaw wielding mass murderer there... fine. Horror film, I can live with that....

And now for a moment of absolute, brain jarring, stupidity - Um. Wait. Does that person feel sorry for Leatherface? The guy that kills anyone, anytime, with a giant chainsaw... and hooks of varying sizes. The guy that wears human faces... and eats flesh... because... um... his crazy family got burned? Or because... he's all alone...

Ya. I am trying so hard not to give away any real plot points here, as heck, maybe some of you will appreciate the twists... blah, blah. But to me, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. I mean - extreme violence, awesome opening, chainsaw 3D action to fulfill my every want (including a lovely blood splattering out of the screen for a solid ten seconds, yay), a few genuine jump moments, great cheesy scare score... some terrific one liners "Well, a chainsaw don't make you bulletproof"and yet... the last ten minutes...

I mean a lawyer that seems like a good guy -
A sheriff that seems rational -
A lead female that um, at the very least seemed to care about friends and things...

All of these people and more, will just up and do things that just can't happen in a world even pretending to be real. It would be like if I, Chuck Boonsweet, decided to give up chips and dip and only watch reruns of Grey's Anatomy. It wouldn't make sense. At all. I love dip. I mean I seriously love dip.

And to my review.
Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror 3D scale 3 out of 5 stars

The last ten minutes are stupid. Accept that. There is a whole lot of pure over the top here that I think most would enjoy. Does it have the intensity of the original, or even the remake... no. But it makes up for that with a wonderful body count, and just buckets of the red stuff. Most of the time flying out at you. That is what I paid for, so I guess, maybe I should just remember I never asked my brain to come along... sadly... he invited himself.

- Chucky B.

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