|Title:||The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Battle Los Angeles
|03.29.14||Internet||This Screening is part of event: The Texas Chainsaw Marathon|
The less said about this one the better. It's like a remake of a remake following the formula of the first Platinum Dunes film with a few prequelly bits like "oh look that's where R. Lee Ermey lost his front teeth" and "oh look that's when that old slaughterhouse closed." Really the only differences (spoiler alert) are that the girl doesn't get away in the end and leatherface starts off with a face of real leather and we get a full monologue on how the family started eating people.
It seems like the first movie happened a long time ago in a place far away. This was all handheld shakiness and weird artificial grain and close-ups and dried fake blood. It's a chore to get through. Hopefully the next one isn't as bad, although at this point I don't think I can imagine a new take on this movie. It's weird... I don't feel particularly like these fit the slasher genre perfectly. Even though teens get killed, I feel like most slasher films really flourish their kills where the first TCM threw them away very quickly. That was what was so great about them. They're kind of like the kills in the Godfather films where each one has an interesting detail and then they're gone. Even with these remakes the teens never die in progression and it's really quite a mess. So maybe because of this different formula, each movie feels more like a half-remake than a sequel to me. The second one is really the only film that feels like it progresses from the original. All the others are more variations on a theme, and watching them all together so close is kind of getting exhausting.
|09.21.06||Alamo South Lamar||This Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2006|
So I literally left Haze, crossed the hall, and entered Chainsaw. This is the big opening night film with the director, two producers, Jordana Brewster, R. Lee Ermy, and the dude who plays Leatherface all in the house. Greg Nicotero was also there but didn't get up and answer questions about the gore... So the house was pretty packed... not quite Borat packed but pretty damn packed. They had to bring out the folding chairs again so it was about as full as that theater can get. People excited to see the new Chainsaw... I almost felt like a traitor or something because I was only mildly interested. While I thought the remake was better than I expected it to be, I still wouldn't classify it as good... so a prequel to the remake just seemed... I dunno... I guess numbers don't matter any more anyway but still... I was hesitant.
So a couple things about the movie. R. Lee's in it a lot. Like he's the main non-victim speaking role... and they really made him the tentpole of the whole messed up family... maybe that's a bit like making Boba Fett the blueprint for every storm trooper in all the Star Wars films? maybe not... who knows. I like R. Lee though so I was happy he got a nice juicy role to play into.
The movie for me is a polaroid representation of contemporary American horror film... it's really slick, uses tons of filters and inserts on ugly things and tries very hard to recreate a gritty grimy 70s feel that just came naturally back then, it's got a constant bed of ambience music specifically designed to put you on edge or unsettle you in some way, the gore is always shot quick, cut quick, and as close as they can make it to really not have to show anything, the sound effects are really what makes the gore in this movie. For the most intense scenes, I'd say there's really only about 8 frames of truly offending footage... it's just put together in such a honed manner to sell you on the thought of it. It's really the school of Psycho mastered.
You don't get any ghosts or creepy kids or creepy kid ghosts or super long takes of people looking at something though which seems to be what Japanese horror is all about these days so... I'm not sure which one I'd rather have.
There are some pretty brutal scenes in here though... again, mostly sound effects, but still. Probably my favorite gag is when one victim gets in a car and starts driving off, Leatherface puts a meat hook into her and pulls her right the hell out of the car. You don't actually see anything, but the shot they do have is cool enough to sell the idea and again, I guess that's what counts. There is a lot of gore in the movie though... lots of blood and body parts laying around and things of that nature... for today's standards it is a pretty hard R, which the director said they really had to push and fight for in order to get Chainsaw back to the top in terms of gore.
Maybe 75% of the way through the movie, the Alamo waitstaff brings out little bowls of... it was either chili or meat stew... and passes them out to everyone. I ate mine because I know once I get down the road, no matter how full or not in a mood to eat I was, it'd sound like a pussy move to NOT eat the free mystery meat chili while watching a Texas Chainsaw Massacre... so I ate it all up although pretty much everyone around me chose not to. I can understand that... the smell of the meat permeated the entire theater and coupled with what was going on up on the screen... plus not knowing exactly what it was in that little bowl... well it was definitely a leap of faith. That i took. It tasted good. mmmm!
The ending of the movie is also pretty cool Spoilers for this paragraph!!! so.... they kill Jordana Brewster... so the survivor girl doesn't get away. and not only that, they also kill two random people as they kill Brewster so it's a nice little scene. And right after they they got John Laroquette to reprise his narration... sort of ending the movie with the beginning and whatnot. A nice touch I thought.
My take on the movie was... I liked it more than the 03 remake... but still am pretty mediocre on it. It's basically the same exact movie as the remake... overall I thought it was just OK.