Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has, for one reason or another, angled its way back into my heart recently. Just in time, it seems, for a new sequel entitled The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.

Digging a little, here is the info I can give you. It will be a 3D film (I’m a genius, ain’t I?) and is set for release on October 5th, 2012. Chainsaw is still one word, not two, like the original. It is being made by Twisted Pictures (the folks behind the Saw franchise), in a deal for 6 movies, after Platinum Dunes decided not to follow on from TCM: The Beginning, with the writer/director of Jason Goes To Hell helping with the scripting duties.

Ignoring all the films except the original, including Tobe Hooper’s own TCM2, the film picks up right after the 1974 original, with a girl named Heather going to pick up an inheritance with her friends. Little does she know the inheritance includes Leatherface…

Ok, I’m not too sure what way inheritances work, 
but I’ll run with it.

Probably the most exciting aspect of this project that sets it apart from all the other heirs to the Chainsaw thrown is that it features big returning TCM cast. First off, Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, makes his first appearance in the series since the very first. John Dugan reprises his role of Grandpa (ironically, closer to his characters age than he was in the original, when he was only 19). In a fantastic turn of events, Bill Moseley, who is best remembered as Chop Top in TCM2, takes over the role of Drayton Sawyer, popularly played by Jim Siedow, who passed away in 2003. And last but not least, original scream queen Marilyn Burns also has a cameo. Wow. There is nothing not to love here.

Bill Moseley has 2 modes: Awesome and awesomer.

But wait.

This is pretty much where all the excitement for Chainsaw fans ends. The rest of the cast are the up and coming type, as to be expected (and can be used to achieve realism and the likes), but in their midst is the obligatory rapper-cum-actor, Trey Songz (I don’t know…). Ok, let’s not tar everyone with the same brush, but there really is a certain calibre of film, within reason, that has rappers or singers expanding into new territories, and they aren’t the films that terrify a generation. Once you notice this, you then quickly notice that there is also a hitchhiker, ‘along for the ride who knows more than he lets on’. Domino effect ahoy. Ugh…

This. With chainsaws.

Let’s look at the positives first. Having the original cast make an appearance does count for something. Gunnar Hansen has even said it isn’t a bad script (thought not what he would have written, apparently!). The idea of Bill Mosely playing a different character in the series, and one with such importance and resonance, is actually kind of touching. Marilyn Burns and John Dugan just solidify the notion that this is a proper sequel.

HOWEVER… There already HAS been a proper sequel. The makers of TCM 3D are determined to make a gritty and realistic film, in direct opposition to the slick ‘music video’ style the Platinum Dunes releases had (I use quotations because, though not scary, the Dunes films were slick and some of the best entries in the cannon, not fodder).

But the thing is, the original TCM has a lot of humour to it. People just missed it because they were shitting their pants. The series has always walked a fine line between black comedy and ridiculousness, and so far only Hooper has succeeded. We’ll see, but I’m not expecting a dead set serious fare to be very memorable. TCM2 is a worthy sequel and ignoring it seems mainly to be a retcon to keep Leatherface in the mix. Being a Lionsgate release with a contract for 6 films, we can expect the identity-challenged butcher to really get a lot of bang for his buck.

Or buzz for his saw, if you will.

As great as the original actors appearing in the flick (which is really the biggest seal of approval it could have), the story sounds very simplistic, an excuse to hack up some more generic teens we don’t care about and have the law goof around, unable to outwit our villains. Though set directly after the original, it is set modern day, which should bring an interesting modern twist to the primitive savagery of the Massacre, but I am still sceptical and worried it is going to end up a very generic horror fluff.

I’m both excited beyond measure and worried to the point of illness thinking about what way this film will take the series. Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been the attempt of many a studio to start a franchise, and really, it’s got a solid premise and built in fanbase, yet we are now on our third start. I don’t know if the family can sustain another blunder like TCM: The Next Generation.

This is truly terrifying, but for all the wrong reasons.

I’ll leave my thoughts on the new film with this; there is a script leaked online at the moment and, unusually for me, I am very tempted to check it out, to see if they went in filming with a solid foundation. This is a tough call simply because this film has so many pros and cons that it could go either way.

Hopefully they’ll leave Leatherface’s mask on this time.

This is my 50th post, and to celebrate, I now have a tumblr account too, so you can enjoy more of the same over where the wild ways are. Follow me at