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THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: The Beginning

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: The Beginning-United States-2006

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

Screenplay by Sheldon Turner

Story by Sheldon Turner and David J. Schow

If The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning were a comic book the front cover would prominently feature in bold, bloody red letters HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME! THE ORIGIN OF LEATHERFACE!! The film is the cinematic companion to the 2003 remake and to be honest I feel that it raises the bar a little higher. Of course the story is the same; 2 young couples on the road trip of road trips run headlong into hell and the Hewitt family. This time out the main damsel in distress is Jordana Brewster. Stepping up to the plate and looking every bit as sexy as Jessica Biel did in the remake, Ms. Brewster is sent through the usual shit that scream queens are put through in a Texas Chainsaw movie. Rounding out the travelers are Matt Bomer, Taylor Handley and Diora Baird. On the Hewitt side of the family we are formally introduced to Thomas and Uncle Charlie. You know them better as Sheriff Hoyt and Leatherface. Andrew Bryniarski once again steps into the apron of Leatherface. He may not be Gunnar Hansen, but he’s still pretty damn intimidating. R. Lee Ermey plays the same part he’s played in most films he’s starred in; that of a loudmouth authority figure whose sole purpose in life is to make yours a living, breathing, bloody hell. Oh, and as an extra added bonus we get to see how Monty becomes a double amputee. Good times, kids, good times.

All in all, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is in my humble and twisted opinion a worthy sequel to what I felt was a worthy remake of a classic horror film. It’s not going to make you forget the original, but I don’t think it’s really trying to in the first place.

TRIVIA

During filming, R. Lee Ermey was called away to his mother’s death bed. For the remainder of the time, filming was done around his character.
 
Producers Andrew Form and Bradley Fuller decided not to make a sequel to the 2003 movie. But the fans kept coming to them, asking how the family got that way and wanting to know several unanswered questions in the 2003 version (some of them include how Monty lost both of his legs, to how Sheriff Hoyt lost his front teeth, and how Leatherface got his nickname). And after a meeting with Michael Bay, they let Sheldon Turner write the script for a prequel and they were prepared to make it.
 
First movie to receive Iceland’s 18 rating.
 
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THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (2003)

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE-United States-98 Mins. 2003

Jessica Biel as Erin

Jonathan Tucker as Morgan

Erica Leerhsen as Pepper

Mike Vogel as Andy

Eric Balfour as Kemper

R. Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt

Andrew Bryniarski as Thomas Hewitt/Leatherface

Directed by Marcus Nispel

Written by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel (1974 Screenplay) and Scott Kosar (Screenplay)

If you recall, five or so reviews ago, I gave you the story of my first viewing of the original “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It was quite wordy as I had a lot to say about the subject and my experience at the South 29 Drive-In. Well, now it is time to review the remake and I can assure you it’s not going to be a long soliloquy of my great experience with the film. But I will say this: this movie did not suck. I will repeat myself for those of you who can’t read well: this movie did not suck. In fact, I will go so far as to say that it is one of the best remakes of a classic horror film. There is one very good reason for this and that is because it doesn’t try to repeat the original. Yes, the basic story premise is still there; teenagers traveling through Texas run into a chainsaw wielding maniac. The film does keep some other things the same, but for the most part it has it’s own story to tell.

The cast is good, but my biggest complaint about the film is that other than Jessica Biel, they’re really not that well known. Therefore, when they are killed off we don’t really feel that bad about it. As for Biel, she’s every young (and some old) man’s wet dream as she parades through the film in a pair of tight jeans and a wife-beater shirt tied at the middle. In fact there was a rumor that Leatherface was gay because he was chasing her with a chainsaw and not flowers.

The best performance in the film comes from R.Lee Ermey as Sheriff Hoyt. Ermey is most famous for making life a living hell for young Marines in “Full Metal Jacket”. This time he makes life a living hell for Biel and company. Ermey is a larger than life actor and perfect for a film like this.

As is expected, the gore level in this film is much higher than in the 1974 original.

All in all, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a B+ retelling of an A+ classic.

Trivia

Gunnar Hansen was asked to play the role of the trucker in the end of the film.

Erin’s last name was supposed to be Hardesty, the same last name as lead character Sally (‘Marilyn Burns’) from the original “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974).

The remake saw is a Husqvarna 359 with a 28″ guide bar. These saws are made today and were not available in 1973 Texas.

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