Monday, April 16, 2012

"Texas Chainsaw Massacre:The Beginning"(2006)d/Jonathan Liebesman

This movie has earned nearly forty million dollars at U.S. box offices.I just wanted to get that out of the way early, so you can keep it in mind throughout the following review of Jonathan Liebesman's 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre:The Beginning', a prequel to the 2003 remake of the original 1974 Tobe Hooper film.We all remember the original, don't we?For those of you that somehow don't, fret not.Tonight's entry covers all the exact same bases, albeit ineffectually, with a lazy script that caters to R. Lee Ermey's sudden injection into the murderous Hewitt clan geneology.I'm not sure what a slightly more psychotic Gny. Sgt. Hartman adds to the Chainsaw mythos, but producers Hooper and Kim Henkel must've dug the shit out of the idea.We're also treated to Leatherface's back story for some reason, as if a lumbering cannibalistic retard-hulk wearing a human skin mask and wielding a chainsaw wasn't self-explanatory enough.Liebesman, who's also directed 2003's Darkness Falls(liked a lot) and 2011's Battle:Los Angeles(fell asleep in the theater), doesn't seem too concerned with selling the prequel's 1969 aesthetic besides a bandanna here, and some Vietnam chatter there, handling the potential for horror and tension like a true fucking butterfingers, focusing his lens on ugly characters and uninspiring cookie cutter gore instead.So why did they bother with this one in the first place, if it had little chance of adding much to the popular horror series, which was pretty much past the exhausted point after the first sequel in 1986? For a definitive answer to that question, simply re-read the first line of this review out loud to yourself.Fortunately, my own Happy Talk cash never contributed to the film's gaudy theatrical run, which saw it finish second(!) to Scorsese's The Departed(2006)(!!) in it's opening weekend.I merely pulled four singles out of my wallet and flopped 'em down in the Wal-mart cashier's mitts, and in hindsight, may have overpayed by two or three of those.Towards...
That rotten rutabaga has a funny shape to it, huh.
After being bloodily shat out by a rotund meat processing plant worker, who abruptly croaks on the floor in a blecchy puddle in the melee, and rescued from being garbage-chucked, by Luda Mae(Allison Marich), who takes the deformed little bastard home as one of her own, we see a credit montage of a grown up Tommy Hewitt(Andrew Bryniarski) doing odd things to animals and their skins, in particular, as a newspaper headline tells us the town is going belly up, leading to lay-offs at the meat packing plant, where the repugnant-pussed Leatherface-to-be has great difficulty comprehending he's suddenly out of a job, despite the best insults of his employers.Next, we see Eric(Matthew Bomer) pirating around in a motel pool with a knife in his yap, before driving off to re-enlist for Vietnam with his younger brother, Dean(Taylor Handley), who's just been drafted, but secretly plans on ducking out on his responsibility to his country, to Mexico, somewhere along the ride.Meanwhile, back at the plant, Tommy pulverizes the boss' legbones with a sledgehammer before laying a serious Wile E. Coyote headshot on the whimpering floored coot, the same no good feller whut threw Ugly Tommy in th' traish, all them yurrs ago.When Sheriff Winston(Lew Temple) comes to the Hewitt's door with an arrest warrant, Charlie(R. Lee Ermey) tags along for the ride, later blowing the sheriff away and adopting his blood-speckled uniform and badge, and declaring the family's struggles over as they all sit down to eat Winston's remains.After a classic exploitative run in with bikers leaves one exploded cow and their Jeep totalled, Dean, Eric, and their respective arm decorations, Chrissie and Bailey(Jordana Brewster, Diora Baird), find themselves at the mercy of the faux-sheriff, who blows away a female biker and, after glimpsing Dean's partially burned draft card, orders the three wreck-battered youths into his cruiser, while Chrissie watches helplessly from the cover of some nearby tall grass.She stows away in Monty's(Terrence Evans) tow truck, while Charlie and his adoptive brother, Tommy see to their new house guests...
"Okay! Okay! Tell Gallagher II he'll get his money!!"
At the Hewitt's place, Eric and Dean find themselves strung up in the barn, while Charlie gleefully mocks and berates them, partially smothering Eric with a plastic sheet, and billyclubbing the fuck out of conscientious objector, Dean, as he tries to accomplish some freedom-based push ups(as if he was reprising some drill sargeant character he previously portrayed in some other movie, I dunno).There's an attempted escape that nets Bailey a meathook in the tit-shelf, Dean, a bear-trapped foot, and Eric gets K.T.F.O.ed with a shotgun, while Chrissie has enlisted the help of Holden, the biker who's unknowingly looking for his dead old lady, and the unlikely pair pay the Hewitts a social call that night.Chrissie finds Eric strapped to a table with a few bits missing as Holden straddles Tommy's buzzsaw to a minced up end.With Chrissie hiding under the table, Tommy does Eric proper with his soon-to-be trademark implement, spraying her with his lifestuff before removing the boy's fac-piece and wearing it like a mask.Charlie remarks that he likes Tommy's new toy and new grill, before ordering him to hack off both of Monty's legs when they look uneven after an impromptu single leg chainsaw amputation.Chrissie gets herself caught, and finds herself the centerpiece of an insane dinner(oh, sweet originality) complete with human entrées, throats slashed with scissors, busted fronts, and a chainsaw impaling, before the desperate girl can escape the carnage in a car that's parked out front.As she's coming up on a state trooper and a citation he's pulled over, Leatherface inexplicably pops up in the rearview mirror, running Chrissie through at the labonza with his chainsaw from the backseat, you know, the one she apparently didn't hear him revving up back there, causing her to plough into the traffic on the roadside in a brutal crash, from which he emerges unscathed, to walk along down the scorching Texas highway with chainsaw in tow, as we hear the narrator(John "Night Court" Larroquette, again, nice touch) attribute some thirty murders to the Hewitts(Weren't they the Sawyers?), and utter the titular line in describing them.
"This is for Archie Bunker, ya draft dodgin' pinko!", sez Leatherpuss.
Of course, a new Chainsaw pic is in the works, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, scheduled for release in January of '13, from a screenplay written by Adam Marcus, who you might remember as the director of Jason Goes to Hell:The Final Friday(1993), though I'm sure most choose to try and forget(good thing we'll be covering it next here at the Wop, huh, kiddies...), and featuring John "Grandpa" Dugan and Bill "Choptop" Moseley, as well as cameos by Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns.As unnecessary as it undoubtedly is, it'll probably do well at the box office, and I'll eventually see it, too, no matter how much I might piss and moan about it along the way.As exhausted as the whole premise is by now, I still don't mind seeing it from time to time, whether by revisiting the original, one of my all-time faves, or by enduring the latest overhyped sludgefest bearing the TCM stamp and hoping it's not a total scareless waste of time, you know, kinda like Beginning ended up being.I've written entirely enough about it, already.One Wop.
S'alright 'face(Andrew Bryniarski), my attention walked out about ten minutes in.

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