Believe it or not, I had a difficult time finding the original 1974 version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Someone needs to give me a direct line to Toby Hooper, because damn! After exhausting every online resource, including video stores, I decided to watch the 2003 remake.
The film starts with old-school news footage of the Travis County police department, who are investigating a gruesome murder scene on the property of the Hewitt residence. The story takes place on a hot summer day in Texas, August of 1973, and revolves around 5 young adults; Erin, Morgan, Pepper, Andy and Kemper. While driving down a rural road in the backwoods, they come across a girl wandering on the side of the road. They pick her up, where she begins to rant about how “they’re all dead” and something about a “madman”. She then pulls out a gun and kills herself.
Shocked and horrified, the group pulls into a nearby gas station and asks where they can find the local sheriff, to report the suicide. They are told they can meet with him at a mill up the street. There they find a scared, dirty little boy who leads them to the sheriff’s house, not to far from the mill. They are greeted by an older gentleman with no legs, sitting in a wheel chair. Kemper enters the house to look around, only to be attacked by Leatherface, a large disfigured chainsaw wielding man. He is dragged into an incredibly dark, vile basement, where he is hung from his feet. Realizing that Kemper has been gone for a while, the rest of the gang goes searching for him. They are chased throughout the house by Leatherface, chainsaw in hand. Andy is quickly caught by Leatherface and hung up on a meat hook to die a slow death.
As the girls run for their lives, Erin finds a trailer home in the woods, where she meets two clearly disturbed ladies and a baby. They offer her a cup of tea, which she later realizes is poisoned. After gaining consciousness, Erin finds herself in the basement of the house, where she finds Andy barely alive on the meat hook. She tries to release him to no avail. He begs her to end his suffering, which she hesitantly does by stabbing him in the stomach. She then finds Morgan, sitting in a bathtub filled with blood and dirty water. After playing a game of cat and mouse with Leatherface, Erin manages to hack off Leatherface’s arm with a hacksaw and escapes.
She runs to a nearby road and is picked up by a trucker. He drives her back to the original gas station they first stopped at in the beginning of the movie. Feeling stuck in a never-ending horrific loop, she manages to hotwire a car and escape, with the baby from the trailer in tow.
The film finishes with further old-school film footage, as the narrator explains how the crimes at the Hewitt residence have never been solved, and remains a cold case. The final shot is a picture of potential suspect Thomas Hewitt – taken by a camera right after he brutally murdered the investigative cops.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Recommendation: I have to admit, this film bored me. Because I haven’t seen the original, I have nothing to compare it to, but still. Yawn. The story is overplayed – a bunch of sexed-up dope smoking kids that get lost in an unfamiliar town. Sure, being chased by a chainsaw-wielding psycho is enough to make you crap your pants, but where’s the personality? Hell, even Freddy Krueger had enough spunk to keep things interesting. And I really didn’t care enough about the main characters to empathize their murders. Even Jessica Biel running around in a wet tank top couldn’t keep my interest. And finally, I was expecting much more gore for a 2003 flick. We’ve come so far in that area since 1974, so what the hell? Sorry, I guess after watching the remake of Evil Dead, I expected more. I like my horror like I like my hockey – BLOOD BLOOD BLOOD!
Oh, one more thing – why the hell did Erin feel the need to kidnap the kid at the end?! Like, what was she going to do with him? Meh…..whatever. I’m glad I watched it, but sorry kids, wasn’t impressed. Next!
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