03 October 2015

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING/2006

This is yet another chapter in the life of Texas born and inbred cannibals the Hewitt family. Contrary to how the narration sounds this is in no way a true story. It is a patchwork of serial killing cases (such as Wisconsin’s Ed Gein) all wove together but there has never been a real Hewitt family in Texas. I lived most of my life in and around San Antonio Texas and so some of the landscapes and stereotypes are familiar to me. I have never seen so much road kill as in Texas and the sweltering heat and road kill are what I remember most sometimes. There are expanses of land that seem all but unexplored by civilized folk from places like New York City and it seems far from inconceivable that some family of fruitcakes like this might be hidden out there somewhere.

So the deep plot here if you do not already know it before you even see the movie is that this family of twisted degenerates get a hold of yet another car load of hippies and kill them off one by one in assorted gruesome fashions, usually with sledgehammers and chainsaws, but sometimes even a shotgun. The story line here goes a bit under the surface and tells the story of lovable Tommy “Leatherface” Hewitt. I do not really know if we need to know the story of little Tommy but there it is for us. It even shows how he made his first mask of human flesh and this touched his uncle (R. Lee Ermey) who tells him how much he likes it. There is nothing much new here at all but the movie is not a total waste of your time if you like this sort of thing. I guess it is more exciting to someone who not seen a thousand or so of these things. The hippies all look like they are from the 90’s really and murder for murder most of these later Chainsaw flicks still are not as cool as the first low budget Tobey Hooper one for some reason. Maybe simply because they all are doing what the first one did over and over, and yet, honestly, what else would you want them to do right? I have seen them all and this one works well enough as a follow up to the remake a few years ago
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The movie follows the trend of a lot of newer slasher movies where there is no hero or heroine who survives at the end. Maybe this is suppose to convey some sort of message about the ultimate meaningless of life and that evil wins out over good in the real world, I just don’t know. I just find it sort of pointless to sit through an entire movie and have everyone killed off one by one and not have one person end up alive, even if they are in an insane asylum babbling to themselves. The movie is not really scary and there are no big surprises but it is well made and the acting is good over all. Ermey is redneckishly loathsome as the “cop” but the rest of the family is not too strange here (well, not compared to my own anyway). We learn why he is a cop and we learn why the guy in the remake has no legs, but the characters are not really that strange. Not as strange as the ones in Rob Zombie’s Devil's Rejects films that are basically the same story. It is not a super great movie of the genre but is not too bad either and has some "fun" moments.Not for the squeamish or vegetarians.
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