The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 1.28.13 Issue #243: Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #243: Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that is pretty sure there’s nothing going on in the basement, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and forty-three, I take a look at the 2013 horror sequel Texas Chainsaw 3D, directed by John Luessenhop.
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
Texas Chainsaw 3D, the seventh overall Chainsaw movie, is meant to be a direct sequel to the Tobe Hooper directed 1974 original. Chainsaw 3D starts out with a montage of significant events from the original, helping to set the stage for 3D‘s main story. Apparently, right after Sally escaped Leatherface’s chainsaw at the end of the original, the town of Newt decided it had enough of the Sawyer family’s cannibalism nonsense and set out to exact revenge. Under the leadership of Burt Hartman (Paul Rae), the town first wants the family to give up Leatherface (he’s apparently also known as Jed). The family, led by Gunnar Hansen and Bill Moseley in nifty cameos, refuse. The town then decides to burn the Sawyer family house down and shoot every sonofabitch in there. Sheriff Hooper (the great Thom Barry, sort of looking like Yaphet Kotto’s stunt double here), a man of peace, tries to urge patience and caution, but the town doesn’t want to hear it. The town wants the Sawyer family dead. In the aftermath of the “massacre,” Gavin Miller (David Born) finds a still living Sawyer woman with a baby. Miller steals the baby and kills the Sawyer woman, as Miller’s wife Arlene (Sue Rock) is apparently keen on having a child of her own.
The story then moves to “modern times,” where we meet Heather (Alexandra Daddario), a hip and edgy college chick with family issues. She doesn’t particularly care for her Mom and Dad, and they really don’t care all that much for her (Arlene is a little more attentive to Heather, but she isn’t what you’d call a loving person. Gavin is a drunken asshole). At the same time she finds out that she was essentially adopted, Heather also finds out that a rich old woman (Verna, embodied by the Marilyn Burns, who we just saw at the beginning of the movie as the escaping Sally) has left her a massive estate in Newt. Figuring she has nothing to lose, Heather decides to go check the house out. She brings along her friends (Ryan, as played by Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson, Nikki, as played by Tania Raymonde, and Kenny, as played by Keram Malicki-Sanchez, and eventually a hitchhiker named Daryl, as played by Shaun Sipos). It’s going to be a great time.
So, of course, it isn’t a good time. Hartman, now Newt’s mayor, wants to buy Verna’s estate from Heather as soon as she identifies herself. The police (discounting Sheriff Hooper) are kind of creepy (Carl, as played by Scott Eastwood, is a gigantic douchebag). And Verna’s lawyer, Farnsworth (Richard Riehle), is kind of shifty about what this estate business is all about. On top of all that, Daryl isn’t the nice guy he claims to be (he tries to rob Heather and her friends when they leave the house to go into town to get supplies for a cookout).
Oh, and there’s a secret passageway that leads into a kind of sub-basement, a very creepy, messed up sub-basement. I don’t think I need to spell out what, precisely, is down there.
The first two thirds of Texas Chainsaw 3D is pretty decent. The set up is intriguing, the town is creepy (just what the heck is going on there? Why the heck is the big town carnival such a, well, big deal?), and the eventual reveal of Leatherface is messed up stuff. There are some nifty moments of suspense, some excellent gore, and an almost naked Tania Raymonde. Even the 3D is pretty good (a chainsaw coming at you is always an experience). The movie takes a nosedive, though, when Heather finds out what really happened to the Sawyer family. After that moment, the movie becomes hopelessly stupid. Why?
The movie wants us to believe that Heather is very angry about what happened to the Sawyer family (she reads a bunch of police reports and newspaper clippings while at the police station), and the movie wants the audience to sympathize with the Sawyer family and feel sorry for them because they were massacred by Burt and the Newt townsfolk. It’s complete bullshit.
First off, why would Heather, after watching her friends get completely destroyed by Leatherface, feel a sudden bond with him? For Christ’s sake he tried to kill her while she hid in a coffin! Why the fuck would she be suddenly okay with all of that shit? And second, the Sawyer family is a clan of psychotic, violent cannibals. Why the fuck would the world not commend Hartman and the others in town for wiping out A FAMILY OF FUCKING CANNIBALS!
THE SAWYERS ARE FUCKING MURDERERS AND CANNIBALS! Let me repeat that. THEY’RE A FAMILY OF FUCKING MURDERERS AND CANNIBALS! WHY WOULDN’T I WANT TO SHAKE HARTMAN’S HAND AND GIVE HIM A FUCKING MEDAL? WHY? WHY WOULD I NOT WANT TO WATCH LEATHERFACE GET PUSHED THROUGH A GIANT MASHER? WHY? AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE? DID LEATHERFACE NOT KILL ALL OF HEATHER’S FRIENDS AND CHOP THEM UP, ETC? WHY DOES THAT SHIT SUDDENLY STOP COUNTING?
As for the Sheriff, why does he condone what happened to everyone that the Sawyer family butchered? Because that’s exactly what he ends up doing. Why is he a shining example of moral rectitude? Because he didn’t want to set fire to the chainsaw wielding killer cannibal retard? He just wanted to arrest them? I mean, if he, like everyone else in town, knew what the Sawyer’s were really up to, why isn’t he the villain?
I’m confused. Am I not hip enough to understand this?
The performances are, by and large, pretty good. Daddario is good as Heather. You root for her right up until the point she goes insane. Raymonde is fucking hot as Nikki (you won’t blame Ryan one bit for what he does. Not one bit). And Neverson does a good job as Ryan. Malicki-Sanchez isn’t in the movie long enough for you to form a lasting impression, but you’ll cringe at what happens to him (I know I did). And Sipos just oozes sleaze as Daryl the hitchhiker (am I the only one who thought he might be a Sawyer, too?).
Paul Rae is good as Burt Hartman (the man’s a hero). David Born, despite the whole being an asshole drunk thing, is good as Gavin Miller, Heather’s father. The great Richard Riehle does his usual good job as Farnsworth the lawyer (he doesn’t get ripped apart like he did in Hatchet). And Thom Barry, despite my misgivings about his character, does a good job as Sheriff Hooper. I wouldn’t mind seeing him play a Sheriff Hooper type character in a sort of side sequel that takes place in the 1970’s and features him taking on Texas drug runners or something. I bet he’d kick ass in that kind of movie. And Dan Yeager does a good job as Leatherface.
And then there’s James MacDonald as Officer Marvin. He does a good job, sure, but the way his character plays out is ridiculous. I mean, why would Marvin go into the house, alone? It just bullshit, even for a horror movie.
I can’t say that I’m disappointed with how Texas Chainsaw 3D turned out. I liked most of it, but that last third of the movie is just total bullshit. It doesn’t make any sense.
Do I want to see a sequel? Well, yeah. I’m a horror movie nerd. I’ll see whatever they decide to churn out. And I’m sort of curious to see how the producers progress from the end of the movie. What the hell is a Texas Chainsaw 3D Part 2 going to look like? What the hell would it even be about?
Like I said. If someone wants to make another one, I’ll end up seeing it. Just try to make a better movie next time. There’s nothing wrong with a horror movie making sense.
Only see Texas Chainsaw 3D if you really feel the need to. You’re probably better off waiting for it to hit DVD. It’ll be easier to be outraged at home.
THEY’RE A FAMILY OF FUCKING MURDERERS AND CANNIBALS! MURDERERS AND CANNIBALS! JESUS CHRIST!
MURDERERS AND CANNIBALS!
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: 10 +
Explosions: Almost. The Sawyer family house gets messed up.
Nudity?: Almost. Tania Raymonde is fucking hot.
Doobage: A 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre opening titles montage, a Molotov cocktail, house on fire, a massive shootout, a burned up chainsaw, face kicking, baby stealing, meat cutting, crepe talk, bone art, an interracial make out session, a sock with holes in it, fucking around in a van, buying junk food with a credit card, a dead armadillo, a letter and a business card, nice thighs, a big fucking key, a sweet red felt pool table, a family cemetery, attempted burglary, a hidden door, a hidden hallway, a series of big doors that lead to other big doors, pocket knife breaking, face bashing, steak grilling, drinking, pot smoking, blood on the floor, metal hook through the back, an off screen sex session, a very dead body, finger cutting, a finger bowl, leg removal by chainsaw, person hung on a meat hook, attempted coffin hiding place, rifle hooey, attempted metal gate smashing, a destroyed tire, van flipping, body crushing, thigh cutting, a carnival, a ferris wheel, chainsaw throwing, a box filled with old newspaper clippings, a bunch of cell phone camera hooey, another trail of blood, more bone art, cross dressing, a mask made out of human skin, axe to the back, bloody face removal, mask making, vehicular assault, a cabinet filled with chainsaws, an old abandoned slaughterhouse, tape bondage, villain beating, attempted strangulation via gigantic chain, Achilles tendon cutting, hand removal, a big ass meat grinder, letter reading, and an after the credits moment that kind of works (kind of).
Kim Richards?: Attempted, in a way.
Gratuitous:Montage of scenes from the 1974 original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Thom Berry wearing a wig that makes him look like Yaphet Kotto, Gunnar Hanson, Bill Moseley, guys with guns, house burning, massive massacre, bay stealing, a sock with holes in it, Texas, a dead armadillo, Richard Riehle, a letter and a business card, a big fucking key, a sweet red felt pool table, a family cemetery, a hitchhiker named Daryl, a hidden door, pocket knife breaking, face smashing, a birthmark, metal hook to the back, leg removal, a man gets chainsawed in half, off screen barn sex, a metal gate that the heroes can’t drive through, van flipping, thigh cutting, a Texas carnival, chainsaw throwing, a box filled with old newspaper clippings, a bunch of cell phone camera hooey, a finger bowl, human bone art, axe to the back, bloody face removal, “Jimmy Crack Corn,” mask making, a cabinet filled with chainsaws, an abandoned slaughterhouse, tape bondage, attempted strangulation via gigantic chain, Achilles tendon cutting, hand removal, a big ass meat grinder, letter reading, and an after the credits moment that kind of works (kind of).
Best lines: “Give ’em the boy. He’s simple, anyway,” “Eye for an eye, sheriff. Can’t get around the Good Book,” “Come on, what were you thinking?,” “That’s really cool art,” “Texas, here we go!,” “I should probably sue. But I’ll settle for a piece of that jerky,” “It’s a mansion!,” “This is definitely worth coming home to,” “Hey, Burt, wish I had a swing like that in my backyard,” “In town for the carnival?,” “Daryl ripped us off!,” “Welcome to Texas motherfucker!,” “Wait for the gate to open!,” “Hey, you country fuck!,” “Drop the fucking saw!,” “I think it may be Jed,” “Copy that, sir, but a chainsaw don’t make you bullet proof,” “What the hell is this?,” “I’m getting a bad feeling here,” “Ladies makeup? What a fruitcake,” “That little bitch!,” “Stop the fucking car!,” “You know, I thought you were pretty cute,” “You’re a Hartman? I’m a Sawyer!,” “Do your thing, cos!,” “Can’t get around the Good Book, Burt,” and “Clean this shit up.”
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!
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Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 1
– Seven Psychopaths: This Martin McDonagh flick sort of got lost in the shuffle over the summer (I missed it), but it got some decent reviews, and the cast is about as good as you can get for a movie. The trailer is hilarious, especially the bit with Christopher Walken refusing to put his hands up. Doesn’t that seem like the kind of thing the wacky Christopher Walken would do?
– Paranormal Activity 4: I missed this horror sequel when it was in theatres. I don’t particularly care for this franchise, but I do regret not seeing it in a theatre, with its surround sound and whatnot. That’s what really gets you with these movies. The sound. I can’t duplicate that at home.
– The Cold Light of Day: I saw the trailer for this action flick between a trailer for The Expendables 2 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which is pretty weird when you start to think about it. Is Bruce Willis in every movie now? This movie did get some kind of theatrical release, but I don’t remember anyone raving about it. I’m willing to give it a shot, though. I did like the trailer.
– Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection: And speaking of Bruce Willis, with Die Hard 5 set to be released next month, 20th Century Fox has decided to put out a special 25th anniversary set of the first four Die Hard movies. I’m not sure what kind of special features if any we’re likely to get on this set, but it’s worth getting because it’s, well, Die Hard.
– Citadel: This is apparently some sort of Irish horror flick. You don’t see that kind of thing all that often. It looks pretty messed up.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
Michael Winner 1935-2013 RIP
Do you read Video Watchdog?
If you already do, awesome. If not, what the heck are you waiting for? Published by Tim and Donna Lucas, Video Watchdog has been around since 1990 and features reviews and articles pertaining to all kinds of movies and TV shows but mostly focuses on genre stuff (horror, sci-fi, action, etc.). It comes out every other month and be purchased at various book stores and comic book shops (you can also go to the magazine’s official website to subscribe, buy back issues, and other stuff).
Read Video Watchdog! Yeah!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Tania Raymonde
The Big Question: Would you watch a TV show based on The Hidden?
I just finished watching, for pleasure, the great 1987 sci-fi action horror flick The Hidden, starring Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri. I hadn’t seen it in years (it’s why I taped it off of the Sundance Channel a few years ago when the channel aired it on Halloween night). I forgot how good MacLachlan was in it, I forgot the stripper scene with Claudia Christian where you get to see her ass, I forgot that both Richard Brooks and Larry Cedar were in it, and I forgot how freaking disgusting it was.
Yes, disgusting. The movie, if you haven’t seen it, is all about a malevolent body jumping alien that’s on a crime spree in Los Angeles. The alien loves guns, heavy metal music, fast cars and basically doing whatever it wants. When the alien runs into trouble, like when the police show up and shoot at it, the alien “jumps” into a new body. This “body jumping” involves the alien slithering out of its old body via the mouth and entering its new body through the mouth. Imagine a large eggplant crossed with a worm, a squid, and a big pot of angel hair pasta and you have the alien in question. We only see the alien body jump once, but it’s a scene you’ll never forget. Ever.
After watching The Hidden I got to thinking: with the sort of new emphasis on horror on television, with The Walking Dead kicking ass, Dexter and True Blood still making waves, Criminal Minds still making people watch, and with The Following, The Cult, and Hannibal sort of waiting in the wings (The Following just debuted last week to pretty okay ratings), why hasn’t someone announced “we’re turning The Hidden into a TV show!” Now, I know that 98% of the TV viewing public probably has no idea what The Hidden is, but that shouldn’t be an impediment to creating a show out of it. And, in the run up to its debut episode I’m sure the entertainment media would make everyone aware of the fact that the show is an adaptation of a movie from the late 1980’s.
But think about it: the way the mystery unfolds in the movie would make for a great TV show. Just what the heck is happening here? Why does Los Angeles (or wherever) have a sudden spike in insane lone gunman crime? Who the heck is this weirdbeard FBI guy (MacLachlan’s character in the movie)? And was that really Danny Trejo there (the scene in the jail towards the end of the movie)?
I bet this show, in the right hands, would kick ass and bring in an audience. Cable would probably provide a better fit than a broadcast network, but I think the show could work on either (a broadcast show couldn’t be as gory as a cable show, but it could match cable in the action department). And the show could get all of the movie’s stars to make cameo appearances (I bet Ed O’Ross and Clu Gulager would be happy to do it).
So what do you guys think? Would you watch a TV show based on The Hidden?
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
– Young Riders Complete Season 1: I used to watch this western show when it first aired on ABC. I haven’t seen an episode since (didn’t it run on the old Family Channel at one point?). I’d like to check it out again to see if it’s as good as I remember. And, man, I forgot Josh Brolin was on this show.
– Bat Masterson Complete Season 1: A great old western with a catchy goddamn theme song. I believe the Encore Western channel still airs the show every so often, but that’s not the same as owning the show on DVD. At least then you’ll be able to watch the show whenever you want.
“Back when the West was very young
There lived a man named Masterson
He wore a cane and Derby hat
They called him Bat, Bat Masterson.”
Ha. Try getting that out of your head.
– Noobz: Casper Van Dien and Jason Mewes appear in this low budget comedy about nerds playing video games or something. It looks funny, so I’m willing to give this a rental at some point. Does anyone want to buy this movie outright?
– All Superheroes Must Die: This low budget flick, also apparently known as Vs., comes off like a kind of Saw clone featuring superheroes. It’s a cool idea, and I’m always down for James “Ganz, Albert Ganz” Remar playing a bad guy. Definitely worth checking out.
– The Liability: Yet another British action/comedy about a hitman. The Tim Roth stars. Why the heck would I not want to watch it?
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to the news media, for attempting to make me care about whether or not Beyonce lip synched the national anthem at President Obama’s second inauguration. I personally don’t give a shit if Beyonce lip synched or not, but the media, when it wasn’t telling me about Michelle Obama’s new bangs (you do know the First Lady has a new haircut, right? Right?), tried to make me give a shit. Lip reading experts were brought in, other celebrity singers were questioned about how prevalent “back up tracks” are used, etc. The media was going to get to the bottom of it.
At this moment we still don’t know, definitively, whether or not she lip synched the national anthem. And still, at this moment, I don’t give a shit. And I’m mystified as to why I should care. Can anyone give me an answer on this? Why is this story still incredibly fucking important?
Up next is the news media, for acting as though the Manti Te’o “fake girlfriend” story is actual news. The story barely qualifies as sports news, but there it was, on the world news, as one of the top news stories the other day. Let me repeat that so it sinks in. The Manti Te’o “fake girlfriend” story was one of the top news stories the other day. And now, after the big Katie Couric interview, the news media is asking if Te’o is gay.
Who gives a shit? Why is any of this important? What, precisely, does the media need to get to the bottom of here? The guy had a fake internets girlfriend. The “relationship” ended badly. Life goes on. Well, usually life goes on. Sometimes it gets hijacked by bullshit and turned into an endless speculative loop chock full of more experts. Just what happened here? Is Te’o lying? Why?
Who. The fuck. Cares? Who?
And finally there’s the news media, for wondering out loud “Is Lindsay Lohan now a high priced prostitute?” Her douchebag father Michael apparently said she was. Or something. I’m not really clear on the details. I already know way more about this shit than I need to.
I don’t give a flying fuck if Lindsay Lohan is a high priced prostitute or is thinking about coming one. It’s her life, and if rich sacks of shit want to give her ten grand so they can fuck her in the ass, why is that any of my business? Am I missing something here?
NASCAR and Indycar thoughts
The big news in NASCAR at the moment is Danica Patrick’s love life. The recently divorced Patrick has announced that she’s dating fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. I’m guessing this all started recently (I haven’t read all of the articles and all of the “analysis” on this). My only real concern here is that I hope this relationship doesn’t turn Danica into an ultra right wing Christian wacko. Stenhouse, Jr, while a fine championship winning NASCAR star, is also known as a bit of a Christian loon. NASCAR already has enough of those. The world doesn’t need Danica talking about her Christian faith, blah, blah, blah. That would be just awful (and I’m willing to bet that Matt Kenseth’s move to Gibbs will involve lots and lots of Jesus, since Joe Gibbs is all about Jesus, and Kenseth enjoys telling people at Christmas to “remember we’re celebrating someone’s birthday”).
The new “Gen 6” car is apparently moving along in terms of testing and is apparently race ready. I’m a little concerned about the speeds these new cars seem to be making. The cars went fast enough last year at Daytona. Do we really need cars going more than 200mph by themselves (who the heck knows what they’re going to be doing in the draft)? Only three weeks to go before the Sprint Unlimited!
Over in Indycar, the series announced last week (I saw the announcement on the Speed Channel’s website) that some race lengths will be altered this year to help “improve the show.” In a nutshell, the series wants to eliminate the fuel mileage race and allow its drivers to race hard all race long. Some events (like Long Beach) are losing laps, and some events are gaining laps (I believe Milwaukee is gaining like 50 laps). It sounds like a good idea, at least on paper. I’m not convinced, though, that the major teams aren’t still going to try to stretch fuel and whatnot based on this announcement.
The series also announced that the doubleheader at Belle Isle will not feature standing starts because of the track’s configuration. I wish the series announced that it was eliminating standing starts period. I know the Indycar Series wants to be F1 North America, but that shouldn’t end the flying start tradition. It just shouldn’t.
I didn’t get to see the start of the Rolex 24hrs of Daytona, nor did I get to see any of the “night” coverage offered by Speed on Saturday night (fucking job stopped that). I did get to see some of the race yesterday, though. It got pretty exciting towards the end there, with AJ Allmendinger going for the lead with an hour to go only to lose ground to Juan Pablo Montoya. Montoya ended up winning the overall race for Chip Ganassi, the team’s fifth win in ten years (Montoya shared the win with Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, and Charlie Kimball). Montoya was originally scheduled to drive with the other Ganassi team, which featured Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Jamie McMurray, and Joey Hand (I believe Hand was originally going to be teammates with Pruett and Rojas). That team apparently died overnight when Franchitti had a gearbox failure.
How is this race going to look next year when the cars from the ALMS join the Grand Am Daytona Prototypes? Will a larger overall field lead to better racing? Any sports car nerds out there have any insight on this? Anyone?
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 3
– Cherry Tree Lane: Man, this movie looks messed up. The trailer is still freaking me out. I have got to see this. Anyone out there see this? Is it as good as it looks?
– Bangkok Assassins: Yet another badass Thai action flick. Again, why would I not want to watch it? Even if it doesn’t make sense I bet it’s still awesome.
– The Right to Bear Arms: This is some sort of mega low budget flick about the people involved in the gun business. Or something like that. John Savage is in it. He’s a good actor. His presence makes the movie worth at least a rental.
Well, I think that’ll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there’s anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I’m always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
Alexandra Daddario– Heather Miller
Dan Yeager– Leatherface
Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson– Ryan
Tania Raymonde– Nikki
Scott Eastwood– Carl
Shaun Sipos– Darryl
Keram Malicki-Sanchez– Kenny
James MacDonald– Officer Marvin
Thom Barry– Sheriff Hooper
Paul Rae– Burt Hartman
Richard Riehle– Farnsworth
David Born– Gavin Miller
Sue Rock– Arlene Miller
Marilyn Burns– Verna
Bill Moseley– Drayton Sawyer
Gunnar Hansen– Boss Sawyer
Directed by John Luessenhop
Screenplay by Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, and Kirsten Elms, based on a story by Stephen Susco, Adam Marcus, and Debra Sullivan and characters created by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper
Distributed by Lionsgate and Millenium Films
Rated R for strong grisly violence and language throughout
Runtime– 92 minutes