Monday, May 8, 2017

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) 1h 30m

One of the things I've always liked about our iconic monsters was the fact that we were given a quick back-story but had the assumption that these characters were different and evil to begin with.  Jason had deformities.  He was picked on and eventually murdered at summer camp.  Freddy was a child molester and murderer that was then hunted down and burned alive.  Leatherface came from a bunch of weird rednecks that were cannibals and he was based on the killer Ed Gein.

At some point in the mid-to-late 00's horror films felt the need to humanize these characters more, to further develop their backstory.  It's something I feel was unnecessary because every gap we filled in with our imagination was most likely scarier than anything that ended up coming out.  I want my monsters to be monsters, not humans.

So why this rant?  TCH:TB gave what was probably the dumbest set of scenes to set up Leatherface's background.  It starts with a meat inspector in a slaughterhouse going into labor/dying on the work floor while newborn Leatherface climbs out of her lady parts.  The baby is ugly so he's wrapped in meat paper and then thrown in the dumpsters out back.  He's later found by Mama who is going through trash for raw meat scraps to eat.  She takes him home and they keep him.

That's it.  Ugly meat baby adopted from dumpster.

Anyway, our protagonists are two couples where one brother is reenlisting and the other is drafted for Vietnam.  They end up in a wreck while someone I can only describe as Sarah Connor chases them down to rob them.  Maybe the cow they hit was sent back by Skynet to stop Matt Bomer from reenlisting.  The "father" of the family, now posing as a police officer, comes upon them, kills Sarah Connor which sets up Doomsday since she can't give birth to Edward Furlong now.  You can guess what really happens.  It's not like this varies much from the formula.

Now, the Vietnam war lasted from about '54/'55 until '75.  This movie has the feeling of wanting to be set in the 70's but is very obviously being made in 2000's.  It's so bad that even with the period pieces I couldn't buy it wasn't modern.  Couple this with the shit-ass back story and this movie was a hot turd.  There are some shining moments in this film.  First, some of the gore is great.  One of the girls gets pulled out of a moving vehicle by Leatherface sticking a meat hook in her shoulder and yanking her out.  It was one of those scenes you tense because you can feel it as you see it.  There's also a post-kill with the chainsaw where our boy Leatherface just swings the chainsaw so the body on it slides off and thuds into a wall.  It sounds simple but the shot is great.

Overall, despite liking some of the reboots or remakes, I wish my monsters were still just monsters...  not dumpster fuglies.

I give The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning 2 dumpsters out of 5:

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