Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (2013) movie review

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) d. Luessenhop, John (USA)

What to say, what to say? It’s been nearly 40 years since Tobe Hooper’s original insta-classic roared onto drive-in movie screens, a low budget masterpiece that has overshadowed anything he or anyone else involved have done since. But after three middlin’ sequels of varying quality, 2003’s Platinum Dunes reboot and ensuing ’06 prequel to said reboot, there seems little point in trying to preserve the integrity of the sacred Saw. This latest studio cashgrab starts off promisingly, setting itself up as a direct sequel to the events of the 1974 flick (even having the cojones to use Hooper’s actual footage in its opening sequence), with a Law vs. Saw(yer) face-off occurring presumably not too long after that pickup truck brought Marilyn Burns’ hysterical Sally into the next Texas burg over. Cameos from Gunnar Hansen, Bill Moseley and John Dugan offer a little goodwill, but after local redneck Paul Rae’s lynch mob instigates a clan-crisping bloodbath inferno, we’re launched into the present day world and the whole thing goes kerplooey.

Seems hot young thang Alexandra Daddario is the orphaned offspring of the Sawyer clan, a mere babe the night the shite went down. But now she’s grown up, filled out, hooked up with sweet brown sugarman Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson, and about to find out she’s inherited her long-lost grandmother’s estate back in Sawyerville (or whatever the town’s called). Grab skanky two-timin’ friend Tania Raymonde, girl, time for a road trip! When they get there, guess who’s living in the basement? (I’d post a spoiler alert if I thought I was spoiling anything, but anyone who doesn’t see this coming has bigger problems to worry about.)

This is probably as good a time as any to mention the colossal logistical goof the THREE credited screenwriters make by setting the action in our ever-lovin’ iPhone era. If the action takes place in 2012, and we all know the original film took place in 1974, then that means… Yep, Leatherface (Dan Yeager) should be at least 60, and young Daddario should be pushing 40. But nope, she’s a hot young twentysomething and while we never get a glimpse behind the skin mask, I’m guessing there’s maybe a touch of gray if that. How did this get past EVERYONE involved? (Edit: A friend just told me that if you look on the gravestones in one scene, it shows that the events of the original film were magically transported to 1989. If that was Luessenhop’s angle, he definitely needed to be selling that element hard, like ice water in the tundra.)

The rest is the expected parade of screaming bimbos, brainless buzzing and boneheaded plot points that should keep you occupied until you reach the bottom of the popcorn bag. It’s not good by a long shot, but it’s also too simpleminded to cause any true offense. I know, I know, considering how much invective I spilled toward Marcus Nispel’s ridonkulous remake back in ’03, I suppose I should be a little more outraged. But whether it’s that I’m too inured by the past decade’s cavalcade of endless reboots or Luessenhop’s take is just slightly less pretentious, I’m surprisingly not.

Bottom line, this one doesn’t deserve to carry its namesake’s dirty leavings (and let’s not even get into the dropping of both “The” and “Massacre”), but it’s just dumb enough to be fun. If all you want are some hot asses screaming their heads off while buzzsaws tear through metal and flesh – all in the third dimension – then what the hell? Who am I to talk anyone out of giving their hard-earned cash to the heartless studio bitches? (In case you were pursing your lips to ask, nope, I bought my ticket for This Is 40 and then strolled on afterwards. Sue me.)


  1. Whoa! A full-length review? Nicely played sir. Actually you kind of just made me want to go see it. Is the 3D good? Does it pop out of the screen or is it a sloppy conversion?

    Oh, and I turned off the captcha on my blog by your request a long time ago. *ahem* hint, hint...

    1. Dear god in heaven, I never meant to inspire anyone...

      The 3D is decent, comparable to the MY BLOODY VALENTINE redux. I'm pretty sure it was shot in 3D, so it played pretty well. Lots of shots of chainsaws and broken glass comin' atcha.

      Do I still have that thing on? Sheesh. I was getting spammed for a while following the BIFFF, but it's been a while. I'll give it another whirl.

  2. So, according to this film, the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre took place in 1989, three years after its sequel? Now that's impressive.