texas_chainsaw_massacre_3dThe opening credits/pre-title scene is the best part of Texas Chainsaw 3-D. In a stagey little box we see the “origin” of Leatherface and his jacked up family. It’s kind of neat. It’s also not all that great but knowing what’s to come after with the gift of hindsight it’s fucking amazing.

In a genre filled with insanely dumb movies this one is one of the dumbest. Whether it’s the tidy little backwoods universe the filmmakers have cooked up where decades of slaughter can be swept under the rug while everyone involved somehow rises to power or the ridiculousness of Leatherface himself, dumb is in plentiful supply here. Even the rather lunkheaded reputation some regions of Texas have pale in comparison to this retarded populace. Back in the day a family of loonies who protected their mentally challenged cross-dressing cannibal murderer (Mr. L. Face) against a group of citizens bent on revenge. The leader of that vigilante group is the mayor of this backwater hamlet. The cop who watched powerlessly as they burned and shot to death an entire family is now chief of police. The surviving baby from the skirmish has been taken in by one of the vigilantes and raised as his own. But she’s related to Leatherface! And when she comes of age she inherits the house Leatherface has been kept in! In a secret room! For decades!

She brings her awful friends to her fancy new house (including the awful Trey Songz) to get absolutely slaughtered. The same house everyone in town is scared of. The same house where the executor of her Aunt’s will tells her to read a letter from her Aunt before entering. Because there’s a retarded Ed Gein-alike in the basement. Leatherface is freed. Leatherface saws people up and down until they’re just little meats. Leatherface awkwardly sews faces onto his own. There isn’t one good scare nor gross-out from legendary makeup genius Greg Nicotero.

It’s as by-the-numbers as it gets but wait… there is a giant chunk of dumb still waiting.

This girl finds out about the slaughter of Leatherface’s (and her) family and decides that the REAL villain of the piece is the mayor. Now this guy is a redneck loser but the only people he’s killed were a deranged unit of people who chose protecting their serial killer over justice. The real villain isn’t the villain with the chainsaw who has turned her three best friends into like seventeen best friends.

When Leatherface is dead to rights and about to be meat grindered by the mayor… she frees him. The mayor becomes meat grinded. She decides to take over the maintenance and feeding of Leatherface. Like a retarded puppy with a man face in her basement. By the way her best friend and boyfriend’s parts are still down there. The cop who let bad things happen back in the day? He watches AGAIN. Then he tells her to “clean this mess up”. Worst cop ever?

Worst movie ever?

Leatherface the horror icon.

Leatherface is a loser. His whole family has to get shot up and burned alive to facilitate his escape as a youth and he has to have an old woman handle his room and board and feeding for over two decades. All the while he’s wearing dresses and sewing faces onto his faces and doing very little for the local economy aside from being an urban legend and getting fat and weird. He is child-like, which is cute in actual mentally impaired people because it shows us how we ought to be rather than so angsty and cynical. But it’s not cute in Leatherface because he’s wearing a dress and is excessively picky about power tools. Leatherface is just douche.

Best things about the film.

Alexandra Daddario’s midriff is exposed throughout the whole film and it’s delightful. She also knockerteases but never gives up the goods.

Time travel.

In the 70’s the baby Leatherface cousin or niece or whatever is claimed and raised by rednecks. In the 2010’s she inherits the murder mansion. The actress playing this character was born in 1986 and looks it. So, either her college campus has Ponce De Leon’s fountain or the filmmakers are dumb. Oh right. They’re dumb.

A message for parents.

In today’s news a lot of attention is being given to troubled kids not getting dealt with before they cause harm. We live in a world where a scary kid can give everyone red flags and they’re not imprisoned or heavily tested until they commit a crime. Usually when they do commit a crime, it’s too late to save a bunch of lives. We really need to talk about Kevin.

Well, look at this scintillating piece of media. Leatherface was allowed to do shitty things as a youth and no one finished the job. Now Trey Songz is half. There’s a lesson there.

Neat trivia.

This movie made almost more money in its opening weekend than Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark made in its entire run.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars

Nick On… Is my new ongoing movie review column. The goal is to distill things a little and make it a little more playful and easier to digest rather than the long form. Hope you like. Please let me know what you think as there will be many of these coming and the goal always is to improve. Please share and whatnot.

– Nick (Twitter, Facebook)

Previously: The Impossible. John Dies at the End.