STUDIO: Lionsgate
MSRP: $39.93
RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

• Eight Making of Featurettes
• Three Audio Commentary Tracks
• Alternate Opening, Trailer

The Pitch

A teenage midriff inherits a mansion with Leatherface locked in the basement.

The Humans

Directed by John Luessenhop, starring Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, and Bill Moseley.

The Nutshell

Just when no one was asking for it…BAM! They reboot the Texas Chainsaw franchise. Although the film plays to some fan service, it really doesn’t rise above it’s Platinum Dune predecessors until the final act, when it goes completely batshit. But the insanity isn’t enough to save it from being a thoroughly mediocre teen slasher.

The Lowdown

That ol' Sawyer midriff.

That ol’ Sawyer midriff.

A lot of horror fans agree that Marcus Nispel’s 2003 remake Texas Chainsaw Massacre was just a bad dream. We all musta been drugged in a our sleep by Platinum Dunes interns and hallucinated that film. To help swipe the slate clean of that nightmare, along comes Texas Chainsaw 3D, which acts as a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper’s 1974 masterpiece. The only problem is that it screws up the continuity of Hooper’s 1986 black comedy sequel – a genuinely underrated film that’s developed one helluva deserved cult following over the years.

According to Texas Chainsaw 3D, the Cook died in 1974. He’s played by Bill Moseley here instead of Jim Siedow, so are we just supposed to forget that Chop Top ever existed? Ah hell. Nobody wants the Texas Chainsaw canon all muddled up, so let’s just review this bitch.

TXC3D opens with some iconic footage from the original, which was my favorite part in 3D. Seeing all those old, unforgettable images pop outta the screen was really cool and very well done. Then it picks up with the Sawyer family going to the mattresses against the sheriff and a gang of local shitkickers. It’s kinda cool to see Gunnar Hansen and Bill Moseley hanging out in the old Sawyer house. Even if it doesn’t make sense.

Th ol' Sawyer meat hook trick.

Th ol’ Sawyer meat hook trick.

The gang of vigilante rednecks shoot up the Sawyers and torch the house. It’s a real massacre, you could say – even though they took “massacre” out of the title, along with “the.” Kids like more streamlined titles nowadays, I guess. While the rednecks are digging through the rubble, one guy finds the sweetest booty of them all: a baby. Real nonchalantly the guy sneaks it away to his way wife before the others see it and get jealous. Shooting up a family and burning their house down always kicks in those parental instincts, y’know?

20 years or so later and the baby is all grown up and named Heather (Alexandra Daddario). She works in the meat department of a grocery store and has no idea she’s adopted. Then her grandma dies and leaves her a huge mansion in Newt, TX. Along with her friends, included her lover played by rap sensation Trey Songz, she travels to Newt to sign the papers and check out the mansion, which comes with Leatherface locked in the basement at no extra charge.

He gets out, naturally, and the remainder of the film is basically a bloody chase scene. It’s a welcome change since up until this point, the film consists of Heather and her moronic friends being very annoying and very stupid – in true bad-horror film fashion. Once Leatherface gets out of the basement, they continue being annoying and stupid, but at least none of them stick around for too long.

This one might be a new trick.

This one might be a new trick.

They make all sorts of stupid mistakes expected of teens in horror films. The most glaring is how Heather is given a letter from her grandma in the beginning, when she initially finds out about the inheritance. She doesn’t actually read the letter until after the bloodbath is over, which sure would’ve helped prevent it.

Once the chase begins and Leatherface starts sawing through teen midriffs, the film became surprisingly fun. I know a lot of people hated this film, but I’ll be damned if I I wasn’t entertained for the last half. It was great to see Leatherface do his thing in public, which made the carnival scene so fun. The final act is especially entertaining, when Heather realizes she’s Leatherface’s cousin and they team up to get revenge on the rednecks. It was too absurd and over-the-top not to enjoy. Hell, at one point she even says “Do your thing, cuz!” and throws him a weapon. C’mon, that’s some ridiculously funny shit right there.

So the best I can say about Texas Chainsaw 3D is that it’s tolerable and sometimes laughable, which isn’t a bad thing. If a shitty reboot to a beloved film isn’t good, at least it can make ya laugh.

The Package

And this is definitely a new trick. And ridiculous.

And this is definitely a new trick. And ridiculous.

Lionsgate presents Texas Chainsaw 3D in 1080p HD in 2.40:1 widescreen. It’s an impressive presentation with poppy colors and deep blacks. Detail in some parts is insane. I’m not a big 3D fan, but overall it’s pretty good. The chainsaw “in your face” moments are effective as are the more organic moments of spatial depth.

There are three separate commentary tracks on the disc, including one with Tobe Hooper. The most entertaining is the “Chainsaw Alumni” track featuring Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, and John Dugan. If you’re just looking for a good time without all the technical insight, check out that one.

Texas Chainsaw Legacy” is a short featurette with Hooper discussing the original film. Various people involved with the new one speak up too. Nothing too juicy here.

“Resurrecting the Saw” has several cast members and the producers talking about the reboot. It kinda sucks to hear producers state that their goal was to “restart a franchise.” You know they’re only interested in money, it’s not because they adore the Chainsaw universe.

“The Old Homestead” looks at how they reconstructed the original house for the redneck vigilante scene in the beginning.

Ok, so there’s six other brief features. Ground that is covered includes casting, the 3D elements, special effects, and Leatherface actor Dan Yeager. Also included are an alternate opening, trailer, and a holographic cover where Leatherface twitches a lot.


Out of a Possible 5 Stars