Well, now that I’ve finally seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), I figured I’d binge the others, including the remakes. There are twelve years between the original movie and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986), but the opening scroll and the narrator said thirteen. The biggest thing I’m noticing from the first/original is the level of cheese is on high in this movie; gotta love the 80s influence.
The merits of this film are entirely different from the oozing darkness in the first. First, the soundtrack is fantastic. Sometimes in the 80s, it felt like the soundtrack was put in place as the focal point of movies, then the film was shot around the tracks. This may or may not have been the case, but the music choices in this film played to the scenes.
The Leatherface mask is fresher skin than from the original, making it almost comical, and it kind of reminds me of the Elephant Man. However, the new one he makes is better, and he gives it to Stretch to wear. Chop Top is hysterical, though I don’t know where he came from, and he keeps the cheese thick in every scene. The gore is different in this edition, too, it’s blatant and unforgiving, making me know that, yeah, this was an 80s film. I enjoyed Stretch’s (Caroline Williams) screams and theatrics; they were almost slapstick.
I like how they ended this one. I give The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II 4 out of 5 stars.
This is another one of those franchises where they change the story just a little. In the previous film’s narration, they said no one was found, but in Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990), they say that W.E. Sawyer stood trial and died in the gas chamber. Um, who now? Sometimes binge-watching isn’t the best for movie franchises such as this because the details are too fresh in my mind.
This film had another character that was a carryover from the previous installment, Stretch. However, her role is that of a TV reporter and lasts only seconds in the beginning. I wonder why they didn’t take her storyline from where 2 left off.
Seriously, how many are there in the Sawyer clan? They added three more “brothers” in this one, “Mamma,” and a little girl, who I have no idea who she is. Anyway, they reduced the cheese significantly in 3, making it more strange and eerie. They also decreased the acting quality, but the suspense and terror levels are good, so I can’t complain too much about the acting. The Leatherface mask is better in this chapter also.
I enjoyed Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III enough to give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
The next sequel is Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994), and the family’s last name is now Slaughter. I can’t figure out for the life of me why they changed the name. One thing I’ve noticed in this is that Leatherface seemed more content chasing and scaring with the chainsaw than killing with it.
The first time W.E. was mentioned is in the previous film during the opening narration, and it was said that he stood trial and was put to death in the gas chamber, but that doesn’t matter, he’s in this one. Another thing I noticed that is strange is that in the previous film Leatherface had a leg brace, but it’s Vilmer Slaughter (Matthew McConaughey) who has it.
Renée Zellweger played the nerdy Jenny, who has the face that Leatherface now wants to wear. Beyond that strangeness, there’s so much more that made no sense like the secret society, and Leatherface being a transvestite, which Alexis Michelle appears to have styled herself after this interpretation. Yes, I understand that it was touched on in the original 1974 film. A quote I found out of place was; I want the people to know the meaning of horror, Rothman. OK? Is he part of the secret society? The leader maybe? And why the hell did he lick Jenny’s face?
Though I didn’t understand many of the things in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, I found it to be charming and deranged. I also loved the Sally Hardesty cameo at the end. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.