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Here's the pitch: "Okay, what we're going to do is make this prequel to a remake of one of the greatest horror films ever made - yeah, you heard us right - a prequel to the remake. And we're going to cast actors who look exactly like the actors from the remake, only we get to pay them less because they're not quite as popular or memorable. And, we're going to just make the script up as we go and give R. Lee Ermey lots of really cool lines. In fact, we're just going to make the film all about R. Lee Ermey and give Leatherface the shaft. And we need a few million to do this." That is what I imagine the pitch process for this film to have been like, probably taking place between producer Tobe Hooper, director Jonathan Liebesman and Michael Bay, three of the most brilliant film-making minds imaginable; oh, this is the part where you start laughing out loud. For starters, who in the hell greenlit this piece of shit script? Who thought that the guy who wrote the remake of "The Longest Yard" had the chops to tackle a horror franchise like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"? Is Michael Bay the dumbest man on the planet? Maybe. "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" is the most wretched, clichéd, redundant horror film of the year - painful to watch and even more painful to imagine. Director Jonathan Liebesman has taken the remake, which was not nearly as bad as it should have been, and pissed all over what little flair it had.
What else do you need to know about this story? There is a family. They torture, kill and eat people. They especially like teenagers. In this prequel to the remake, we follow four adolescents - two attractive females (Jordana Brewster, Diora Baird) and two attractive males (Taylor Handley, Matthew Bomer) - as they travel to take the two guys - both brothers - to enlist to go to Vietnam and fight for their country. One problem - kid brother doesn't want to do and hasn't told his brother that he's ditching him. And, of course, they 'bump' into sadistic pseudo-trooper from hell Sheriff Hoyt, R. Lee Ermey, and are kidnapped, tortured and picked off one by one by he and his mentally handicapped, chainsaw wielding kin, Leatherface, referred to here as Tommy Hewitt. This whole film, like the remake, is about four attractive young people getting systematically killed by Leatherface in grotesque and bothersome ways. The difference here is that R. Lee Ermey is, essentially, the lead in this film and the film focuses on him more than Leatherface, odd since the entire franchise is about the latter. However, that was probably a good thing since Ermey is the best thing about this waste of time. We don't need Leatherface when he's boring as hell.
What is there to like about this film? Very little, I assure you. First off, the lame attempt at character development is made only more laughable by a scene in which one of the young men has to do push ups for his life, while his older brother roots him on whilst hanging in the tool shed. It felt like something out of "G.I. Jane" meets "Wolf Creek". And how do they expect us to root for characters that we know are going to die by film's end? They're dead from the opening credits and the only question is how they're going to do, and by now, they've used up every way imaginable and are just recycling death scenes like Gideons recycle Bibles. Then, there's the insertion of some strange biker guy who was in "Wayne's World" who pops up to beat up R. Lee Ermey for a moment before he gets cut in half by the chainsaw. What was his point in the film? What purpose did he serve? I kept expecting Wayne and Garth to run out and start wiggling their fingers, signaling this cinematic nightmare to be over. "We're not worthy" was their catch phrase. Felt more like "They're not serious?" But they were. From the opening credits until the final credits when we hear the same tired narration as before, we are treated to nothing but schlock, violence, and wretchedness.
As for the performances, if you can call most of them that, they are scarce. R. Lee Ermey does steal the show as Sheriff Hoyt. I just love watching him in films, and it's nice that he has such a large role that was obviously written especially for him. Too bad it's a role in such a terrible film. Jordana Brewster is no Jessica Biel, which becomes more and more obvious as time wears on - and how bad is it when someone says, "You are no Jessica Biel". Ouch. The best part of the film was the gorgeous Mr. Taylor Handley, known to many as Oliver from "The O.C.". He was delicious eye candy and made for a pretty convincing actor too - maybe he has a career ahead of him, if he can stay the hell away from crap like this. He was no Mike Vogel, but he serviced well. So, in summation on this train wreck, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" was one of the worst films of the year, and the worst horror film of 2006. I am going to give it better than zero stars for R. Lee Ermey's performance and Taylor Handley's doability factor. That's all.
- added 10/09/2006, 08:41 PM
1. I haven't seen this yet.
2. I hated the
With #2 in mind, it should go
without saying that I'd probably hate this as
well, but I've heard a lot of really good things
about it from sites which I consider to be highly
reputable; in fact, this is the first negative
review I've read of it. I won't be finding out
who I agree with until the DVD drops, but I
thought I should point that out.
- added 01/11/2007, 02:50 PM
Check out Rotten Tomatoes and get a good idea of
just how many people love this film. I have read
positive reviews about this film also. Websites
geared specifically towards horror film might
enjoy it more than the average critic. It was
nothing original to me. It was the same ole same
ole over and over again. I am anxious to see what
you think about it.
- added 01/24/2007, 05:17 PM
Quote: "Then, there's the insertion of some
strange biker guy" - That was Lee Tergesen, a man
who deserves so much better than this. One of the
most underrated actors working today.
Other than that and the male doability ratings,
pretty much agreed all around. There was some
good gore and some nicely shot scenes, but
prequels suck by nature - you know Leatherface
will live, you know that most if not all of the
teens will die, and even if one of them lives...
so what? There's another four movies after this
(in the storyline sense), so you know that their
escape would have meant jack shit.
was actually leaning more towards a 4/10, but
after that clichéd ending... 3/10 sounds about
- added 09/26/2007, 02:36 PM
So, according to the Wiki Machine, this one is
part of the Remake series.
- added 10/24/2007, 11:38 PM
I'm with Chad on the Lee Tergesen thing. He's one
of the reasons I liked Oz. So I watched a cam
version, and despised it. But being the OCD piece
of shit I am, I saw this used for pretty cheap,
and picked it up to complete the TCM collection
I've got going. I watched it again. There was some
pretty good gore, which I'm assuming was Unrated
only, and there was also some alright scenes
between R. Lee Ermey and the kids. Other than
those few good scenes, this movie had nothing
going for it. 3/10
- added 02/07/2009, 05:46 PM
Meh. Nice gore, but not much else. Everybody
seems to be going with a 3/10, and I find myself