The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

From what I’ve read, Tobe Hooper pretty much had to make a sequel to his masterpiece “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in order to make films he wanted. And the sequel to his slasher classic is exactly the type of film Hooper has to make, It’s forced, tired, and a complete retread of the original film. To add to the utter lack of entertainment value, there’s even plots that are completely unresolved or unfinished that I would have enjoyed seeing explored expanded just to give this film the feeling that it was an extension of the first film rather than just a retread.

In spite of the family hiding in the outskirts of Texas and hunting travelers for meals, now we learn that the head of their family is a local celebrity thanks to his entering of his prize winning chili and wonderful meat that he keeps a secret. Dennis Hopper is Lefty, a mysterious cowboy hunting the cannibal family and trying to uncover their secrets and put an end to their chaos. And in the opening the two unlucky schmucks that get killed by Leatherface are dismissed as accidents, in spite of one of the two getting his head sawed off. Nothing is ever really expanded or realized beyond these nuggets of ideas.

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Three on a Meathook: Interview with Author Doug Brunell

I was first introduced to Doug Brunell back in 2004, when I discovered his column “Excess Hollywood” at Film Threat. His column was often so addictive and volatile I spent a few days reading the entire archive. When I joined Film Threat in 2005, I made a point of befriending Doug, because he’s simply one of my favorite online writers and I had to pick his brain and learn from him. Since then, Doug has been a consistent source of creative inspiration, an all around nice guy, and someone who isn’t smug about his talent. After reading his gory new horror novel “Nothing Men,” we interviewed Doug about his book and views about movies and entertainment since he is still a very ardent and influential voice in film criticism.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Ultimate Edition (1974) [Blu-Ray]

0003030618029_500X500As Joe Bob Briggs once stated, it’s telling of Tobe Hooper’s groundbreaking horror classic that to this day, conservatives still use the 1974 grindhouse slasher as a means of expressing how films are corrupting society. Because even so many decades after its initial release, there’s never been anything like it in theaters. No other film has managed to infuriate movie critics and analysts as Hooper’s vile and detestable horror film that depicts the back woods of the South as a futile wasteland filled with death, dread, and grime. Hooper pretty much set the bar high in terms of how harrowing the horror genre could be in cinemas, and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is still such a visceral experience to behold.

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

Liebesman’s direction is very tight, with much more suspense and atmosphere this time around. When we set down on the four teens being ravaged by the psychotic family, we can instantly gain a sense of futility and sheer dread that otherwise was lacking from the remake. And that helps because “The Beginning” is a much more entertaining entry than the remake was. The acting is better from Ermy this time around, and the basic characters fleshed out slightly more to where they’re less walking victims, and more human drawing slightly more sympathy. And it’s also a plus to watch Jordrana Brewster and Diora Baird run around screaming and giving their surefire scream queen routines. Brewster is a much more sympathetic heroine, and Baird’s “busty babe victim” role is pulled off with as much gusto it requires.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

In this remake — I mean “re-imagining” of the shocking cult horror classic directed by Tobe Hooper, in 1973 five teens on their way to a rock concert find themselves on a deserted road where they pick up a hitchhiker (Laura German) who seems to have been in a traumatic ordeal, when they attempt to comprehend her condition, she commits suicide. The teens attempt to seek help at a large house and wind up entering a horrifying nightmare none of them can escape. Though the film has its flaws it also has a lot of good stuff in it; the filmmakers attempt to stick this so close to the original that comedian John Larroquette who narrated the original, returns to narrate this one; it’s a great tribute. One of the biggest aspects of the original film was the shock of finding that Larroquette (who is a comedian and starred in “Night Court”) narrated such a horrifying film, and the filmmakers don’t skimp out on the fans.

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"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" Soundtrack (CD)

I wasn’t a fan of the newest version of the cult classic horror film, and it wasn’t much of a change of mood when applied to this soundtrack. As always this is a soundtrack which is comprised solely of head banging hard rock, which isn’t a full complaint, but only a mild gripe. I wouldn’t expect Sarah McLachlan or James Taylor on a soundtrack to this film.

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