Director: Jeff Burr
Starring. Kate Hodge, William Butler, Ken Foree, Tom Hudson, Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger, RA Mihailaoff. USA. 1h 26m.
Jeff Burr is the king of terrible remakes, okay that’s unfair but he’s never really had a commercially successful one, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t adored by fans of bad horror, I find his films quite watchable but agree that they can be under par, but fun none the less.
This box office disaster was see a return to the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre family but these are more like the Beverly Hillbilliys. The opening of the film see’s Leatherface slaughtering a young girl with a sledgehammer, cutting off her face to make a new mask as her sister watches on silently, the young girl, Sara escapes into the woods.
Sometime later a couple are travelling through Texas, Michelle and Ryan, she’s delivering the car to her father and Ryan is along to keep his girlfriend company, stopping at a service station they meet a hitchhiker named Tex (Mortensen) he saves them from Alfredo the perverted station owner and the flee while Alfredo is apparently killing Tex in his moment of bravery.
Continuing on their journey noticeably shaken, the pair run into more trouble when they get lost and a truck drivers throws a dead coyote at their windshield. While repairing the car they have a noisy run in with Leatherface but they flee again. This time the crash into a survivalist named Benny when a bloodied Tex leaps in front of the car, instead of getting back on the road they decide to find Tex, on the way Benny (Foree) discovers a hook-handed man, Tinker (Unger) putting down road flares, he offers to help until he notices a beaten up chainsaw in the back of his truck, and on queue Leather face appears but Benny flees and runs into Sara, the young girl who escaped at the beginning of the movie, she’s pretty gone mentally by now but explains that her entire family were killed and that Leatherface and his family are watching the roads. Benny hears Michelle and Ryan calling for him and heads in their directions leaving Sara to her own devices but she’s soon dispatched by Leatherface.
Eventually Michelle ends up being captured by Tex and his family of cannibals, the decomposing grandpa and family of misfits have terrible table manners and aren’t the cleanest of hosts but things get very interesting when Benny starts his tactical assault on the farmhouse to attempt to rescue Michelle.
The film keeps stopping and starting until the final showdown at the house, the stability of the setting seems to give the film more purpose rather than a random scattered chase. There’s no real stand out scenes which really cement it in the memory, it kinda just rolls on forever trying to shock with different gore scenes but it’s lost the stark terrifying nature that the original strived to hard to create. This step back to a road trip something more like House of 1000 Corpses (2003) but without the psychobilly character just became a bit dry.
It’s still a surprise to see Viggo being a redneck villain misfit but he’s a good actor and took this blow on the chin, it didn’t damage his career, and Foree isn’t a stranger to this type of horror and fit in quite well, in fact it seemed to have been enjoying his survivalist role, but the person who really suited the film was Joe Unger his southern drawl and gives no fuck attitude is perfect.
I really wanted to enjoy this, even as a no brainer sit back and watch a killer hack and kill kinda film it just fails on all fronts, it’s it watchable but just not memorable. Apart from the scene of Leatherface doing his “Lessons”.
R – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Stepfather II (1989), Puppet master 5 (1994), Pumpkinhead II (1994), Jeepers Creepers (2001)
L – Sequels to ponder Vol 1.
5s – Ken Foree, Viggo Mortensen,