You’re jealous? I’m jealous! ‘Joe’ was recently privy to a special screening of the upcoming “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and although averse, found himself almost backslapping every studio exec with glee on the way out of the theatre. Seems the studio’s got a – anyone surprised? The trailer’s great, albeit hammy, so we shouldn’t be too shocked? – Winner on their hands. Today, our first testing of the new Bay teeming “Chainsaw Massacre” from someone who apparently wasn’t just there to catch Jessica Biel in a soaking wet tank top. But how good can a Michael Bay meets Leatherface pic be?
Here’s ‘Joe’ with the review
Probably one of the controversial remakes in recent history, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has much to live up to in the eyes of its audience. So it’s fortunate the film is in good hands, with the guiding creative force of Michael Bay and hyper-talented rock video director Marcus Nispel. The resulting product is a shockingly horrific version that will delight cynical older viewers and attract curious younger ones.
Reprising his role as the film’s narrator, John Laroquette informs the viewers that the actual events of the first film were suppressed for 30 years. What moviegoers had been seeing was essentially a film adaptation of what happened in August 1973. Now the gruesome tale can finally be revealed, and while familiar to horror fans it is certainly not for the faint hearted or easily frightened.
Beautifully photographed by returning cinematographer Daniel Pearl, this "re-imagining" of the classic film by Marcus Nispel and writer Scott Kosar quickly becomes incredibly graphic and mentally scarring. This is by no means the same film, but it is certainly not a tamer version. Boasting an alternate appearance and some interesting new plot twists, moviegoers should embrace this version as opposed to shunning it for the original.
Despite being absent for the first half hour of the film, Andrew Bryniarski does an amazing job of taking over the role of Leatherface from Gunnar Hansen and making it totally his own. Even more impressive is Leatherface’s updated new look; the change looks good on him. Other standouts include cult favorite R Lee Emery as an uncouth law officer and Jessica Biehl. She leaves behind the series 7th Heaven to prove she is a talented actress in her own right. Erica Learsen, last seen in the underrated Blair Witch 2, is also quite impressive and is deserving of better roles and more cinematic exposure.
This "re-imaging" of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre will obviously not appeal to the widest range of viewers. But it certainly deserves to be see; Marcus Nispel knows how to keep the terror flowing and Daniel Pearl’s photography has improved dramatically from the raw quality seen in original to breathtaking clarity and stylistic artistry. Fortitude of the stomach and spirit is definitely a requirement for this film. But those fortunate enough to possess those qualities are in for an enjoyably depraved ride they likely won’t soon forget. Those who lack those may wish to summon up their courage and join them, or miss an unforgettable night at the movies.
Michael Bay in good film shock?!