DVD REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Starring Andrew Bryniarski, R. Lee Ermey, Jordana Brewster
In 2003 the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake was released and pleasantly surprised most horror fans. While the original 1974 version will always be the best simply for its brutality and its timing making it a true American Horror classic the 2003 remake did offer a fun and brutal retelling. It also introduced us to a new Leatherface played by Andrew Bryniarski who has really brought the character into his own and portrayed him the best since the original’s Gunner Hansen. While the film itself certainly was slick and glossy the 2003 remake still presented great characters that you really cared about, making their brutal deaths all the more engrossing.
Now 3 years later
The film follows the Hewitt family and focuses much more on them than the unfortunate chainsaw victims. Leatherface is portrayed as a deformed slaughterhouse worker that loses his job when the health department closes down the business. Out of work and apparently still needing meat to hack apart he and his brother and New sheriff Hoyt decide to find other types of livestock for meat.
The Year is 1969 and the filmmakers have decided to try to do something timely with the film by introducing 2 brothers, Eric and Dean, and their girlfriends who are traveling across
After a nasty Accident involving a rather large cow the all the brothers concerns about
R Lee Ermey is wonderful in this movie as Sheriff Hoyt. It’s really his movie. He spends more time on screen and chews the scenery with glee. He’s a sick bastard and is truly the most twisted psycho in the film. It’s a role that he was born to play and he plays it with a passion that is very evident.
This film is really a grittier and more brutal film than its predecessor; however so much of the film seems like a rehash of the first that you really start getting bored with it by the midway point. Nothing is really wrong with this movie. It well directed, well acted, especially by Jordana Brewster who has a wonderfully sympathetic pair of eyes that make it hard to not get lost in. Visually it’s a slightly grittier and more washed out vision of the first film befitting its more brutal kills and storyline. But it just feels like more of the same and I found myself feeling like I was watching a film that was a remake of the remake.
There movie really felt like a missed opportunity in many respects. While the telling of the birth of Leatherface is at times interesting it never seems fully realized. In fact the whole “Origin of Leatherface” opening sequences of the film seem to go by way to quickly and almost seemed rushed. On top of that there’s a subplot about a biker gang that is never used! How cool would it have been to see an army of bikers attacking the Hewitt house and leatherface and Hoyt protecting their family in sick and twisted ways? Talk about a big missed opportunity!
Director Jonathan Liebesman previous effort was a really awful movie called
DVD Picture & Sound:
Not much to even talk about here. It’s a fantastic transfer, as to be expected, and the surround sound is well mixed. The chainsaw has never sounded better.
Extras / Special Features:
Directors and Producers commentary is on the disc. The Producers apparently were really the guiding force behind this movie because they really guide the commentary while Director Liebesman occasionally chimes in. Sometimes I almost forgot he was there. I wonder how the film may have been if they’d really handed over the reins to Liebesman and let him make the film his own.
There’s also a series of behind the scenes featurettes that range from the producers justifying the decision to make a sequel, beyond the obvious monetary reasons, to features on the director, the special effects and more. As far as behind the scenes featurettes go this one is pretty interesting and fun to watch, especially the KNB guys going through the gory details of all the splatter effects in the film.
FILM: 3 out of 5 Bloody Axes
DVD extras: 4 out of 5 Bloody Axes