January 4, 2013
'Texas Chainsaw 3D' all slash no substance
By Bruce Kirkland, QMI Agency
Blood is not only thicker than water, it is splattered everywhere in Texas Chainsaw 3D, a savage, sicko, slasher flick.
This is not another lame-ass remake. Instead, despite messing with the timeline since Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre shocked us in 1974, it is a lame-ass sequel.
Texas Chainsaw is set in 2012. It recaps events of Hooper's original, which is a cult favourite in the slasher genre. Digitally restored scenes from the original are assembled in a chilling montage. Director John Luessenhop then segues into a new ending to Hooper's sordid tale. That scenario sets up the events of the new movie. Flash forward to our contemporary story.
A young woman (Alexandra Daddario) suddenly finds out that the Texas grandmother she never knew she had has died, leaving her a mansion, a burden and the grim truth about her origins. She drives to Texas from Wherever U.S.A. with several other good-looking and youthful men and women. The roster includes her loser boyfriend (singer Trey Songz, a.k.a. Tremaine Neverson) and her skank BBF (Tania Raymonde). Every horror movie needs fresh victims, especially if they deserve to die.
But it is obvious that this story does not jump the full 39 years since Hooper's movie. That is because Daddario plays the sole survivor of the hellfire depicted in the new ending to the events of 1974. The character was a baby then; she is a twentysomething hottie now (Daddario herself is 26). So the math is fuzzy.
Meanwhile, we find out soon after Daddario & friends arrive at the Texas mansion that Leatherface (Dan Yeager) is also still alive, armed with chainsaws and ready to rip into flesh. Incidentally, Hooper's original Leatherface is seen in the montage and the actor who played him -- Iceland-born Gunnar Hansen -- has a cameo role in the new ending sequence.
Another nice touch is that Marilyn Burns, another of Hooper's originals, is seen as Sally in the montage, then plays Verna in the new scenes. In a neutral casting note, Scott Eastwood (Clint's son) plays the deputy sheriff. The final positive is that the town sheriff (Thom Barry) is named Hooper in honour of the original horrormeister. He is one of the few decent people in this redneck town of murderers, misfits, malingerers, malcontents and monsters. The state of Texas will not welcome this anti-tourism depiction.
Texas Chainsaw does boast a fresh plot twist, however, which is unusual for this genre. But it is still an insufferably awful movie. Even the heroine is eye candy, not substance. Daddario's skimpy outfits are designed to show off her zero body fat (note to perverts: side-boobs only). Sex-and-violence rules.
As for the 3D, it is used as a disgusting gimmick that lets Luessenhop's effects team to shove chainsaws into our faces like trombones, in some cases with a spray of blood 'n' guts.