Guest Blog Article, by mgm75, click to view his awesome blog Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink. Do it now!
Ok, so what did we expect from this film? Not much really. Though the original has its uberfans, it also has its fair share of detractors (me being one of them – I do not get the hype around this horrible B movie and its annoying cast of splatter fodder). Nevertheless, for a hundred or more reasons it is considered a horror classic. It is perhaps the first of the slasher movies but like any parent, we should be proud when the children exceeds their expectations. Does Texas Chainsaw 3D stand up? Does it surpass the achievements of its parents?
Not quite, but I feel it is a better film if only for the twist in the storyline that I did not anticipate. It starts immediately following the end of the first film. We see a montage of clips from the original while a cop car carrying a shotgun brandishing sheriff (and as this isn’t really the 1970s, we have a black sheriff) is going up to the house without backup and demanding that the family turn him over. The Sawyer family are inside, they refuse to surrender Leatherface (Jed) but the Sheriff persists – he can’t turn a blind eye this time! Soon a baying mob from the town arrive brandishing all sorts of anti-redneck paraphenalia such as molotov cocktails, shotguns and I might even have spotted a few pitchforks.
Tempers flare and before you know it them-a rednecks they start a-shootin’ and the mob use this as an excuse to start a bonfire with the family still inside. But them rednecks, they done gone hiding ole’ Leatherface and them there townsfolk they can’t find him. What they do find though is a young woman holding a baby. The man who finds her sort of accidentally kicks her very hard in the face, makes sure she is dead and takes the baby away, handing it to his wife.
Cut 20 years later… a young girl with very pale skin, beautiful ice blue eyes and sexy black hair is in her apartment, examining a bizarre birthmark. Somehow she finds out that a grandmother she never knew she had has died and left her a large house and estate. Anyway, she confronts her “parents” who confess to not being her blood parents. She sets off in a huff with her boyfriend and two friends. Along the way they pick up the obligatory hitch-hiker. Upon reaching the house she meets the family Lawyer. He passes her a letter which she must read urgently. Needless to say, sexy blue eyes forgets to do this until much later in the film. If she had, it would have ended here.
While the friends are out getting some supplies, the mysterious hitch-hiker (who they only met a few hours before by the way) is left alone in the house. In the history of stupid decisions, that probably ranks just below running upstairs when being chased by a killer. Needless to say, he grabs some stuff but what he is actually intrigued by is the set of keys and the basement that is proving difficult to get into – another stupid idea because if something is hard to get into then either 1) there is something valuable tucked away or 2) there is something they don’t want to get out. The fact that the basement is done out like a lounge, including uneaten food by another locked door should have proven to the most stupid thief ever that number 2) was the most likely explanation.
Needless to say, Jed has survived and after several decades of repressed psychopathic urges he has his first batch of fresh blood. So one by one the friends get picked off at the house – including the boyfriend who has sex with the Obligatory Slutty Friend. We move away from the house quickly and slowly the townsfolk – and the Sheriff – start to realise who this girl really is… as they suspected, she is the daughter that got smuggled away.
Jed is out and he is going to take his revenge on the townsfolk. The only thing is – he doesn’t know that sexy blue eyes is he niece… yet.
When the murdering townsfolk realise who she is, they grab her in the process of escape and take her to the meat processing plant where the Sawyer family worked. They chain her up, manage to rip her shirt just enough to give us a needless tantalising view of her breasts without incurring the wrath of the sort of people who would be upset that she even had a black boyfriend in the first place, and leave her there.
Jed arrives and is just about to skewer her with his chainsaw when he notices the “birthmark”. It isn’t a birthmark at all, but a burn in the shape of the Sawyer family necklace. By this time she has realised what has happened and tells Jed to take his revenge on the people that slaughtered their family. He starts up the chainsaw and swings it… at the chains keeping her trapped (ooh, never saw that coming!) Jed proceeds to murder the murderers but they attack him and bring him down.
In the end it is all nice and cosy and sexy blue eyes and Jed return to the house and we see him tending the graves and generally being a good groundsman. She is finally reading the letter that might have saved herself a lot of trouble and they sort of live happily ever after, as much as the last of a line of inbred rednecks can anyway.
The most amazing thing for me is Alexandra Daddario – I couldn’t take my eyes away from her… ummm… eyes. Ice blue, strikingly beautiful, and this probably detracted me from some of the failures of this film.
That’s Alexandra Daddario. Never heard of her before this film. Did I mention she has beautiful eyes? Not convinced? Take another look…
And I guess this was the look they were going for. It works if the character looks different, stands out from the crowd (or perhaps it was just that I quite fancied her and now looking for an excuse to make the film seem to attempt something resembling high brow). She is not a bad actress (but she’s not great either) and she slots into the role quite well, especially at the final showdown when she accepts her heritage and allows Jed to take his revenge.
There is some dubious morality going on here. Yes, the baying crowd committed the most atrocious of crimes to slaughter an entire family but the Sawyer family were not exactly the most peaceful bunch of inbred rednecks ever to grace the screen. Jed is a simpleton, yes and for this we perhaps cannot blame him being the way he was living with that family. That said, you cannot fail to release a small cheer when he finally gets his revenge and despite myself I found myself willing him on when he was being attacked. A lazy weekend viewing, or two, but I shan’t be buying the DVD for this one… not even to freeze frame close up shots of those eyes.
This is not going to win an Oscar, but there are far worse slasher films out there.
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