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Overall Rating

Awesome: 13.56%
Worth A Look: 10.17%
Average: 5.08%
Pretty Bad: 22.03%
Total Crap49.15%

5 reviews, 29 user ratings

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The
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by EricDSnider

"I'd be more interested if it were the end."
2 stars

A flag-waving, war-loving Texas family full of religious zealots who praise God while overseeing the slaughter of innocents. A documentary about the Bushes? No, silly! It's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," a graphically unlikable prequel to 2003's remake of the 1974 horror classic.

Having seen either the original or the remake, you probably wondered where Leatherface came from, what drove him to chase people through forests while wielding a chainsaw, why his face is all effed up like that. And guess what: The prequel doesn't tell you much. Turns out he was born deformed and vaguely retarded, was raised by a normal-seeming family, and then started killing people when the slaughterhouse he worked in got closed down by the health department. End of backstory.

But whoops, we learn all that in the first 10 minutes. To pass the remaining 80, the film tells us about Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey) instead, the loathsome and foul-mouthed sadist who aided and abetted ol' Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) in the remake. Turns out he's not really the sheriff; he just murdered the guy who was and took his uniform. Then he helped Leatherface kill people and occasionally eat them. Why? JUST BECAUSE.

Yes, turns out Sheriff Hoyt is pure evil, but the boring kind. He has no dimension, no motivation. The best villains in moviedom, even the cruelest ones, have SOME reason to do what they do. Hoyt? Not so much. He was a P.O.W. during the Korean War. That's as much explanation as we get.

Hoyt and Leatherface (and their family of down-home crackers and torturers, about whom the less said, the better) shouldn't be the film's main characters, but here they are, front and center. Ostensibly, though, our heroes are four pretty young people (one of them is Jordana Brewster; you haven't heard of the others), two brothers and their girlfriends, driving through Texas as the boys prepare to head off to Vietnam. A car accident puts them into Hoyt's clutches -- again, no explanation whatsoever as to what he has against them -- and the rest is torture, mayhem, screaming, almost escaping, escaping, coming back, being tortured, some more screaming, a little revenge, and finally some death.

Since we know all the bad guys will still be alive at the end (it's a prequel, remember?), there's not much suspense over the outcome. I get tired of saying this about splattery horror films, but I get even more tired of it being true: The film has no wit, imagination, creativity or ingenuity. It's wearisome and dull, offering plenty of gore but no brains to back it up.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/06/06 17:20:32
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.

User Comments

4/02/16 David Hollingsworth Unnecessary gore fest 1 stars
1/25/10 Chad Dillon Cooper A dog from snout to tail. 1 stars
10/14/09 American Slasher Goddess The best sequel and ten times better then the remake 4 stars
1/06/09 FrankNFurter Deeply sadistic,misanthropic celluloid diarrhea.For those that thought Hostel was tame. 1 stars
12/02/07 Bnorm Watch it for the gore; if you expect a story you'll be dissapointed. 4 stars
7/10/07 Total Crap No It wasn't good. It's pathetic and acts on its sole purpose of disturbing viewers. 1 stars
3/20/07 chris f best one yet the reviewers are idiots 5 stars
2/26/07 Mike What did u guys bashing this expect? The crowbar seen was SWEET! except for that girl! lol 5 stars
2/16/07 Indrid Cold Maybe I'm off base, but I thought it was the most intense TCM yet, and I've seen them all. 3 stars
1/21/07 David A. The liberals tried to turn it into an anti-war movie. Dumb. 1 stars
1/17/07 rocky This wasn't clever, was pointlessly brutal, with no redeeming value. TCM 1 & 2 were great. 1 stars
12/13/06 mig Vulgar, Depressing, and worst of all...Boring! 1 stars
12/02/06 cd lame snuff film 1 stars
11/01/06 Ben This TCM was no where near as good as the 2003 release... 3 stars
10/26/06 Hien Gore does not equal horror. Not much of a story. Truly a disappointment more than anything 2 stars
10/21/06 cody a gory and intense movie, with very few scares and shocks, but ok way one hour and 30 min 3 stars
10/20/06 Shiba wat the hell r u guys expecting from this film. ofcourse its going2b horror not romantic! 5 stars
10/20/06 Freddy Krueger Why bash this? Of course it's mostly just gore. What the f*ck did u expect? It's not drama! 5 stars
10/18/06 Fewell The gore was great, just as the remakes, but that is all you get, don't expect to much 4 stars
10/15/06 mr.mike extreme violence , some suspense , ermey is A+ 4 stars
10/14/06 michael 1st was better but this was still pretty good 4 stars
10/13/06 Jessica anyone giving this a bad rating shouldn't be watching horror. this is as good as they get! 5 stars
10/11/06 matthew vandervort fuck my eye socket and shit on my cat. slaughter my nob any day 1 stars
10/10/06 matthew vandervort a missing phantom element im not sure what it was but aside from that GREAT ~ disturbing 5 stars
10/10/06 phil the gore kept it interesting even while the story was unimaginative and illogical 4 stars
10/07/06 Mike Intense, graphic, relentlessly heart-pounding. This is the definition of horror. 5 stars
10/07/06 Pritchett As if the last four TCMs didn't suck enough... 1 stars
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  06-Oct-2006 (R)
  DVD: 16-Jan-2007



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