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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 Doug Bentin

"None of the sly satire and out-of-nowhere surrealism that made the original"
1 stars

What do you do when a chainsaw blade gets dull? You change it. What do you do when a Chainsaw Massacre movie gets dull? The same thing you did last time—stick to formula.

I misread the time when the next screening of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” was supposed to begin and I arrived at the theater 45 minutes early. I bought my ticket, went on into the theater, snuggled down into my seat and promptly fell asleep.

Here’s where the story turns tragic. I woke up again before the movie started.

Yes, with any luck at all I could have slept through the movie. Loud noises don’t bother me as long as they’re repetitive, and this movie has nothing if not loud, repetitive noises. R. Lee Ermey cusses, chainsaw revs, scream—Ermey cusses, chainsaw revs, scream—Ermey, chainsaw, scream. The audience reacting in fright to what was on the screen wouldn’t have disturbed me because a) there were only four other people in the theater, and b) they weren’t frightened.

Here’s the plot, but if you’ve already seen any of the other movies in this franchise you can skip the next two paragraphs because it’s the same damn thing all over again.

Four young adults, two of each sex, wreck their jeep on a Texas FM road in 1971. Three of them are picked up by “Sheriff Hoyt,” (Ermey) who is only pretending to be a sheriff so he can round up stragglers and take them home to kill them and eat them. This is a habit he picked up in Korea, along with, apparently, a big enough dose to cause dementia in a whole Houseful of Representatives from Florida.

One of the four, Chrissie (Jordana Brewster, “Annapolis”) is overlooked at the scene of the wreck and, despite watching “Hoyt” gun someone down just for the hell of it, decides to follow her friends instead of going for help. This is what is known as an “idiot plot”—one in which nothing would happen if the characters weren’t idiots. Things do not turn out well for the young people.

Don’t start hollering. That’s not a spoiler. This movie is a prequel, one that fills in the back story for us. If the events in other Chainsaw movies follow those in this picture, you know that the Chainsaw family, the Hewitts, have to survive to kill again, and in order for them to survive the kids all have to die. The only way for this picture to generate any suspense, since we know from their first moments on screen that none of the victims can live to tell their tale, is to up the gross out quotient, which director Jonathan Liebesman is happy to do. Gross out is unpleasant but it isn’t scary. Hollywood, please take note: it isn’t scary.

In the film’s 84 minute running time I found one clever touch. Just one. The family name being Hewitt. As in “Hew it.” I think at one time I caught Hoyt calling Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) “Hewey.” As in “Baby Huey,” a funny animal comic book character back in the day, a gigantic, stupid duck. If that’s not the perfect visual for this movie, I don’t know what is.

There isn’t one strand of original flesh hanging from this formulaic bone, and yes, if you spend your money on a ticket for this thing, you are going to feel boned.

You know who had the right idea for this mess of a movie? The wonderful old pro star, Ermey. He wrote a scene in which his character would be seen hauling a corpse out of the woods. He’d stop a moment, glance down, zip up his fly, and then go back to dragging the body. The producers thought that was too sick. One can only wonder.

And speaking of the producers, this picture has more credited producers (13) than significant speaking parts (8), and that includes Leatherface. Since only five producers can receive an Oscar, looks like eight of these guys are going to be disappointed. That’s a joke.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/20/06 06:47:52
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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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