Rich and Poe glide down the mountainside away from the smoldering ruins of the Wicker Man. The wind is in their hair and they feel as free as a couple of birds (you know, if birds had washboard abs and slammed Mountain Dew to the extreme). Distracted by the wonders of flight, they fly a little too close to the edge of a cliff and suddenly a minotaur is upon them, thrusting a spear through the wing of their beloved hanglider. Only through their poly extreme athletic skillz are they able to master their damaged craft and steer it directly into a tree growing out of the side of the cliff. Rich laments the appearance of the minotaur, clearly sent by their tournament foes in an attempt to stop them. Their zen oneness with the air prevented them from counteracting such an obvious trap. “We were playing by the rulez, bro,” he says to Poe, “we gotta remember that rulez aren’t coolz in this universe and not everyone is gonna play by them.” But Poe isn’t listening. A man has appeared just above the crag on which they’re trapped. Perchance this man could lower a rope and help them out of this jam. Maybe he even knows about the tournament and where the well worn path Nic Cage mentioned is at. Suddenly the man emerges further from the bushes and Poe’s heart sinks. While the top half is a man, the bottom half is a horse. These -taurs are going to be the death of them… literally. For at that very moment the centaur pulls out a chainsaw and revs the engine before starting in on the base of the tree they are sitting in. “This is going to be a massacre,” Rich says forlornly. That’s right! We’re hopping right back into that Texas Chainsaw Massacre saddle and watching the 2003 remake of the film along with the 2006 prequel that followed. These are often grouped together not just because the actor portraying Leatherface is the same, but BMT fav Michael Bay produced. I’m always down for some Bay action. Let’s go!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006) – BMeTric: 39.2; Notability: 37
(This is held basically stock still over time. I still find it somewhat insane that this one is nearly over 6.0 as well. This film got absolutely ruined by critics. In this case I am fairly convinced the relatively high IMDb score is because of the gore. It is just one of those underserved markets.)
Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars – When the ideas for endless sequels wear out, bring on the prequels! This one creates a backstory for the chainsaw-wielding Leatherface, set in the 1970s. Two teen brothers and their girlfriends go on a final fling before shipping off to Vietnam, get caught up in the infamous house of horrors and face-lifts after a car accident brings them to the attention of the evil local sheriff. There is nothing to suggest the ‘70s period; it’s all about graphic violence. This is one “beginning” whose ending can’t come quickly enough.
(Now that I’ve automated the review section off of RogerEbert.com it is more rare to get the OG Leonard’s take on film. RogerEbert.com though didn’t see this film. We got semicolons and Leonard’s usual disdain for horror films. So check and check. He only liked the original, and partly because it isn’t nearly as violent as it is reported to be.)
(I was kind of okay with this right up until Amazing Grace started playing. Then it started to feel like a cynical cash grab.)
Directors – Jonathan Liebesman – (Known For: The Killing Room; Future BMT: Darkness Falls; Wrath of the Titans; BMT: Battle Los Angeles; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2015; Notes: Born in South Africa he apparently got the notice of producer Michael Bay because of his short film Rings which connected the first two American Ring films.)
Writers – Sheldon Turner (screenplay & story) – (Known For: X: First Class; Up in the Air; Future BMT: The Longest Yard; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: Nominated for an Oscar for Up in the Air.)
David J. Schow (story) – (Known For: The Crow; Future BMT: Critters 3; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: He allegedly came up with the term stalk-and-slash to describe the emerging horror genre that would later be referred to as “slasher” films in 1977.)
Actors – Jordana Brewster – (Known For: Fast & Furious 7; Furious 6; Fast & Furious 5; The Faculty; Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!; Nearing Grace; Future BMT: American Heist; D.E.B.S.; Home Sweet Hell; Annapolis; The Invisible Circus; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Fast & Furious; The Fast and the Furious; Notes: )
Matt Bomer – (Known For: The Nice Guys; The Magnificent Seven; Magic Mike; Magic Mike XXL; Walking Out; Papi Chulo; Duplicate; Space Station 76; Anything; Future BMT: Flightplan; In Time; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; A New York Winter’s Tale; Notes: )
Diora Baird – (Known For: Star Trek; Wedding Crashers; Hot Tub Time Machine; Transit; Future BMT: Stan Helsing; Night of the Demons; My Best Friend’s Girl; Young People Fucking; Accepted; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Notes: )
Budget/Gross – $16,000,000 / Domestic: $39,517,763 (Worldwide: $51,764,406)
(Ah that makes sense. It was such a let down from the original they basically decided to reboot it instead of trying to salvage it. That is still a healthy profit, but considering how much the original made it killed the franchise.)
Rotten Tomatoes – 13% (11/85): The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is full of blood and gore, but not enough scares or a coherent story to make for a successful horror film.
(If you read just the big reviewers the consensus seems to be: remember how some of us thought the last one was sadistic? Well, now all of think it is sadistic. Reviewer Highlight: Attention sadists: Demand more from your gorefests than this pro forma return to the well. Has mass murder ever been this dull? – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
Poster – Sticks & Stones Origins: The Beginning (B+)
(Gotta say, still digging it. Artistic and dark… still, not really telling a story. I mean, he looks all grown up in the poster. I’m looking for a little baby Leatherface.)
Tagline(s) – Witness The Birth Of Fear (A)
(This is good. The more I read it the more I like it actually. Birth of fear is a nice turn of phrase and packs a wallop in a small package. It’s quite good.)
Keyword – extreme violence;
Top 10: John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019), Hellboy (2019), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Goodfellas (1990), The Hateful Eight (2015), Logan (2017), Drive (2011), True Romance (1993), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Casino (1995);
Future BMT: 66.7 Halloween II (2009), 60.0 Pet Sematary II (1992), 52.8 The Green Inferno (2013), 46.7 Saw 3D (2010), 44.6 Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992), 40.1 Gothika (2003), 34.2 Hell Fest (2018), 30.5 Marked for Death (1990), 30.2 Halloween (2007), 29.6 House of 1000 Corpses (2003);
BMT: Hellboy (2019), Rambo: Last Blood (2019), Rambo (2008), Gangster Squad (2013), Silent Hill (2006), Cobra (1986), Ghosts of Mars (2001), RoboCop 2 (1990), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), Punisher: War Zone (2008)
(Let’s see. Most of those, weirdly, I don’t completely hate. I don’t really like excessive violence, but most of what we’ve watched it like amusing 80s versions of excessive violence which I’m apparently fine with. This has definitely become more popular recently with things like John Wick and Logan, both of which I also quite liked.)
Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 20) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jordana Brewster is No. 1 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and No. 4 billed in Fast and Furious, which also stars Vin Diesel (No. 1 billed) who is in Babylon A. D. (No. 1 billed), which also stars Michelle Yeoh (No. 2 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 4 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 1 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 1 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 20. If we were to watch Chasing Mavericks, and The Black Dahlia we can get the HoE Number down to 19.
Notes – During filming, R. Lee Ermey was called away to his mother’s death bed. For the remainder of the time, filming was done around his character.
When Eric gets his face wrapped in cellophane by Sheriff Hoyt that’s actually real, Matt Bomer’s head was actually being wrapped in Saran Wrap, R. Lee Ermey said he was very concerned for him. They left a small gap opening at the bottom of Matt’s chin for him to breathe but that didn’t help much, so when ever he was having trouble breathing he would indicate by knocking his knees together
The cow that gets hit by the jeep was made of fiberglass and filled with blood, fake entrails and fake bones then screwed together. (Huh, that’s cool to know)
Producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller decided not to make a sequel to the 2003 movie. But the fans kept coming to them, asking how the family got that way and wanting to know several unanswered questions in the 2003 version (some of them include how Monty lost both of his legs, to how Sheriff Hoyt lost his front teeth, and how Leatherface got his nickname). And after a meeting with Michael Bay, they let Sheldon Turner write the script for a prequel and they were prepared to make it. (Stupid fans, no one should want to know these things!)
Jordana Brewster initially got made fun of for the way she ran during filming scenes in which her character Chrissie had to run. (YES! I love weird running)
Jordana Brewster said while filming with future husband Andrew Form ‘Everyday Andrew wore these work boots to the set, and if I was lying down in the shot or there was equipment in the way, I’d look for his shoes. It was comfortable just to know he was nearby.’ They married in 2007.
Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Prequel or Sequel (2007)