The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Quiz

Huh, the last thing I remember I was running away from a psycho with a chainsaw and then I found so real nice ladies who gave me some tea … but I can’t remember anything after that. Do you remember what happened in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where are our unfortunate group of teens coming from, and where are they going to before getting waylaid by Leatherface’s psycho family?

2) How do the kids get tied up into Leatherface’s family in general, what sequence of events puts them at the old Mill where they first meet the Hewitt family?

3) Can you describe the Hewitt family? The different members we meet throughout.

4) How do the four teens die?

5) Who’s baby does Biel save at the end of the film?

Answers

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) Preview

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 (2003) – BMeTric: 27.3; Notability: 32 

TheTexasChainsawMassacreIMDb_BMeT

TheTexasChainsawMassacreIMDb_RV

(I think this, weirdly, hits just the right spot for a bad horror film. Usually horror fans are very down on horror done poorly. But then there does seem to be a contingent of fans that are all about the gore. And from what I can tell this film is all about that gore, so maybe it makes sense that it crept up to above 6.0. Also the film is not really that bad, it barely qualifies, so there is that as well.)

RogerEbert.com – 0.0 stars – The new version of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a contemptible film: Vile, ugly and brutal. There is not a shred of a reason to see it. Those who defend it will have to dance through mental hoops of their own devising, defining its meanness and despair as “style” or “vision” or “a commentary on our world.” It is not a commentary on anything, except the marriage of slick technology with the materials of a geek show.

(Oh shiiiiiiit. I actually can’t remember the last time we hit a full thumbs down from RogerEbert.com. This sounds like I’m going to hate this film. Gore-based horror is by least favorite of the genre.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dg3LWY70rvw/

(Man back in the day “from producer Michael Bay” actually meant something. I have to admit though, the end of the that trailer is banging. If I didn’t know it wasn’t very good I would think that was a pretty good way to reenvision the series.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: We did it! We completed his filmography! He’s basically stopped working, although I’m going to guess he’ll pop up at some point when Arnold Schwarzeneggar does some small time film as they are apparently friends.)

Writers – Kim Henkel (1974 screenplay) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; Leatherface; Death Trap; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: As mentioned in the previous installments he is a professor in Texas at the moment. He seems to still produce / write randomly, although only once or twice since 1995.)

Tobe Hooper (1974 screenplay) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Mangler; Leatherface; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: Apparently had a small cameo in the second film as a man in a hotel corridor.)

Scott Kosar (screenplay) – (Known For: The Machinist; The Crazies; Future BMT: The Amityville Horror; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: He was the producer for The Haunting of Hill House for Netflix which is supposed to be quite good. Also wrote a few episodes of The Bates Motel.)

Actors – Jessica Biel – (Known For: The A-Team; The Illusionist; The Rules of Attraction; Hitchcock; Cellular; The Tall Man; Easy Virtue; Ulee’s Gold; Future BMT: Accidental Love; Blade: Trinity; A Kind of Murder; I’ll Be Home for Christmas; Home of the Brave; Planet 51; Next; Total Recall; The Truth About Emanuel; Elizabethtown; Powder Blue; Spark; The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea; Shock and Awe; London; BMT: Stealth; Summer Catch; Valentine’s Day; New Year’s Eve; Playing for Keeps; I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actress in 2008 for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, and Next; and in 2013 for Playing for Keeps, and Total Recall; and Nominee for Worst Screen Couple for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry in 2008; Notes: Starred in the television show Limetown which is the second television show I know of based on a podcast (the other being Homecoming). It is not supposed to be very good.)

Jonathan Tucker – (Known For: Charlie’s Angels; The Next Three Days; Sleepers; The Virgin Suicides; Sweet Virginia; 100 Girls; The Ruins; In the Valley of Elah; The Deep End; Criminal; Bee Season; An Englishman in New York; Future BMT: Pulse; Stolen Hearts; Hostage; As Blood Runs Deep; Stateside; BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: Performed in The Nutcracker for the Boston Ballet as a third grader. That’s a big production that involves a lot of kids … so somehow both impressive and not impressive at the same time.)

Andrew Bryniarski – (Known For: Batman Returns; Any Given Sunday; Higher Learning; Mother’s Day; The Program; Sky; Future BMT: Street Fighter; Scooby-Doo; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; Pearl Harbor; Necessary Roughness; BMT: Rollerball; Hudson Hawk; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Notes: Naturally he is a former bodybuilder and trained professional wrestler. That’s about all you need to be Leatherface honestly. Was Zangief in Street Fighter.)

Budget/Gross – $9,500,000 / Domestic: $80,571,655 (Worldwide: $107,362,708)

(A huge success. No wonder it got a sequel. How badly must the second have done for them to cut the cord I wonder.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 37% (57/156): An unnecessary remake that’s more gory and less scary than the original.

(That is actually a lot better than I would have expected given Ebert’s review. A lot of people seem to like it as a gorey B-movie basically. Reviewer Highlight: Weakens, dilutes, disinfects and otherwise undermines the legacy of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 original. – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – True Story, Bro (A-)

texas_chainsaw_massacre

(This is actually good. Artistic and dark for a horror film and gives the sense of leather for Leatherface. Unique font. Doesn’t exactly tell a story but good enough.)

Tagline(s) – Inspired by a True Story (F)

(What the fuck… seriously, how is this the tagline to the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Is it a meta joke that it’s based on the true story of the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I’m confused and unhappy.)

Keyword – horror icon

TheTexasChainsawMassacre_horror icon

Top 10: It Chapter Two (2019), It (2017), Aliens (1986), The Cabin in the Woods (2011), The Terminator (1984), Annabelle Comes Home (2019), The Conjuring (2013), The Ring (2002), The Predator (2018), Scream (1996); 

Future BMT: 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 74.0 Psycho (1998), 69.0 Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), 65.5 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), 65.0 Seed of Chucky (2004), 63.0 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 60.6 A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), 60.5 The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999), 58.6 Child’s Play 3 (1991), 56.9 A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989); 

BMT: The Predator (2018), The Nun (2018), Friday the 13th (2009), Predator 2 (1990), Jaws 3-D (1983), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Friday the 13th: Part 2 (1981), Friday the 13th: Part III (1982), Jason X (2001), Rings (2017), Jaws: The Revenge (1987), The Ring 2 (2005), AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem (2007), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(Awwwww snap, we’ve seen so many! Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play are the big ones left obviously.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 13) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Jessica Biel is No. 1 billed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and No. 2 billed in Valentine’s Day, which also stars Jessica Alba (No. 1 billed) who is in Mechanic: Resurrection (No. 2 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 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 13. If we were to watch Next we can get the HoE Number down to 12.

Notes – A then-unknown John Larroquette provided the narration in the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Despite becoming a distinguished actor in the years since, he happily agreed to reprise his role for the remake.

After learning about the remake, Andrew Bryniarski (Leatherface) went up to producer Michael Bay at a Christmas party and personally asked him for the role.

On his final day of shooting, Eric Balfour stripped down, threw his wardrobe back to the crew, and walked off the set only wearing a baseball cap. (weird!)

There’s a homage to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) regarding each film’s leading ladies Erin (2003) and Sally (original). In the remake, Erin pulls out a knife to pick a lock. When asked where she got it from, she replies “from my brother.” In the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Sally’s brother Franklin is obsessed with his knife, and at one point in the film gives it to Sally. She never returns it. (I kind of like that)

In the original script, the character Jedidiah was going to wear a Felix the Cat T-shirt throughout the movie. This was later scrapped because the copyright holders of Felix the Cat wouldn’t allow it. However, the novelization of the movie features the character wearing the shirt. Also, Jedidiah was going to be killed by Leatherface by slicing his chainsaw through his back because he let Erin and Morgan go. This was later scrapped because the filmmakers thought it was too intense. (I love novelization facts)

The only time we actually get to see Leatherface’s “real” face.

To prepare for his role as Leatherface, Andrew Bryniarski ate a diet of brisket and white bread in order to get his weight to nearly 300 pounds.

Dolph Lundgren was first considered to play Leatherface, but he turned them down so he could spend more time with his family. (What a bizarre choice that would have been)

The severed head of Harry Jay Knowles from Ain’t It Cool News can be seen in the basement of Leatherface’s house. (Huh?)

To avoid an NC-17 rating in the USA, the more graphic shots of Morgan’s death were cut. The original version of the scene featured the shot of the chainsaw slicing into his crotch and then having intestines and blood falling out of him. The cut version cuts away when the chainsaw is about to cut him and totally cuts out the intestines falling from his body. The hitchhiker death scene was also cut severely. The original scene has her ear flying off of her head and blood and brain matter being more dark in color and more in amount flying out of her head. Jedidiah was originally supposed to be killed by Leatherface for helping Erin and Morgan escape, but the scene was scrapped for being “too intense”. (gross!)

Awards – Nominee for the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel (2004)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Recap

Jamie

Leatherface is back, Jack! With their relationship falling apart, Michelle and Ryan see if a cross-country road trip might patch things up. Unfortunately they are duped and captured by the crazy, chainsaw wielding family of backwater misfits we know and love. Can they take out Leatherface before it’s too late? Find out in… Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

How?! Michelle and Ryan are going through a rocky time in their relationship. He seems like kind of a snob and she’s not into it. Stopping for gas, they are saved from a creepy gas station attendant by a man named Tex. While they flee the gas station, taking Tex’s advice for directions, it appears that Tex is murdered by the attendant. A series of creepy things start to occur on the backcountry Texas road including, but not limited to, Leatherface attacking their car with a chainsaw and an injured man forcing them to crash into a weekend survivalist’s jeep. The weekend survivalist, Benny, helps them from their car, but doesn’t believe the crazy things that have occured. That is until a crazy hook-handed man drives up offering help, but clearly only offering to chop him up with a chainsaw. Wandering the woods, Michelle and Ryan are periodically chased by Leatherface, eventually resulting in the capture of Ryan. Meanwhile Benny is also chased by Leatherface, but he’s helped by an escaped captive of the family to evade him. Instead he encounters the gas station attendant and throws him into a swamp when it becomes clear he’s just an unhelpful crazy person. Eventually Michelle ends up in the family home where instead of finding help she finds a new crazy family of Leatherface, including Tex (what a twist!). They nail her to a chair for dinner and have her watch them murder Ryan. Then, after giving Leatherface a new chainsaw as a present, they are going to murder Michelle, but Benny shows up and blows half the family away with a machine gun. Running away, they dispatch Tex and take down the gas station attendant and drive away just as we see Leatherface start up his chainsaw. Bum bum bum! THE END. Big Question: I honestly wonder whether the creepy little girl that is part of Leatherface’s family was meant to play a big role going forward. She and Leatherface are the only two that clearly survive.

Why?! To survive, duh. The motivation for the family is pretty consistent for the first three films (and then changes wildly for the fourth one). It’s all just for fun and food as the people they capture are turned into BBQ for family dinner and to sell at their local gas station or in BBQ competitions… for real.

Who?! I’m pretty interested in the idea of a movie monster, particularly one where a stuntman can launch a career off of how they portray an iconic figure. Leatherface is much more like Michael Myers in this way in that there are eight total films and seven different people have portrayed him. Probably the most famous is Gunnar Hanson from the first one, just because he was the first, while Andrew Bryniarski is the only one to play him twice, in the remake and its sequel from 2003 and 2006 (both future BMT films).

What?! Apparently you can buy a replica of the iconic chainsaw from this film. Something to think about for the Xmas season. Additionally, I saw that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films are mentioned in the context of product placement somewhat frequently. Mostly negatively as they talk about how you will see a soft drink in the background while a girl runs around screaming and covered in blood. Overall minor in the series though.

Where?! Classic example of an A+ setting as every film in the series almost by definition must be placed in rural Texas. They never went crazy and took Leatherface to Manhattan or anything like that I don’t think.

When?! In the first four films it’s almost played like a joke that each one takes place at the time of the release of the film, so large chunks of time separate the massacre events where there was a survivor to tell the story. The first has an exact date. The second takes place during the OU-Texas rivalry football game, so approximate. This one is more like a general time, summer 1990 probably. The fourth then jumps back to being more specific: May 1995. C for the third entry, the worst grade of the bunch.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series seems to struggle for lack of imagination a bit. The first one is really great and ahead of its time and it’s amazing it was made in the early 70’s. The second is super fun and a very good, different sequel that at time cribs from the original, but it is interesting in its own right. This one though, starts to fall backwards as it attempted to reboot the series in a heavy metal, 90’s kind of way. They threw away all the characters from the first two and made a whole new family… without it really making much sense where they came from. It also makes it clear that they were striving for that Freddy/Jason/Michael kind of vibe with Leatherface, with the rest of the family being peripheral… and I think that is just a mistake. The family in its entirety had value, but then they just started throwing out everyone but Leatherface. Anyway, I thought it was a poor film, clearly suffering from the edits that had to be made for rating (to the point where sometimes it was hard to understand what was happening in certain scenes), but got slightly better as the film went on. I’ll save my Next Generation through for the Serenity recap. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If there is one thing in BMT that I well and truly love, it is the opportunity to watch like … five films in a week from a horror franchise. It sounds like a joke, but while the task is difficult, it is very rewarding. Let’s get into it!

P’s View on the Preview – So here’s the deal: I had watched the original long ago and found it rather disturbing and unpleasant and never ended up watching the second one (which also didn’t qualify). This one seemed to be the goriest of the original series, but I’ve also watched a lot more horror films and have become rather desensitized to gore in particular. So what I actually looked forward to was watching the original two and seeing how I felt about the series as a whole. What were my expectations? I expected to find the second film dumb, and the third to be unnecessarily gross and probably misogynistic (it is the way of horror after all). But sometimes horror surprises me, sometimes the bad ones are just boring (which is honestly a more pleasant option).

The Good – I don’t mind the core idea of the franchise, which is very much the same as The Fast and the Furious: it’s all about Fambly. Leatherface has the mind of a child, but is supremely good at killing (well … you assume he is usually, he had an off day in this film), and thus attracting an insane family of cannibals around him wherever he goes. As a direct sequel to the first film I think they could have made this point a bit clearer, but it comes through well enough to be interesting.

The Bad – Mostly everything else. I think there is a pretty specific mistake the third and fourth film make which is to retain the idea of Leatherface having the mind of a child. As a demented killer controlled by his brothers in the first and second film it is fine, he’s a terrifying side player. But once you remove that part of the equation (assuming the first is always canon) then Leatherface becomes maybe the most boring of all of the slasher villains. He kills, he barely knows why beyond that that is how he gets food, the end. It is boring. Given the tone of the second film, I think there was an opportunity to continue in that more comedy vein, but reverting back to the classic slasher tropes was a huge mistake in the end and doesn’t work at all. I also really really didn’t appreciate that they reused the gas station twist from the original.

The BMT – It’s a franchise. Out of the three main horror franchises we’ve seen (Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, and this), this is by far the worst of the three. It has a decent second film (kind of Halloween II level), but then falls completely apart without building any interesting lore around its killers or protagonists. Ends up being more of a missed opportunity than anything, given it is probably the biggest cannibal horror franchise to date. Did it meet my expectations? Actually yeah. It didn’t go insane with gore (to avoid an X rating), and didn’t seem to revel in the torture of its female protagonist. It gave me just enough to chew on that I walked away not very disappointed in watching the film in the end.

Roast-radamus – You have to throw a bone to the A+ settings, so Setting as a Character (Where?) for Texas (Chainsaw Massacre) seems pretty natural. I’ll also throw out the Worst Twist (How?) for reusing the twist from the first film. Of course Viggo’s in on it, of course so is the gas station attendant, of course, of course. I don’t think it’ll get into any of the superlatives, so that is about it.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is going to be tough to find the third on any lists. It seems like it tends to be overshadowed by the worst of the remakes (which is 3D apparently), and the worst of the originals (the fourth). It ends up mid-table on this list by collider. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure this film ends up qualifying if not for the fact that the original is so beloved. Which actually makes sense, it is the one they tried to make the most like the other franchises (Nightmare in particular), and they kind of just made a meh one with a boring secondary villain (Viggo).

You Just Got Schooled – Since this will be posted first I’ll put by review for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre here (the second will go with Serenity). As I said up top when I watched the film originally I remember feeling a bit queasy. I was unaccustomed to gore and really didn’t enjoy it. This time? It is one of the best horror films ever made. Probably most notably for creating an impactful horror classic on a shoestring budget, but you can throw most of the movie away just for the final family dinner scene. Suddenly, it goes from the single masked killer, to a family of manipulative cannibals. There is so much to explore … and yet the creators fritter it all away. Sigh. Still, like Halloween, Black Christmas, and The Thing, it is required viewing for anyone wanting to learn about horror. A-. The minus is mainly because the first hour of the film is pretty useless.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Quiz

Hmmmmm. I remember getting captured by a cannibal family, and then getting a series of light concussions from a nearly-dead old man trying to hit me in the head with a hammer. Do you remember what happened in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) At a creepy gas station our heroes Michelle and Ryan are accosted by the creepy attendant and saved by the handsome Tex. After witnessing Tex getting shot, Ryan insists they go down a back road. Why?

2) Soon after it becomes dark Michelle and Ryan crash their car into Benny, a gun-loving militia man. What caused them to crash?

3) After getting split up from Michelle and Ryan, Benny meets another woman in the woods. Why is she wandering around the swampy backwater?

4) Michelle and Ryan, unfortunately, are captured by a psychotic cannibal family. Can you name the people in the family?

5) Who survives the whole ordeal, both the good and bad guys we’ve met throughout?

Answers

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Preview

Jamie and Patrick stop dead in their tracks as they espy Chris Klein and Josh Hartnett by the craft station. “What thuuuuuu…” Patrick says before storming over and knocking their Nespresso’s out of their hands. Chris and Josh are stunned, “what the hell, bro,” Chris says annoyed, “I thought we were friends. You know how much I love my Nespresso.” But Patrick isn’t having any of it and demands to know why they are there. “We’re just here to be your body doubles, man. Chill. The studio was getting a little worried about… well…” he looks away embarrassed. But Patrick presses him on it. “Well,” Josh continues, “it’s because you gained sixty pounds and have been wearing a fedora in every scene.” Patrick is shocked and looks down at his body. It’s not that bad… right? And everyone loves his hats. But even Jamie looks away at that. Patrick storms back to their trailer. “What are we going to do?” he asks Jamie, “we’re losing control of the production. First body double, next they’ll replace us entirely and then our vision will never be realized.” Jamie rubs his hands in glee. Finally, it is happening and they will get full control, just like he wanted from the beginning. A fire lights in his eyes. “We’ll burn it all down,” and they both cackle in glee.

“They did what?!” Banks says upon hearing that Jamie and Patrick had fired the entire cast and crew of the film. Unbelievable. This just went from a debacle to a disaster and all because Patrick was a glutton and Jamie a vengeful maniac. As a last resort he arrives on set to find Patrick smiling peacefully at the quiet serenity of the abandoned set and Jamie tearing it all down with a chainsaw. Perfect. That’s right! We’re watching (another) film that somehow attracted crazy huge stars but ended up bombing at the box office. It’s Serenity starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Never heard of it? We have and apparently it’s gotta be seen to be believed. This is for Bring a Friend and we’re gonna do something a little different by celebrating the 25th anniversary of a major BMT straight-to-video release. How is this connected to Serenity you ask? Well it also stars our boy Matthew McConaughey 25 years younger. That’s right! We’re watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, the absolute bottom of one of the major horror franchises in film history. This also means we’ll get the third film, Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, as a bonus. Perfect. Let’s go!

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) – BMeTric: 50.0; Notability: 27 

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIIIIMDb_BMeT

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(Wow it is kind of amazing how high that has climbed. Considering how picky horror fans are. I wonder if the gore has anything to do with it. There is a contingent of fans who would like the boldness of really going for over the top gore at the very least.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Mostly a remake of the first film: cannibal clan battles three would-be dinners. Severely damaged by prerelease cuts designed to reduce gore but which only make the film incoherent. Followed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

(This appears to be a big part of the notes. Seems like an odd thing still to pull out for Leonard since, again, he doesn’t seem to like horror films. I always wonder whether he outsources some of these reviews to people more familiar with the genre.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYiwLl6doPE/

(Hooooooooooly shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit … I kind of dig that trailer. The main problem is it kind of goes with the previous entry (which is basically a horror comedy) instead of this one (which the producers had trouble editing in order to avoid an NC-17 rating). It feels like a bait and switch.)

Directors – Jeff Burr – (Known For: Straight Into Darkness; Future BMT: Stepfather II; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Has always been a horror director. Quite interesting to film a horror film in four different decades. Dropped out of USC to become a director.)

Writers – Kim Henkel (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; Leatherface; Death Trap; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: He’s a film professor in Texas, he wrote the original and almost all of his credits are for the characters involved (Leatherface in particular))

Tobe Hooper (characters) – (Known For: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2; Future BMT: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Texas Chainsaw 3D; The Mangler; Leatherface; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Was the “director” of Poltergeist … in reality Spielberg probably shadow directed it. Also made the incredibly long and boring television adaptation of Salem’s Lot.)

David J. Schow (written by) – (Known For: The Crow; Future BMT: Critters 3; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Wrote non-fiction and film criticism in magazines up until becoming a screenwriter. This was his first film. He also wrote Critters 4.)

Actors – Kate Hodge – (Known For: Beach Rats; Rapid Fire; Future BMT: Harold; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: This was her first film, and she then starred in the television series She-Wolf in London soon after. She’s worked consistently, especially in television, but rarely in starring roles.)

Ken Foree – (Known For: Dawn of the Dead; The Devil’s Rejects; Water for Elephants; Dawn of the Dead; The Wanderers; The Lords of Salem; From Beyond; Knightriders; Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings; Without You I’m Nothing; Future BMT: The Dentist; Halloween; Filofax; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Appeared as himself in the 2008 novel, “Bad Moon Rising”, by Jonathan Maberry, which featured horror “celebrities” finding themselves facing real-life horrors.)

R.A. Mihailoff – (Known For: Death House; Hatchet II; Dark House; Future BMT: License to Drive; BMT: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III; Notes: Plays Leatherface here, which naturally means he’s big and acts in a ton of horror films.)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $5,765,562 (Worldwide: $5,765,562)

(The budget is probably in the millions, just because unlike early 80s slashers they built a set. But I would guess this was a very modest success in the end. Films like this so rarely cost more than a few million to make.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 19% (3/16)

(We’re going to need a consensus: Generic slasher with the added bonus of lacking clarity. Reviewer Highlight: For those who saw the first two Massacres, this will seem pretty much deja-boo! – Richard Harrington, Washington Post)

Poster – Pleatherface (C)

leatherface_texas_chainsaw_massacre_iii

(Hmmmm, I honestly can’t tell if this is good. The coloring and lighting are interesting, but that’s about it. Font is meh and then it seems like they just put a million words on there to fill in space. But it is still promoting the star of the show and so it’s not like it’s a total disaster.)

Tagline(s) – The Most Controversial Horror Film Ever Is Finally Here. (F)

The terror begins the second it starts. (D-)

(Both are too generic to be anything but bad. I bumped the second one because it is slightly better than the first. I don’t even think the first is even true. Basically all of the Chainsaw films had controversy due to the violence depicted and I can’t imagine it was actually more controversial than the first film. It is notable as the last film to be given an X rating before NC-17 was instituted… although it was trimmed back to get an R and not released under X.)

Keyword – masked killer

LeatherfaceTexasChainsawMassacreIII_masked killer

Top 10: Gemini Man (2019), Zodiac (2007), Happy Death Day 2U (2019), Happy Death Day (2017), Scream (1996), Halloween (2018), Friday the 13th (2009), Scary Movie (2000), You’re Next (2011), Scream 4 (2011); 

Future BMT: 80.8 Halloween: Resurrection (2002), 69.2 Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000), 63.9 Valentine (2001), 63.0 Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995), 57.9 House of Wax (2005), 52.2 The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018), 47.4 Scream 3 (2000), 38.8 Club Dread (2004), 36.3 Gemini Man (2019), 34.2 Hell Fest (2018); 

BMT: Friday the 13th (2009), Friday the 13th Part III (1982), Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985), Cobra (1986), Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989), The Gallows (2015), Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

(I literally want to see all of those … well, I’m not sure why Gemini Man is on the list to be honest. Masked killer? Because … like does his clone wear a mask or what? And finally and interesting plot. This guy, of course, comes in right between the big 80s slasher kick, and the late 90s resurgence via Scream. A time when literally all of the slasher films completely sucked. You are in good company Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 18) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Viggo Mortensen is No. 5 billed in Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and No. 3 billed in Daylight, which also stars Amy Brenneman (No. 2 billed) who is in 88 Minutes (No. 4 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 3 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 5 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 18. If we were to watch The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 16.

Notes – The original script was much more brutal with explicit gore sequences. The producers objected to many of the scenes (one of which had a nude man being split down the middle while hung upside down) and demanded extensive changes to the script to reduce gore and violence. Further cuts had to be made to avoid an X-rating after the film was finished. (Apparently it leaves it incomprehensible)

Director Jeff Burr was fired toward the beginning of production. When nobody else accepted the job, he was rehired. (My God)

Kane Hodder – whose best-known role is that of another horror icon, Jason Voorhees – was the stunt coordinator for this movie. He was also R.A. Mihailoff’s stunt double and played Leatherface in the trailer. (Fun, by far the best Jason)

Film trailer was done even before they even had a director and before the production started.

There was also supposed to be a brutal “unmasking” scene, which would reveal Leatherface as horribly disfigured. That scene was scrapped (despite an obvious buildup during the opening credits) and saved because New Line wanted to use it in the next sequel, which never materialised. It was eventually used in the remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003).

Submitted 11 times to the MPAA. On each submission, more and more footage was cut out, some of which was lost forever. (That is actually too bad)

Caroline Williams reprises her role as Stretch from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) in a cameo as a news reporter. Director Jeff Burr said he imagined Stretch becoming a reporter following the trauma she experienced in the second movie in an attempt to hunt down Leatherface.

Among others, one of New Line’s first choices for director was Peter Jackson. (Makes sense, Jackson would have been somewhat known because of Bad Taste.)

This was the final movie to be given an “X” certificate by the MPAA before the rating was replaced with “NC-17”.

Tobe Hooper, director of the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), was originally going to be involved in the film. He had submitted a treatment to New Line execs, but bowed out of the project due to scheduling conflicts concerning his film Spontaneous Combustion (1990).

Leatherface is never referred to as Leatherface he’s always referred to by his family simply as “Junior”.

Originally slated for a November 3rd, 1989 release, the release date was soon pushed to January 12th of the following year. (That is never a good sign)

Originally, Benny and Leatherface both succumbed to their injuries at the end of the movie, but New Line decided to shoot a new ending with editor Michael N. Knue in which both characters survive. Jeff Burr was very surprised when he saw the movie in the cinema for the first time; the new ending was shot without his knowledge.

Rambo (2008) Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! Living contently in Thailand wrangling snakes, Rambo is convinced to bring some missionaries into war-torn Myanmar. When they are captured he goes in with mercenaries to get them back, no matter the cost. Can he get them back and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo.

How?! Rambo is still living his life in Thailand catching snakes for a living (obviously). When some missionaries come looking to hire him to bring them over the border to war-torn Myanmar he’s like “… … … no” but the female missionary, Sarah, sees good in Rambo and convinces him to help them. So he’s like “… … … yes.” On the way in, they get attacked by pirates and the missionaries are shocked by Rambo’s ruthlessness in dispatching them. He drops them off only to find out a short time later that they were all kidnapped by a monstrous military group. Joining up with some mercenaries being sent in for a rescue, he immediately sets about killing members of the military group who are torturing hostages. This is much to the surprise of the mercenaries who didn’t expect to have the boatman turn out to be a killing machine. Using Rambo’s skillz they are able to infiltrate the camp and retake the prisoners, but Rambo has to stay behind to personally save Sarah. Coming up behind he does all kinds of classic Rambo traps and comes in just at the right moment to mow down THE ENTIRE ARMY with a big  ol’ gun. People literally explode with bullets. At the end, Sarah looks around to find Rambo and his sweet bod, but he’s already gone, ready to find out whether he can restart his life in Arizona. THE END. Big Question: Do you think Rambo kills people any other times in his life but they just don’t make a movie about it? Seems like every ten years he kills like 400 people and then takes a break.

Why?! Again, ain’t no motivation for Rambo other than rescuing some innocents. Really I think that answers the above question… like how often does he have to rescue an innocent from the clutches of a bad guy. Pretty rare. I personally have never had to. So if he’s hanging around the market and a dude steals a lady’s purse he ain’t batting an eye. That lady is safely out of the clutches of a bad guy, and that purse ain’t an innocent. Open and shut case.

Who?! One of the mercenaries is shown singing a couple different blues songs and I was like “oh, he’s pretty good and the songs are pretty good.” Little did I know he was actual blues singer-turned-actor Jake La Botz. We’ll see him again in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter… probably in an El Presidente cycle or something. 

What?! It’s almost like these films get smaller and smaller. So while earlier films had a number of things for the different sections, the later films became more and more about Sly himself and almost nothing else. However, I can always ask the question whether I would be fortunate to have a full Rambo costume available to buy online. My God. Only 3000 pounds. A steal!

Where?! Once again split between Thailand and the main setting. In this case war-torn Myanmar. Unlike the second and third films, I don’t think the context makes this entirely indispensable. So B+ this time.

When?! I can only assume this continues to trend of taking place when the film was made. In this case seems to be mostly 2007 in Myanmar during or following the Saffron Revolution (given the news footage shown at the beginning of the film). D+

Oh boy… I hated this film. It is gross and looks bad and I didn’t like it. For BMT I don’t really allow for the argument that a film was perhaps “not made for me.” All bad films were made for us. Even kids’ films and rom coms. They are all part of one big BMT universe. Not this. I’m not sure who this was made for but I’m sure they had a great time watching this trash. Maybe Sly just made it for himself. This is the one he wrote and directed so… I guess this is his gross terrible vision. I did not enjoy it. 2 ½ stars.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! My mind is slowly melting as I watch what seems like an unending series of Rambo films. This is probably the worst one … you know the one that seems like it was only made to show Rambo chop people in half with a giant gun. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I knew this one wasn’t going to be very nice for me. This is basically the flyer Stallone put out to prove that films like this (and The Expendables series, and other very military / gun focused films) could make a decent return at the box office. But guess what? I’ve said it a number of times, these films aren’t for me. They make me feel gross. I don’t like them. But I have to watch it, so watch it I will. What are my expectations? That I’ll feel profoundly sad after watching this film. If I don’t, that’ll be a win for me.

The Good – Hmmmmm. I truly believe this is what Stallone envisioned action films would become since the 80s. I think he kind of saw that as technology advances and the money flowed in that people would basically want to see giants guns, and muscles, and America. But as he was slowly getting a grip on the entire means of production in the 80s his career faltered and he kind of became a parody of himself. He made a small comeback with Cop Land, and that gave Old Stallone just enough juice to start pushing for The Expendables specifically. I truly believe this film was a means to an end. He got to give his character the ending he thought he deserved (he’s on record saying this one is his favorite), and he, I think, parlayed its modest success into The Expendables which became the giant high octane action film he had envisioned (just … 20 years later). I don’t find any of this good, but a lot of people do including Stallone, so I thought it deserved detailing out my little theory … but no, I find nothing in this film redeeming in the least.

The Bad – I find this movie gross. From the way they formulate the sub-human villains so that you cheer on Stallone as he mercilessly mows them down with a giant gun. Much like Death Wish or The Expendables series, it feels like it fetishizes guns and murder and dressed it up with villains which dare you to sympathize their gross deaths. Stallone, for all of his bluster in old interviews about trying to write apolitically, makes overtly political statements with each and every one of these movies. These movies aren’t for me. This is the worst of the bunch, with little redeeming qualities. The end.

The BMT – Yeah, as much as any of the films like this are. I don’t like them, I get why other people like them. They are like Madea films. I will likely come and say the same thing about every Madea film I watch: I didn’t really find this funny, but I get why some people do. I don’t get why people like Rambo IV, I think it is a total bastardization of the character and what it stands for. But I get why people like movies like this. Did it meet my expectations? Nope, I felt gross at the end. All I wanted was to not feel gross.

Roast-radamus – Again, kind of an amazing setting film for Setting as a Character (Where?) because I down Burma is going to get much play in bad movies in general.I don’t think there is much else to consider for this one as there was no obvious product placement. I think this has a real good chance for Bad though in the end because I can’t think of a film I’ve liked watching less.

StreetCreditReport.com – I find it rather impressive. I looked at maybe 20 lists since, apparently, 2008 was the heydey of the online worst-of list for film. And literally none of them contained Rambo. One had it as an honorable mention, but that was it. I would definitely give this one the worst Rambo award if it was up to me. I think that it might be up to Sylvester Stallone though, so I might be out of luck at getting that officially recognized.

You Just Got Schooled – As I said in the other recaps I’ve been Rambo all day every day and nothing but Rambo, so there was little to learn. I will say that throughout the years there have been porn parodies of the various Rambo films. This one having one though? Thats something else. It’s called Rambone XXX: A DreamZone Parody and I will never watch it. And, again, I said I would do it: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And naturally I’m the super secret guest star. We get to learn all about who are the best co-host combinations in Submersion history. The competition heats up!

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo III Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And this time Rambo needs to save a prisoner from an Afghan fort, but not just any prisoner… Trautman! Oh no! Can he enter the war zone, befriend the rebels, ride some horses, free the prisoners, and take down the bad guy before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo III.

How?! Rambo is living it up in the citttaaaayyyy. And by city I mean with some monks in Thailand. Approached to help Trautman to help support those fighting against the Soviets in Afghanistan he’s like, “fuck no.” This is a good idea because Trautman is immediately captured and tortured. That’s when Rambo ties on his bandana, greases up those abs, and heads to Afghanistan to free his friend. Getting across the Pakistan border he meets up with the Muhajideen, who are hesitant to help this stranger. But when they are attacked by the Soviets the survivors are willing to go along. On their first attempt Rambo isn’t able to get Trautman and he and his allies barely escape with their lives. Sending them away to go in solo he’s able to get Trautman and a bunch of other prisoners and fly a helicopter out of the Soviet base. They are shot down, but Rambo and Trautman basically toy with their prey and shoot and punch people all day until they got a free path to Pakistan… psych! There’s literally the entire Soviet army there to kill them. So they die… double psych! A big ol’ Muhajideen army comes and helps Rambo totally own the Soviets. America! On top again! Ha! Stupid Soviets, getting embroiled in a war in Afghanistan. America learned from Vietnam and wouldn’t have made that mistake again… anyway, Rambo them walks off into the sunset to live peacefully forever more (spoiler: he does not). THE END. Big Question: Has this film aged the worst of any film ever? I mean, Rambo literally says that the US wouldn’t possibly be dumb enough to get into another Vietnam like Afghanistan… come on!

Why?! I do like the Rambo films because the motivations are clear and noble… besides the excessive amount of murder he doles out. In the first he’s just trying to be treated like a human being, the second he’s rescuing POWs, and here he’s trying to save his friend from a war zone. Nothing more.  

Who?! All the Rambo films have such small and diverse casts that it’s actually hard to get something for this section. Not like an aspiring musician-turned-actor is gonna get his shot in a Rambo film… kind of a one man show. I was interested to see that Randy Raney was in this film. Interested because he was only in one other film ever: playing the big baddie opposite Sly in the classic Over the Top. Best two-film filmography I’ve ever seen.

What?! Coca-Cola is all over a lot of Sly’s films in the 80s. I liked how it was used in the second film. Here it’s just seen in several spots in Thailand and not commented on. I did want to highlight this film as a Secret Sport Film Alert. We see the Afghanistan sport of Buzkashi played vigorously by Rambo. I believe this is likely the only BMT film to feature the sport.

Where?! We again split out time. This time between the starting setting of Thailand and the major setting of Afghanistan. Once again because of context there really isn’t anywhere else that this could be set… they had to really get across that the Russian conflict in Afghanistan was their Vietnam and the United States was just too smart to fall into a conflict like that again… … … … … yup.

When?! Obviously takes place when the Soviet Union was fighting in Afghanistan, which lines up with the trend that the films take place when the film is being made. Nothing more specific can be found I don’t think… the war lasted ten years. D.

Wow, almost the inverse of the second film. I thought this film was actually kinda beautifully made. Looked amazing. But almost everything else about it was not good. In particular the ending which has Rambo running around some caves killing people before fighting an entire Soviet army all while spouting super poorly aged propaganda. Still fun, but bad.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We are still in the process of making the horrible mistake of watching four Rambo films in a week. Luckily two of them are bonkers 80s films. This is the second one of those. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – After watching the third film I kind of expected something much much worse. These days, online, the third Rambo has a bad rep. The second is widely loved, the fourth has a specific niche fanbase, but the third is accepted as the worst of the franchise. So I was holding out hope this would be the not-gross bad one of the bunch. What were my expectations? I was basically hoping for the parody version of Rambo from UFH starring Weird Al Yankovich. If not that I would accept something, again, over the top jingoistic nonsense, with giant explosions I suppose.

The Good – The first roughly two-thirds of this film is pretty good. Solid vistas, and a storyline which makes you care about Rambo’s goal beyond that it’s good for America. A really good set piece in the Afghan base. And a really good enemy in the Russia commander who feels trapped in a backwater war that is preventing him from attaining the Russian glory he deserves. Just … shut it off right when they escape the base.

The Bad – The last third of this film is everything wrong with Rambo films. Remember how Rambo used a bow an arrow with explosive tips? Those are back, you liked that right? We have a tank hitting a low-flying helicopter and exploding it, that sounds cool right? Rambo explodes someone while hanging them in a cave … that doesn’t sound gross right? You see … I hate all of that. All of the stuff that they seem like they needed to fit into the last half hour is the worst parts of Rambo, and they go all in. That is why, I think, people don’t have fond memories of this film. The ending of the film is just so silly and awful you can’t really even remember that the first hour of the film is pretty good. The level of propaganda is extreme in this one as well. At one point a character literally says “the Afghan people have never been conquered. We already had our Vietnam, this is yours” to the Russian commander. Yikes, that didn’t age very well.

The BMT – I think this is a decent example of how to make a bad third entry in an action franchise. The trilogy has quite the arc: a serious action/drama in the first, a full-throated action film in the second, and basically a parody of itself in the third. But … then again, I kind of like the third one still? It is still a pretty great action film for the first hour of the film. It just sinks under the idea / expectations of Rambo in the end. Did it meet my expectations? I think of the four films I watched this got the closest. It is hilarious how it basically spells out the catastrophe in Afghanistan for the US that would come 15 years later. And yet it is also a pretty amusing action film. That’s just about what I was hoping for.

Roast-radamus – Definitely a very strong contender for Setting as a Character (Where?) for being set in Afghanistan, which must be a rather rare setting for a bad film. There was a brief shot of a Coca-Cola truck in Thailand in the beginning, but I don’t think that’ll be enough to bet a product placement nod. And the closest it’ll get it a BMT nod I guess, as this is the only truly silly-bad film of the bunch.

StreetCreditReport.com – Once again we are too far back to really get any lists besides the yearly Siskel & Ebert show (it wasn’t on that). I will say as far as contemporary fans are concerned, I think Rambo III is the one they’d put as the worst Rambo film made. So that is something. Which made it particularly nice that it managed to sneak in and qualify right at the last second this year.

You Just Got Schooled – I didn’t have time to watch anything else but the canonical Rambo. I will point out that the beginning of Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls is effectively a combination of Cliffhanger (him losing the raccoon), and Rambo III (him retiring to the monastery at the top of a large staircase). That same scene is spoofed in MacGruber. The early Rambo was ripe for spoofing. And I said I would do it: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And the episode features me as well. I rank the top ten Ruby-Spears animated series that have a submarine episode available online … yes, there are ten of them.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo: First Blood Part II Recap

Jamie

Rambo is back, Jack! And he’s ready to get out of jail and rescue some POWs like the goddamn hero that he is. But when he’s abandoned behind enemy lines he starts to suspect that there’s something fishy going on with the top military brass. Can he rescue the prisoners and stop the evvvviiiilll general before it’s too late? Find out in… Rambo: First Blood Part II.

How?! Rambo is crushing rocks in a prison camp and Gen. Trautman knows that that’s a crying shame. Those glistening muscles should be crushing bad guys in the name of America. So he makes a deal, Rambo helps them find out if there are any remaining POWs in Vietnam and he gets a full pardon. Sounds good to Rambo, except when he gets to Thailand he’s getting a bad feeling about the gman in charge, Murdock. Almost from the jump things go awry when he loses his equipment while parachuting behind enemy lines. But this is Rambo and his muscles and big ol’ brain keep him moving to his target. Meeting up with his contact, Co (a beautiful woman no less) he is taken up river and almost immediately is like “Woah, there are totally POWs here.” He won’t stand for it and rescues one of them as proof for the government. But when he gets to the pickup location Murdock is like “shit, we didn’t even want to find the POWs” and leaves Rambo to be taken prisoner by the Vietnamese and Soviets. Trautman is furious and Rambo is definitely going to get tortured to death… psych! He’s Rambo! And with the help of Co he totally blows up everything and everyone and rescues the POWs. They get in a helicopter and blow up a bunch of other stuff before heading back to the US camp in Thailand where he convinces Murdock to save the POWs. Rambo then goes off into Thailand to live his days in peace… or does he? (bum bum bum). THE END. Big Question: Has Rambo had sex? We basically see him in jail or running around Vietnam up to the point of his one and only kiss with Co. From that moment he spends his life mourning the loss of her and living his life like a monk… so… I think the answer might be no. Rambo has never had sex despite what his rocking bod might suggest.

Why?! You get the sense that Rambo is totally disillusioned and really only takes the job because it’s his only way out of jail. But once he realizes that there really are some POWs to rescue he’s all in on winning. The general really just wants to be able to go back to the government and say that they don’t need to do anything more in Vietnam, but when he realizes that Rambo is the best ever and won’t let him do that he tries to sabotage him… to no avail… because it’s Rambo and he’s done gonna root out that corruption.

Who?! Wow, this is the second film in a short while (along with Black Dog) that had a major onset accident. While Black Dog got away with only some serious injuries, in this case Cliff Wenger Jr. was killed in an onsite explosion during filming in Mexico. The film ended up being dedicated to him. It’s always so sad to hear about these things.

What?! It is fun when product placement actually plays a role in the film. Here the bad guy general is always sapping on a delicious Coca-Cola. Why? Because he’s supposed to represent the misguided, consumerism-driven America that has forgotten what winning is all about. Does Rambo want a Coke? No thanks, bro. Winning is all the refreshment he needs.

Where?! I’m not sure where Rambo is in jail at the beginning of the film. Maybe Washington where his original crime was committed. But the rest of the film is split between Thailand and Vietnam. I think this is an A. Can’t be set anywhere else given the context.

When?! Uh… after the Vietnam War, duh. But really I didn’t get much beyond that. Looking at the timeline of all the films I do believe they take place in the years that they are released. Like the first film is seven years after Rambo is discharged, which makes sense with the end of the war in 1975 (film released in 1982) and this takes place three years later (1985). But that’s all I got. D.

The first time I watched this, I did not like it at all. My mistake? Watching it right after watching the first one, which is so far a superior film that it kinda spoiled the fun. This time I still thought the beginning was trash and the directing wasn’t very good, but the latter half of the film is actually a great action film. It even holds up by today’s standards in that it’s just Rambo running around the jungle setting traps and owning the bad guy. Lots of fun.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! We made a horrible mistake and had to watch four Rambo films in a week. Luckily two of them are bonkers 80s films. This is one of those. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I really really liked First Blood. I think it is a really interesting and smart action film. It handles an idea of a Vietnam veteran getting triggered and during a PTSD flashback he is basically assaulted by a police force, and this idea is very cool … they then obviously threw that in a bin and made it all about how Rambo just love America so much it makes him … a maniac? It seems that way. I was excited to be proven wrong. What were my expectations? For this to be an amazing bad movie I needed the most American Rambo ever. I need him to look me in the face and tell me explicitly: if you hate Rambo, you hate America, period. That’s what I need.

The Good – The middle bit of this film is an incredible action film. Rambo sneaking through the jungle, saving some POWs, flying a helicopter and blowing things up … it’s basically what you think of when you think Rambo. Right up until the end I liked Rambo as a character, it is a very interesting look at Vietnam vets / PTSD when linked with the first film. Stallone gets sillier as the movie goes on, but he’s solid in the first half of the film. Basically, the film is an amazing action film … right up until the ending. I will also say, despite being a cartoon character, the bad guy is pretty amusing in all of his PB&J eating and Coke slurping glory, a transparent caricature.

The Bad – The ending. Stallone claims that he got annoyed with James Cameron (who co-wrote the film) because Cameron was making the script too political. He went on to say that his script wasn’t political, all of Rambo’s dialogue was actual things Vietnam vets said … that doesn’t make it non-political!! The entire film is basically “Why doesn’t America love his war machine killer? Look at all of the amazing murder he has done and can do for America! All he wants is for America to love him as much as he loves America!” It is pretty gross. Now, I will gladly ignore this in the future when watching the film, but it is the one big knock against it in my opinion. It makes it tough to show to, say, a teenager without prefacing it with “by the way, Rambo simplifies a bunch of issues in favor of pretty explicit propaganda … but just ignore that, the action is fun”.

The BMT – I think this is too good of an action film to be a bad movie. Maybe 80% of this film is a really great action film. The other 20% of the film is the ending where Stallone kicks in the door of the mustache-twirlingly evil military bureaucrat and declared that all he wants in the world is for America to love him as much as he loves America … and that is gross. Did it meet my expectations? Nope. Which might seem weird considering I just said Rambo has a giant crazy AMERICA speech at the end, but it was too little too late. This is just a half-decent weirdly patriotic (jingoistic really) action film from the 80s. No more, no less. It just isn’t bad enough.

Roast-radamus – I guess Setting as a Character (Where?) is in play, but it is a bit unclear where they are once they fly out of Thailand (I would guess Vietnam makes the most sense). I think of all of the classic Coke product placements, this is one of the best Product Placement (What?) I’ve seen, since it informed the patriotic facade the evil military bureaucrat was wearing during the film. The twist in the film is actually good, so nothing there. But I would say this is plausible for a shout out at Good because this is a pretty good 80s action film.

StreetCreditReport.com – Not surprisingly this film isn’t on any lists. And not surprisingly I can’t really say this should be on any bad movie lists, since I thought it was a genuinely good film. The credit from this film just comes from the later Rambo films. Specifically it comes from the fact that Rambo (2008) was a complete catastrophe. Sometimes some BMT films are just BMT films because they are homework for other BMT films. Get it?

You Just Got Schooled – This will be quick … you see I watched four films this week and there is no way I could actually inform myself about anything outside of Rambo films. But shout out to UHF starring Weird Al Yankovich which includes a number of Rambo parodies. The main one involves him saving the POW Michael Richards, complete with exploding arrowheads. It is great. And I might as well pop this in all of the recaps: Jamie’s podcast Mac East 2nd Floor Studios Presents Submersion did an episode on the animated Rambo series Rambo: The Force of Freedom (Episode 79). And the episode features me as well. We talk about muscles, patriotism, and America.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Rambo: Last Blood Quiz

I’ve been watching Rambo films non-stop for a week now, I’ve lived, built a family, and died happily surrounded by that family as an old man while watching these films … and much like Rambo himself, it feels like I’ve sustained thousands of concussions and can’t remember a thing about Rambo: Last Blood … can you?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) What does Rambo do for a living in his new quiet life in Arizona?

2) What is Rambo’s relationship with the young lady that is kidnapped in Mexico?

3) Why does this young woman want to go to Mexico? And how does she end up being kidnapped by a Mexican prostitution ring?

4) What happens to the young lady in the end?

5) How does Rambo kill the two brothers who run the prostitution ring in the end?

Answers

Rambo (2008) Quiz

Oh sheeeeeeet, now I’m a gnarled oak tree of a man living in Thailand. But … again, I think in my many adventures literally chopping people in half with miniguns I got concussed a few dozen times. Do you remember what happened to me, Rambo, in 2008?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) As I said, Stallone is a gnarled old Rambo in Thailand. What is his job at this point in his life?

2) While bringing the missionaries into war-torn Burma Stallone has the opportunity to kill a bunch of Burmese pirates. Why?

3) What is the very-not-fun game the Burmese army (? I think they are the army since they are fighting the rebels, but don’t quote me on that) plays with their captured villagers?

4) How many people are in the mercenary group that is hired to help save the missionaries and that Rambo is bringing up the river. What other people end up going along with them into Burma?

5) How does Rambo kill the general in the end?

Answers