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 

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(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-)

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(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

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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)

Conan the Barbarian (2011) Preview

Rich and Poe are hardboiled detectives ready to crack heads and flush crime down the drain (if it wasn’t for all the bureaucratic bullshit at the LAPD). Poe is only 10 days away from retirement and Rich doesn’t play by anyone’s rules so when they are called into the chief’s office and told that they must infiltrate a middle school in downtown LA they want to say no way. Unfortunately they know that despite being nearly 40-years-old they are the only ones hip to what the kids are up to and capable of doing the job. Tossing on backwards caps and some Reebok pumps they skateboard their way into school as a couple of dope tweens. They need to infiltrate the 7th grade Dungeons & Dragons club which is suspected to be a front for dealing a new synthetic drug on the market called DeezNuts. “D&D!” says Rich, “man, that sounds like rulez.” But Poe reminds him that in school, rulez=coolz. True dat. They get dressed in some major nerd attire and enter the world of swords and sorcery as they take the guise of Sorsaron the Barbarian and the powerful Mage, Brawln. Together they infiltrate the gang and start up the campaign that will take these drug-dealing preteens downtown. That’s right! We’re watching the remake of Conan the Barbarian. We already watched Conan the Destroyer for BMT so this will complete the complete Conan set… until the next remake comes out. This was produced by Boaz Davidson, who also produced the Nic Cage classic and BMT HoFer The Wicker Man… man, this guy loves making shitty remakes. Let’s go!

Conan the Barbarian (2011) – BMeTric: 60.7

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(Wow, beautiful curve right there. This is a set it and forget it definitely below average film. Like … a kind of film you can enjoy depending (sub 5.0 is where it starts to get dicey), but also not even close to the average (which is around 6.2))

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Raised by a fearless tribal leader, Conan seeks revenge on the rival who brought death and destruction to his father and community. While on his quest he meets a woman who is being hunted by the same evildoers for her “pure blood.” New look at Robert E. Howard’s pulp-fiction hero may not be intellectually stimulating, but it’s never dull, with great action scenes, visual effects, and two formidable villains: warlord Lang and McGowan, as his sorceress daughter. Extremely violent.

(For the record he gave this the same review as the original, which honestly could very well be fair. The “extremely violent” part at the end is pretty amusing. It doesn’t really get me excited for the film, but it doesn’t make me worried either. Just kind of meh.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1iJZIMddpM

(This soundtrack makes me worried. Kind of right there in the thick of the 300 fad of washed out colors which is just now dying ten years later. It looks terrible, but I will withhold judgment. A Conan film is always about the representation of Conan in my opinion. Momoa looks terrible in the trailer, but we’ll see.)

Directors – Marcus Nispel – (Future BMT: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Pathfinder; Friday the 13th; Notes: He was a very prolific music video director up until 2000. Notably a friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he almost directed End of Days.)

Writers – Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (written by) – (Future BMT: Dylan Dog: Dead of Night; Sahara; BMT: A Sound of Thunder; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Not much information on these guys. They are adapting Mandrake the Magician though, which should be … frankly it sounds like a terrible idea.)

Sean Hood (written by) – (Known For: Cube 2: Hypercube; Future BMT: Halloween: Resurrection; The Crow: Wicked Prayer; BMT: The Legend of Hercules; Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Started his career as a set dresser on Twin Peaks. Is known for horror and swords-and-sandals films.)

Robert E. Howard (character of Conan) – (Known For: Conan the Barbarian; Solomon Kane; Future BMT: Red Sonja; Kull the Conqueror; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Conan the Destroyer; Notes: Wrote the Conan pulp novels in the 1930s. They are interesting and short, reading either the introduction (which is super weird) or one of the novels involving Belit the pirate queen is well worth the time I think.)

Actors – Jason Momoa – (Known For: Justice League; Braven; The Bad Batch; Bullet to the Head; Road to Paloma; Future BMT: Johnson Family Vacation; Once Upon a Time in Venice; Wolves; Sugar Mountain; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Conan the Barbarian; Notes: Wrestler turned actor who played Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Drive; Tangled; Hellboy; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Alien: Resurrection; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; Blade II; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; La guerre du feu; The Bleeder; 13 Sins; Cronos; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Conan the Barbarian; Season of the Witch; Notes: Bad movie legend. He announced his intention to run for U.S. President in 2020.)

Rose McGowan – (Known For: Scream; Death Proof; Planet Terror; Grindhouse; Machete; Class of 1999; The Doom Generation; Going All the Way; Fifty Dead Men Walking; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; The Black Dahlia; Ready to Rumble; Jawbreaker; California Man; Paranormal: White Noise; Nowhere; Southie; BMT: Monkeybone; Conan the Barbarian; Phantoms; Notes: Has been in the news a ton recently due to her high-profile battle with Harvey Weinstein over accusations of rape and legal settlements. Probably most famous as a television actress in Charmed.)

Budget/Gross – $90 million / Domestic: $21,295,021 (Worldwide: $48,795,021)

(Wow, catastrophic. Makes sense they scraped plans for the sequel then. That is just astonishingly bad.)

#76 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(People do love their fantasy don’t they? As crazy as it sounds the highest ranked BMT film is The Last Airbender of all things. Disney and Harry Potter have dominated the releases.)

#46 for the Revenge genre

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(Kind of gross, but the genre is waning which is … good I think. Revenge isn’t particularly great for anyone usually, right? Need for Speed was the highest ranked BMT film here. This earned less than that crazy Ben-Hur remake!)

#20 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(The plot is a little enigmatic, but I guess you could say these come in waves and we are moving out of a wave at the moment. Warcraft is the most recent film listed which seems crazy, but I also am hard pressed to name another Sword and Sorcery in the meantime … kind of sad, it is a fun genre I think.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (34/145): While its relentless, gory violence is more faithful to the Robert E. Howard books, Conan the Barbarian forsakes three-dimensional characters, dialogue, and acting in favor of unnecessary 3D effects.

(I don’t get this consensus. More faithful to the books? The 1982 film is extremely gory and violent. And it wasn’t really the character building that made it great … it very much took the pulp approach to the series. So I don’t really understand the point. Whatever. Reviewer Highlight: Rent the original instead. – Tom Huddleston, Time Out)

Poster – Conan the Sklogarian (C)

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(Oh boy. This is like the artistic version of the legendary Avengers poster. Weird two-color gradient is no bueno and there is just way too much going on. That being said this actually looks somewhat artistic with some nice font and symmetry. Lands back in the middle.)

Tagline(s) – Enter An Age Undreamed Of (D)

(Heh. No thanks.)

Keyword(s) – sword and sandal; Top Ten by BMeTric: 95.9 Meet the Spartans (2008); 85.9 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 82.6 The Legend of Hercules (2014); 76.6 Hercules in New York (1970); 64.7 Eragon (2006); 60.7 Conan the Barbarian (2011); 54.1 Vercingétorix (2001); 53.9 Gods of Egypt (2016); 53.7 Season of the Witch (2011); 52.2 Caligula (1979);

(Vercingetorix is called Druids in the United States and looks … awful. It looks kind of like the cheap Asterix films. Hercules and Caligula are classics though, pre-1980 and a 50+ BMeTric is pretty nuts. And then we’ll have truly mastered the sword and sandal epic … but who are we kidding The Legend of Hercules is the best of the bunch.)

Movie Stub – Conan the Barbarian (2011 film) (C-class) – There is a small note about expanding the critical reception, but it is already quite good. I’m not sure why whomever put that there put it as a public display instead as a plea on the talk page to be honest. Otherwise this looks like a very well maintained page will little (beyond perhaps editing the plot a bit after watching) for me to offer. Good example of the “(YEAR film)” title requirement on wikipedia, because the name is the same as (1) The character from the original pulp novels, and (2) The original 1982 adaptation.

Notes – Jason Momoa enrolled in an intense six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy in Los Angeles for his part, while still finalizing negotiations for the film.

Jason Momoa is by his own admission afraid of horses, so all his horse riding scenes had to either be faked or filmed with doubles. (hahaha, this is like the thing about how Gary Busey is allergic to horse saliva and has a rider in his contracts that prohibits them from being on set)

Rachel Nichols had a body double for her sex scene. (As I assume most ladies do)

Arnold Schwarzenegger was offered the role of Corin, Conan’s father, but declined. Schwarzenegger played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), of which this film is a remake. (eeeeh, is it a remake though? Or is it a separate adaptation of the pulp novels. I guess we’ll see if the story is the same … because if it is then yeah, it’s a remake)

Jason Momoa and Rachel Nichols would later be offered the roles of Drax the Destroyer and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Both turned the roles down, and Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana, respectively, took them. (huh I wonder why Momoa turns down Drax. Maybe he was already in discussion for Aquaman)

Dolph Lundgren, then Mickey Rourke, were in talks to play Corin, Conan’s father, but Rourke turned it down to do Immortals (2011) before Ron Perlman was cast. (Oh, that reminds me, we need to watch Immortals)

After production on the film was completed, Jason Momoa (Conan) went on to star as Khal Drogo in the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones (2011). Nonso Anozie, who played Conan’s shipmate Artus, would star as Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the second season of the series.

Ron Perlman, who plays Conan’s father Corin, previously voiced Conan himself in the video game Conan (2007) and the unreleased animated film “Conan: Red Nails”. (Oh … that’s a fun fact)

Kellan Lutz and Jared Padalecki were considered for the lead, which eventually went to Jason Momoa. (Noooooooo, my boy Lutz could have been Conan? And they didn’t just throw money at him?!)

The film was originally rumored to be a remake of the original Conan the Barbarian (1982). It was revealed that the film was not a remake, but a reboot, and it had been intended to be more true to the original stories by Robert E. Howard. (I knew it!)

The ship “Hornet” is a fairly accurate replica of a seventeenth or eighteenth century Chinese junk, especially with its three square sails. (Oh perhaps … only due to its three square sails? I’m skeptical about this IMDb reviewers ship authentication creds)

A “Conan” sequel was abandoned when this film did poorly at the box-office. However, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played Conan in the original Conan the Barbarian (1982), announced he was to return in the role of Conan, which he last played in 1984, in a long-awaited second sequel “The Legend of Conan”, which will be a direct sequel to the 1982 film. (Wait … it wouldn’t be a sequel to Conan the Destroyer? Also this isn’t happening. Also, I think Conan the Conqueror was the most recent rumored title)

While pre-production, Conan was a temporary title for the film, until it was changed to Conan 3D. Finally, early in December 2010, the title was definitely changed to Conan the Barbarian, as was titled the 1982 film. (Conan 3D is such a bad name)