Texas Chainsaw 3D (Blu-ray / DVD)



Texas Chainsaw 3D (Blu-ray / DVD)Starring Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine "Trey Songz" Neverson, Keram Malicki-Sánchez, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde

Directed by John Luessenhop

Distributed by Lionsgate


Jesus H. Christ. I don't even know where to begin exactly. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, much like the Halloween franchise, is unique in the fact that several different plot-lines take place in their own bizarre universe with different characters, different families, etc. Over the years the Saw has seen remakes, prequels, sequels, and every other treatment you could conceivably give a property. With Texas Chainsaw the filmmakers decided that this entry would be a direct sequel to the original 1974 Tobe Hooper classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This was a ballsy and honestly welcome move. There was just one hitch... this would prove to be only the first of many problems that the film suffers from. Let me explain...

Texas Chainsaw begins the day after the events which found young Sally Hardesty jumping out of a window in hell. We see the police show up at the Sawyer residence (which has been lovingly recreated in this movie in startling detail), but eventually the long arm of the law falls limp as a group of angry Texans arrive with nothing but vigilante justice on their minds. During the fracas one member of the Sawyer clan flees for her life, baby in arms, only to be found at death's door by a member of the mob, who ends up taking her baby to raise as his own.

Flash forward to the present. By my count 39 years have passed since the incident in Texas, and we catch up with the abducted child, who is now named Heather (Daddario). Here's the thing... she's about 23. Was she in stasis for 16 years or something? This chick should be pushing 40, but no. She's twenty-friggin'-three. No matter how you slice it, this does NOT add up. Numbers don't lie. Normally I'd consider this "just one of those things" if not for the fact that the entire sales campaign for the film since it was first mentioned was built around this being a "direct sequel to the original." So how do the filmmakers combat logic? Every time the date of the deadly original incident is revealed, the year is always conveniently missing... whether it be grass covering it on a tombstone or whatever Austin Powers-style game of Hide the Salami they can concoct. Thus, we start things off with the entire movie being based around a gaping plot hole the size of Texas itself.

Anyway, back to the plot such as it is. Heather is now working in the meat department of her local supermarket and soon gets a registered letter stating that her real grandmother, whom she knew nothing about, had passed away and left her a sprawling Texas estate complete with built-in graveyard and flesh-wearing psychopath. Well, technically she doesn't know about those later bits until she gets there. In any event she and her friends pack up to go check out Heather's new digs. From there we're hit with rapid-fire moments of stupidity that will leave you battered and bruised. Instead of harping on each one, which would make this the most epic-sized review for this movie ever, I'm just gonna list some of them. Spoilers follow so if you don't want to read them, just skip it.


Texas Chainsaw Stupidity Checklist

  • Pick up a hitchhiker. Invest trust in said hitchhiker whom you don't know. Leave hitchhiker alone in house for no reason at all while you get party supplies.
  • Never read letter given to you by realtor explaining that your mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin lives in your basement even though you were explicitly told to.
  • Never question why your lover just emerged half-naked from a barn with your half-naked best friend. Seriously, don't even give them a slightly dirty look. Screw character development!
  • Release said mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin for the first time in public during a carnival and blow every bit of potential carnage that could come as a result.
  • Stare in awe as mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin waits for a Ferris wheel to make a full revolution while barely anyone acknowledges his existence or helps the screaming victim who is hanging from said Ferris wheel.
  • Sit bewildered as a young police officer doesn't even attempt to chase after the mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin who is now unarmed because he flung his chainsaw at said officer. Note said mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin should now be pushing about 70 years old and cannot run fast because he has a limp from an injury he received in 1974. Direct sequel, remember?
  • The entire iPhone sequence, which is not only ridiculous but completely erases any chance of saying, "Well, maybe this movie takes place in the Nineties" so the already faulty math could add up.
  • Try to make the audience root for said mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin who dismembered and ate countless innocent human beings because he wasn't given due process.
  • Decide to forget that said mentally disturbed flesh-wearing cousin killed all of your friends and just go back to your blood-splattered new home which is the scene of a horrid massacre and call it a day.



    I could go on and on and on. None of it makes any sense. Don't get me wrong; I'm not looking for a movie called Texas Chainsaw 3D to be rich with details, but can't even just the basic plot make sense? Want to be even further infuriated? Good! I've got just what you need. You can watch an UNRATED cut of Texas Chainsaw by buying it from iTunes. It's NOT included in this Blu-ray / DVD package. Nope. Not at all. You do get a digital copy of the rated version though. Yay. Having seen the unrated version, which clocks in at 92 minutes (incidentally, the same exact runtime as the theatrical cut), I can tell you that the differences are minimal. We're talking a few frames cut from a couple of the movie's kill scenes, especially the final meat grinder kill. Yep. No biggie here. I'm sure Lionsgate will release an unrated Blu-ray in the future, and just like good little sheep someone will buy it.

    I would like to give a special shout-out to Dan Yeager, who played Leatherface in this go-round. It's very apparent that he cared about what he was doing and that he was honored to play the role. Good on you, dude. You're truly one of this flick's saving graces.

    Still, even given all of its absolute stupidity I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the flick on some level. In fact it's incoherent silliness and brutal kills kept me entertained throughout on the most superficial level possible. The Blu-ray looks stunning with razor-sharp detail, wondrously deep black levels, and booming surround sound mix. Say what you want about the movie, but it looks and sounds phenomenal. Also phenomenal are its bonus features. They're way better than the film itself deserved, and that just adds to the tragedy.

    We get three commentaries - one with John Luessenhop and Leatherface Dan Yeager, which is about as dry a 97-year-old woman's vagina, another with with producer Carl Mazzocone and filmmaker Tobe Hooper which is a must for Chainsaw buffs and historians, and a special "Chainsaw Alumni" audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, and John Dugan. If you're going to listen to just one, trust me and go with the alumni one. It's fast, funny, and full of witty anecdotes and stories. From there we get seven featurettes (detailed below) which look at both the franchise and this film from every possible angle and end up being a much better watch than the movie itself. These run anywhere from about six minutes to nearly nearly fifteen and do nothing but make you wish that the movie was better. It's like all the components were there, but no one had any idea how to put them all together. After spending time with these supplemental slivers of goodness, you cannot help but appreciate what the people who brought Texas Chainsaw to the screen tried to attempt. Too bad said features also underscore how badly they failed. From there we have six on-set shot behind-the-scenes videos which run about five minutes each, an alternate opening that was far superior than the hackjob MTV-style quick edit fest we got in the film itself, and the trailer. Seriously, this thing is packed to the gills with goodness. Except for the film, which kind of sucks in an almost okay way.

    In the end, despite all the good intentions and heart that went into it, Texas Chainsaw plays more like a glorified fan film than it does an actual entry into the franchise. Who's to blame for this? I doubt that anyone involved really knows themselves. Of course the flick ended up making bank at the box office so there will be a sequel, which is rumored to be called Texas Chainsaw 4, but Texas Chainsaw 4 was actually called Texas Chainsaw: The Next Generation, and since this is technically the second film in the series based on the original franchise, wouldn't that make the next movie Texas Chainsaw 3, which was actually Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, and not Texas Chainsaw 4? There goes that friggin' screwy math thing again. Sigh.

    Special Features

  • Audio commentary with director John Luessenhop and Leatherface Dan Yeager
  • Special "Chainsaw Alumni" audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan
  • Audio commentary with producer Carl Mazzocone and filmmaker Tobe Hooper
  • "Texas Chainsaw Legacy" featurette - A look back at the history and 40-year legacy of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series with filmmaker Tobe Hooper
  • "Resurrecting the Saw" featurette - A look at the development of Texas Chainsaw with director John Luessenhop, producer Carl Mazzocone, and writers Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten Elms, and Stephen Susco
  • "The Old Homestead" featurette - A detailed look at the re-creation of the shooting location from the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre with production designer William A. Elliott and cast members (and Chainsaw series alumni) Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, and John Dugan
  • "Casting Terror" featurette - Interviews with the cast including Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, Tania Reynolds, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Scott Eastwood, Sean Sipos, and others
  • "Leatherface 2013" featurette - An interview with Leatherface actor Dan Yeager on his interpretation of this legendary role, along with a look at the creation of Leatherface's costume, mask, and signature chainsaw
  • "Lights, Camera, Mayhem" featurette - A look at the film's 3D photography with director of photography Anastas Michos along with a look at the creation of several sequences from the film
  • "It's in the Meat" featurette - An detailed look at the film's grisly special make-up effects with make-up effects supervisor Robert Kurtzman and make-up artists Alex Diaz and Mike McCarty
  • Alternate opening
  • On-Set Short Subjects: Five-Minute Massacres
    - Burning Down the House
    - Trapped in the Van
    - Carnival Time
    - Leatherface in Action
    - Hot Times in Louisiana
    - Bloody Good Times

    Film:

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    5 out of 5

    Discuss Texas Chainsaw 3D in our comments section below!




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    Jsin's picture

    I'm almost ashamed to admit this but I actually enjoyed this film, flaws and all. It was a very nice way to kill some time and I thought it added something to the Chainsaw mythos.


    Submitted by Jsin on Sun, 05/19/2013 - 4:30pm.
    Terminal's picture

    TCM 03 tried to make us pity Leatherface and the Sawyer family as well by painting Leatherface as some poor old disfigured guy who wears faces because he's a freak. Awww! At least this is a closer facimile than the Platinum Dumbs' version of Leatherface.


    Submitted by Terminal on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 3:44pm.
    Terminal's picture

    Texas Chainsaw is so much better than the Platinum Dumbs bullshit remakes and remake of the remake they called the prequel.It's at least fun. It has no plot, but it's entertaining and gory. I had a good time with it.


    Submitted by Terminal on Thu, 05/16/2013 - 3:40pm.

    Love the “97 Year Old Vagina” comment, that was funny! But I’ve got to disagree with you about the flick. I thought the movie was a lot of fun- and the only TCM film that actually had a plot! I'm going to add this bad boy to my Texas Chainsaw collection!


    Submitted by XtraCloseShave on Fri, 05/10/2013 - 9:48pm.
    moderator A plot? I guess!
    Steve Barton's picture

    A plot? I guess!


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 3:57pm.
    DavidFullam's picture

    I guess the filmmakers were trying to use the old sliding scale of time that Marvel Comics uses. Too bad, as pointed out, they put 2012 up on screen.


    Submitted by DavidFullam on Thu, 05/09/2013 - 7:53pm.
    Shambling_in_Bandages's picture

    "Every time the date of the deadly original incident is revealed, the year is always conveniently missing... whether it be grass covering it on a tombstone or whatever Austin Powers-style game of Hide the Salami they can concoct."

    The police reports give a date of August 1973. In another scene, grannie's tombstone has the year 2012 on it. No doubt about it, Heather is pushing 40.


    Submitted by Shambling_in_Ba... on Mon, 05/06/2013 - 11:24am.
    moderator Maybe I missed the police
    Steve Barton's picture

    Maybe I missed the police report one, but I'm pretty positive the death date on Granny's tombstone was obscured by grass.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Sat, 05/11/2013 - 4:07pm.
    Shambling_in_Bandages's picture

    Nope, the year is fairly clear on grandma's tombstone. It's not in the close-up of the stone (as you would expect), it's in the long(ish) shot that precedes it. You can even read the month: September 2012, if I recall correctly.

    Yeah, I've just had another look. The date is too hight to be hidden by grass. In fact, there's no grass in front of it, it's a mound of freshly piled dirt and it's nowhere near the dates.

    VERNA
    SAWYER
    CARSON

    JULY 18 1937
    SEPTEMBER 29 2012

    That's how it reads to me, at least? I'm more unsure of the DOB, if I'm honest. Admittedly, I'm looking at it in SD now, whereas I originally saw the date in HD. It should be a lot clearer on Blu-ray.

    It's around the 26 minute-mark, immediately before the shot where Heather says "Thank you" to her departed grandmother and the close-up of Loretta Sissy Sawyer's stone, which is partially obscured by grass.

    Re: the police evidence dates. Shortly after the 58 minute-mark, Sally Hardesty's police statement to Sheriff Hooper reads "On the morning of August 18, 1973..." and "08/18/1973: S. Hardesty arrived at Sheriff's office..."


    Submitted by Shambling_in_Ba... on Sun, 05/12/2013 - 5:33am.

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