The Schlocktoberfest – Day 2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre




The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)


*Spoilers Throughout*

What’s This About:
A few kids(?) [older teens perhaps—maybe in their 20s—I really don’t know] run afoul of a deranged cabal of sadistic backwoods killers while en route to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert. Free Bird indeed.

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • What the fuck is a Platinum Dune anyway? Why would anyone name their production company (one infamous for horror schlock) after a dune? And why Platinum? is that the top of the line for dunes?
  • That’s very grainy footage. Like obviously-added-by-an-amateur-using-Adobe-Afteraffects-for-the-first-time grainy.
  • Glad John Larroquette reprised his iconic role of “Narrator.”
  • Alfred E. Neuman! “What Me Worry?” A lot actually. I’m worried a whole lot by watching this.
  • Not really digging the True Crime Documentary opening here. Kinda boring and trivial if you ask me.
  • I always hated Eric Balfour. Glad his career stifled after this.
  • Let’s open up a movie about and set in Texas with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Great choice.
  • This teen is warning his other teen friends that are making out that there’s a rampant number of STDs. Weren’t there only like two STDs back in the 70s?

Gas, Ass or Grass, no one rides for free!

  • Oh, so they are playing “Sweet Home Alabama” because these kids are on their way to a Skynyrd concert. Doesn’t matter, they could’ve played virtually any other song.
  • And that young nerd kid is wearing a T-shirt that says New York on it!
  • Whatever happened to Jessica Biel? She should be starring in another TV show by now. Possibly on TNT or USA.
  • A. She wasn’t in the middle of the road. And B. How did you NOT see her on flat road on a clear day?
  • Why is there so much MAD Magazine iconography in this?
  • Do these kids live in Texas? Not one of them has an accent.
  • Man, the 70s rule. This teen driver picked up not one but two hitchhikers.
  • Did she just grab a gun out of her vagina?
  • Nice bullet through the mouth death scene. The smoke coming out of her mouth was a nice touch.
  • “Why did she have to pick us?” Yes, that terrible hitchhiker was a bitch for choosing to shoot herself in your van.

  • Me thinks that they named Kemper after famed serial killer Edmund Kemper.
  • So the living hitchhiker says that “…There’s no possible way that I’m ever getting back in that van.” And then it quickly cuts to the van speeding off on the road again and another quick cut to the inside of the van where there’s nary a peep from the girl who complained. In fact, she’s spraying what looks like perfume to mask the stench of dead body. The lady doth didn’t protest too much, methinks actually.
  • Yes, the dead body is still sitting in the van. No one looks even remotely disturbed at this. How stoned are they?
  • “You want some pig?” 
  • After trying to open a lock with a pocket knife, Biel tells the other girl, “Brothers,” as the sort of reason she has the knife. For defense? Either that or she is somewhat implying that she killed one with this knife.
  • The best thing about this flick, so far, is the outfit they made Jessica Biel wear.

  • “We’re not going to ride around time with a dead girl in the back of our van!” Well you had zero qualms driving TO this town with the dead girl in the back of your van.
  • Kinda weird that the old lady in the butcher shop who telephoned the sheriff tells them, “Young man, what you do is your own business.” It’s like she misheard him say, I can’t wait to drive around town with a dead girl in the back of my van.
  • Furthermore, the first thing they do when they exit the butcher shop is get right back in their van.
  • They should’ve just Aunt Edna’d the dead hitchhiker. 
  • Drop off the body? Like there’s a night deposit box outside the county morgue.
  • Oh the ubiquitous ominous musical cue when something scary happens. Modern horror movies suck.
  • So these kids are trespassing at this factory (I thought they were deciding on what to do with the dead hitchhiker), Biel hears something and now they are armed ready to strike something. Why don’t they just get the fuck out of there?
  • And it’s just an opossum anyway. For fuck’s sake.
  • Again, why don’t you fucking leave?!
  • Hahahahaha, there’s a feral boy in this abandoned factory. I mean, he looks feral. He’s got rotting teeth and he’s walking on all fours like Gollum.
  • Wait, is this the place that the sheriff asked them to go and wait? And they’re OK waiting there with the feral kid? Dumbasses.
  • Hahahaha, the feral kid is poking the dead girl with a stick!
  • The architecture of this house is wacky! It’s a typical redneck house but there’s huge stone columns outside.
  • It’s been a half hour into this and not one nipple protruding through Jessica Biel’s white tank top. For 1973 I call bullshit on this.
  • R. Lee Ermey! What’s your major function numb-nuts!
  • That appears to be tomato bisque coming out of that faucet sir.
  • Clever foreshadowing Marcus Nispel showing the sheriff ask where the dead hitchhiker got her gun and then immediately put the gun into his empty ankle holster. Gee, I wonder myself where she got the gun.
  • Ermey is upset that the two other dudes from the van won’t help him wrapping up the dead hitchhiker up in Saran Wrap.
  • Movie is trying to make Ermey even more menacing by having him feel up the dead body as well as ask the kids if they did any fun with her because he says she’s wet down there.
  • Why make the supposed “good guys” so over-the-top offensive immediately? Like, wouldn’t it be more of pay-off with a little twist and/or mystery in who these kids can or cannot trust?
  • Harry Knowles severed bloody head. That felt good just typing that.
  • Great time to freak out and scare your friends asshole.
  • This is the worst Scooby gang ever.
  • Kemper was planning on proposing to Erin (Biel) at the Skynyrd concert? You ol’ charmer you.
  • I hope he was planning on asking during “What’s That Smell.”
  • The flick continues to gain my attention by giving me constant Jessica Biel rear tight jeans shots.
  • So Leatherface attacks Erin and Andy and chases them out of the house. He’s on Andy’s tail when Andy runs (stupidly) through sheets hanging from clotheslines. A. Who is doing Leatherface’s laundry and hanging it up? B. That’s an assload of sheets, like there’s rows and rows of white sheets. C. Did Andy run not through the sheets but ran back and forth because how the hell did Leatherface cut off Andy’s leg when Andy ran PAST Leatherface?
  • Wait, Morgan is from New York! That’s why he’s wearing a New York T-shirt! It all makes sense now!
  • All I hear is Sgt. Gunnery Hartmann when Ermey speaks. 
  • The flick answers the age-old question: what does Leatherface’s actual face look like. And of course this dumb flick makes him someone with a facial deformity with Leatherface missing a nose.
  • Ermey is now forcing Morgan to perform fellatio on the pistol that the dead girl shot herself with.
  • Morgan then takes the pistol and threatens Ermey’s life with it. What are the chances that there are no bullets in the gun and we just have to watch a tense gripping scene with will Morgan shoot Ermey while Erin and Pepper plead with him not to?
  • Ermey yells at the girls that if Morgan shoots him, they are accomplices to murder. Which then makes the girls plead with Morgan more because they could get into further legal issues. 
  • Yup. No bullets.
  • It’s no surprise coming that Ermey is part of the whatever they’re calling Leatherface’s family in this reboot. (It was Sawyer in ’73) So why isn’t he “arresting” all the teens to take to Leatherface? He just takes Morgan. 
  • What?! Andy is not only still alive on his meathook but he gains enough strength to almost lift himself off of it?!?! No fucking way.
  • Hahaha. Ermey just tricked Morgan into “bribing” him with the unused Skynyrd concert tickets and then slaps Morgan in the mouth with whiskey bottle.
  • Now we’re spending an exuberant amount of time watching Erin and Pepper hot wire the van. This is incredibly boring.
  • Ermey just yelled at Morgan as he was kicking the shit out of him that [they] shouldn’t have messed with that little girl. I’m assuming he’s referring to the hitchhiker who was not so “little” and is this “massacre” only happening to the teens because of revenge for the hitchhiker’s death? 
  • Hahahaha. As Erin peels off in the van, the van’s front wheel’s come right off their axles and the van collapses and Leatherface revs up his chainsaw motor. So we watched them hot wire the stupid van for 4 minutes only for them to go nowhere, just for Leatherface’s gag?!
  • He easily could’ve slaughtered them while they were busy hot wiring the van. Dumb asshole.
  • OK. So somehow Leatherface had the time to make a new mask with Kemper’s face in just the few short hours of Kemper dying and Leatherface finding the girls in the van. Jesus H. Christ. The flesh on Kemper’s face didn’t even have enough time to dry!
  • His name is Leatherface. And I always took that as it was an ironic nickname seeing as he wore human faces as if they were leathered and thus not decompose rapidly. Was I wrong?

  • Oh good the recreation of Leatherface chasing Sally (Erin) through the forest at night. I’m sure I’ll be impressed by this modern reimagining.
  • Leatherface has trailer park neighbors? It’s way too obvious that they would be allies or part of his family, so I’m guessing this is a rouse and he’s going to slaughter these two old ladies.
  • And I was wrong. These old ladies know and sympathize with him. Apparently, Leatherface has a skin disease.
  • I am bored. I can’t stress that enough.
  • Erin is upset that the trailer park trash who sympathizes with Leatherface lied that she didn’t have a phone.
  • The old ladies drugged Erin with the tea they made for her. This is riveting horror let me tell you. Remember in the original when Franklin was put in a sleeper hold and was dragged to the house for Leatherface to kill?
  • I think I was more disturbed by The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas than this “massacre.”
  • This family of cannibals (are they cannibals this time?) is much larger and diverse than the original. Which isn’t a bad thing, although having just Leatherface, the cook, the hitchhiker, and Grandpa seems like enough to try to escape from. Leatherface now has a grandmother and the grandpa was the old wheelchair-bound man from earlier (far from his near-death original counterpart), the sheriff and the feral kid from earlier as well. I’m assuming the two old ladies are not family per se but still they helped Leatherface’s family.
  • Jessica Biel’s top is soaking wet and we still don’t get a nip showing. What gives?!
  • Erin trying to lift Andy off his meathook and failing multiple times is totally making Andy in more pain than just hanging there.
  • Andy then begs Erin to kill him and she hardly hesitates fulfilling his wishes. I know he’s suffering but he’s yelling at her to do it so he can’t be in that much misery to warrant a mercy killing. Again, she’s hardly thinking about it as she plunges the large knife into his belly. Easy-peasy lemon squeezey.
  • Now she finds Morgan just soaking silently in a bath tub. 
  • Is this a new kid trying to help Erin and Morgan or is he still the same feral kid? I’m unsure. At any rate, I’m sure the kid is going to double-cross them somehow. 
  • Actually he doesn’t and I’d have to assume it was the same feral kid. Why would he help them?!
  • Leatherface changed back to his original mask now. Maybe the Kemper face was chafing him.
  • That fact that Erin and Morgan are outside the house with over 20 minutes remaining does not bode well for me. This movie is doing nothing to building up any tension if the survivors are going to be this mobile.
  • Was Leatherface grabbing Erin from behind the rotting wall with both his arms supposed to be cool?
  • I love how this film wants us to believe that Morgan can go toe-to-toe for a short while with Leatherface.
  • More running through the dark forest.

I shouldn’t complain too much

  • Leatherface trips on a barbed wire fence and accidentally cuts his thigh with his chainsaw. And then the scene just ends with Erin racing away from him.
  • Erin is now going toe-to-toe with Leatherface. Why didn’t Sally do this in the original?
  • Why is Erin, in hiding, calling out to Leatherface to lure him so she can attack him with a cleaver? She should be running the fuck away from this situation. Especially considering that Leatherface is not alone in trying to kill her.
  • She actually cut his fucking arm off. This is beyond dumb.
  • What made the original so great, besides the maddening visuals and sounds, was the fact that our heroine narrowly escaped for her life and lost her sanity in her experience with the Sawyer clan. Making Erin an equal to Leatherface and facing off with him and actually harming him does not make sense.
  • Now Erin is helped by a truck driver, who happened to be going in the direction of the Hewitt clan’s house and she freaks out to not go there so badly that the driver actually stops in front of the house to get help from her.
  • The truck driver could’ve also easily just thrown her out of his cab instead of running in to get the sheriff and now she’s trying to hot wire the truck. 
  • Oh wait, the movie pulled the ol’ switcheroo on us and she was actually hot wiring the sheriff’s squad car and rams the sheriff who was checking out the truck’s cab. Nice.
  • Although this flick is also implying that Erin also had plenty of time and ninja-like skills to take the old ladies baby that was in the house. Again, I call major bullshit if this is what happened.
  • The flick could’ve at least gave is a nice gory head-splatter when Erin ran over Ermey’s head or something. Come-the-fuck-on.
  • I was right, Erin somehow with her superhero powers managed to take the baby. I know it was the right thing to do but Erin had zero proof that that baby was kidnapped by the Hewitts. For all we know that could’ve been the love child of Leatherface and one of the old ladies.
  • More Larroquette narration as we finish the true-crime documentary scenes with Leatherface attacking the investigators. “The case remains open…” Oooooh really scary. Thanks again Marcus Nispel you fucking hack.


Final Thoughts: The 1973 original is one of my top-five horror flicks so I’d be lying if I said that any other reboot or re-imagining (for which there are plentiful) wouldn’t be unbiasedly compared to it. I saw this remake back in the early aughts and hated it from beginning to end. I could go on and on to how great the original is for its minimalism, creepy score and fantastic cinematography. Nispel and Dunes watched the original and scratched their head as to why it didn’t have buckets of blood everywhere. Watching the 2003 remake again, I’m scratching my head wondering if this version brought anything new to the table. If anything they took components away. There was no mention or hint that this new family were cannibals and making Texas brisket from their victims. And I don’t know whose bright idea was to make Jessica Biel’s character such a bad-ass and actually fight Leatherface and maim him by cutting off his arm! What made the original so unnerving was Sally escaped within inches of her life. Like most remakes of this era, it misses the mark on various occasions and also more or less missed the point of what made the original so great.  

Score: 2 Nipples Unseen on a Wet White T-Shirt (out of 10)

Which was Better?: Bitch, please.


2 thoughts on “The Schlocktoberfest – Day 2: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  1. Pingback: The Schlocktoberfest – Day 17: Children of the Corn | Hard Ticket to Home Video

  2. Pingback: The Schlocktoberfest: The Recap Ends | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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