The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Deep in the Bowels of Texas
Film review by: Witney Seibold

TCM 2003 Leatherface
It was dark and filthy and horrifying. The evil cannibal hicks guffawed and thrashed with glee. The scenes of torture lasted a long, long time. We could practically smell the decaying flesh in the basement room of the hot, fly-infested shack. The film stock itself even looked as if it had been sitting on a shelf in a slaughterhouse for a few years. These are the strengths of Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It set out to be a raw, amateurish, hurtful, disturbing, filth nightmare, and it succeeded. It can easily be called one of the scariest films ever made.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is now a 2003 film, directed this time by Marcus Nispel, and moneyed by Capital-B schlockmeister Michael Bay. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it is this: young people get lost in Texas. They stumble upon a group of hicks in an old house. One of the hicks wears a mask of human skin and wields a chainsaw. Without motivation, the hicks torture and kill and sometimes eat said young people. The end. Oh, and, just for a little comfort, one of them gets away.

What does it say that the 2003 films is not as good as the original? That it didn’t make me feel dirty and scared? That is wasn’t able to instill the urge to bathe and to never go outdoors again? That – through its skilled photography, slick production design, carefully chosen color palate, professional acting, story arcs, and attention to character – it was almost laughably (or maybe tear-inducingly) bad? The logic seems a little skewed for the average filmgoer, who tends to favor overall quality over …well, the opposite, but one cannot be dirty and clean simultaneously. It tries to do with a huge heap of money what can only be done for none.

We get to know a few characters. R. Lee Ermey plays his usual screamy Southern Asshole. Jessica Biel, who only exists from her sternum to the top of her low-slung jeans, is the heroine after a fashion, and the other young people are all minor cast members from other teen primetime soaps. Don’t give me these pretty, recognizable people! Give me anonymous people who will grunt and squeal like quivering meat before they’re fed to grandpa. I assure you, I will be more disturbed if I don’t know the people.

Go ahead. Stare. That's why she's here.

Go ahead. Stare. That's why she's here.

I guess my point is that the original was a onetime phenomenon. Its magic (?) will never be recaptured by a second film. Nispel doesn’t realize that the original was only effective because it was a) bracingly original, and b) raw and immediate. There’s nothing original, raw, or immediate about a remake of any stripe. A remake of this film, was such a staggeringly horrible idea, and this production so horribly overwrought, well, I just shake my head sadly, and pine for a time when I will be scared again.

Published in: on August 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! Its imposible… I’m realy shocked :/

  2. And how old are you? 70 ? I´ve seen the original and it is just ridiculous from the starting point to the final second. It was so pathetic it nearly made me cry. Even a thought ne howling fat rubberface running after you… I think I could´t sleep even a minute with that image in my mind.

    L’andatura del giogo a portata di mano
    di V.S. Gaudio

    L’andatura di Jessica Biel in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” è un esempio di doppio innesco, su una base allascata al trotto, essendo una longilinea mesomorfa e avendo l’estensione del movimento alta e bilaterale con l’orientamento direzionale diagonale/dimensionale, ha i 4 Regolatori di Intensità, disposti in questo modo: Forza medio alta =+; Tempo medio veloce =+; Spazio medio largo =+; Flusso mobile + , che le danno questo “close-hauling”, tirando serrato, che in un’andatura slack, allascata, più che farla “veleggiare chiusa”(sail close) la fanno “veleggiare aperta”(sail open), rivelando così, anche per l’orientamento direzionale diagonale, l’innesco di bolina: la ventenne che sta andando verso “quella porta” così aperta, tanto sentimentale-flemmatica(il passo al lasco) ma con la spinta amorfo-nervosa della bolina ha il bagliore dell’aura che illumina l’organicità, la accenta, con questo suo principio di totalità che Bode chiamava “Movimento organico accentato” e che è “quel movimento( questo movimento) in cui la base riflessa è integrata da una componente volitiva correttamente orientata verso il baricentro, in modo tale che non risulti eluso il principio di totalità, cioè in modo tale che sia il corpo nella sua interezza, e non le singole parti, ad agire”: andando così allascata e di bolina, con leggerezza laterale e lentezza dell’avanti, tra Alida Valli, Grace Kelly e Raquel Welch, ha proprio la stessa “maneira de andar” di Sandra Alexis(cfr.:V.S.Gaudio, La maneira de andar di Sandra Alexis. Estetica e teoria dell’andatura, “Lunarionuovo” n.15, Catania aprile 2006)ma, essendo una longilinea mesomorfa, porta i jeans, sì, con la forza e la vivacità di un’impressione che corrisponde all’idea, ma, rendendo ancor più sensoriale l’idea.
    L’allure slack sailing-open, che è una condensazione del passo “beam reach”(lasco) “on the wind”(bolina stretta), che sta andando ad aprire quella porta: che “beam” sia il “giogo della bilancia” e il “fascio di luce”, il “segnale unidirezionale” e “reach” sia “arrivare a”, “raggiungere”, abbiamo finito col far sottentrare, nel titolo della camminata di Jessica Biel in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, che il giogo(beam) è a portata di mano(reach), e lei “arriva” a “dargli luce”.

    • And here is the Altavista Babelfish translation of the above comment for our English-speaking readers:

      The sailing point of Jessica Biel in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a double quantity example primes, on a base slakened to the trot, being a mesomorfa longilinea and having the extension of the high and bilateral movement with the diagonal directional guideline/it determine the proportions them, has the 4 Regolators of Intensities, arranged in this way: High medium force =+; Time fast medium =+; Wide medium space =+; Mobile flow +, than the damage this “close-hauling”, pulling locked, than in a sailing point slack, slakened, more than to make it “to sail sluice” (sail close makes) it “to sail open” (sail open), thus revealing, also for the diagonal directional guideline I prime, it of bolina: the ventenne that it is going towards “that thus open door”, much sentimentale-flemmatica (the step to I ease) but with the amorphous-nervous push of the bolina it has the flare of the aura that illuminates the organicità, the accenta, with this its principle of totality that Bode called “Accented organic Movement” and that this movement is “that movement () in which the reflected base is integrated from a member strong-willed person correctly oriented towards the barycentre, in such way that does not turn out eluded the totality principle, that is in such way that is the body in its interezza, and not the single parts, to act”: thus going slakened and of bolina, with lateral lightness and slowness of ahead, between Alida It goes them, Grace Kelly and Raquel Welch, has own the same one “maneira de to go” of Sandra Alexis (cfr.: V.S.Gaudio, the maneira de to go of Sandra Alexis. Aesthetic and theory of the sailing point, “Lunarionuovo” n.15, Catania you open them 2006) but, being a mesomorfa longilinea, door the jeans, yes, with the force and the vivacità of an impression that corresponds to the idea, but, rendering the idea still sensorier. The allure slack sailing-open, that it is a condensation of the step “beam reach” (I ease) “on the wind” (tight bolina), that is going to open that door: that “beam” or the “yoke of the balance” and the “light beam”, “mark them unidirectional” and “reach” or “to arrive to”, “to catch up”, we have ended with making to sottentrare, in the title it of the walk of Jessica Biel in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, than the yoke (beam) is to hand capacity (reach), and it “arrives” to “dargli light”.

  4. Leatherface is great as well.I love him so.I love Texas Chainsaw Massacre,too.year.The horrormovie is sooooo awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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