Posts Tagged ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’

mortuarySadly two years ago, we lost a legend in the horror world when Tobe Hooper passed away. He was the man behind classics like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Funhouse, Poltergeist, and so much more. So for today’s 31 Days Of Halloween film, I decided to check out another of his films. In 2005, Tobe directed the film Mortuary which stars Denise Crosby (Stephen King’s Pet Semetary) as Leslie, a recently widowed mother of two who is looking to start over and so she buys a mortuary that she moves her family to. The only problem is that the town fears that the land is cursed and weird things begin to happen in the house as soon as she starts working. The film also stars Dan Byrd (The Hills Have Eyes) as Jonathan, Stephanie Patton (Deep Impact) as Jamie, Alexandra Adi (Cop Land) as Liz, Rocky Marquette (On The Road) as Grady, Courtney Peldon (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) as Tina, Bug Hall (The Little Rascals) as Cal, Tarah Paige (A Nightmare On Elm Street) as Sarah, Michael Shamus Wiles (Let Me Make You A Martyr) as Sheriff Howell, Price Carson (Toolbox Murders) as Bobby Fowler, Lee Garlington (Field Of Dreams) as Rita, and Greg Travis (Starship Troopers) as Elliot Cook.

Mortuary-2005-film-images-44ff7ec4-40c4-43c6-a51a-420effbdff8I loved The Little Rascals film as a kid and I always wondered what had ever happened to any of them and today I found out at least some info about one. Bug Hall was Alfalfa in The Little Rascals and he comes to play a jerk off who happens to be nailing two girls at once. So, I guess he didn’t too bad for himself. Other than that, it was an OK film in my opinion that probably could have been better with more money invested in it. I am going to be nice because it had a creepiness factor to it, but it was a little on the campy side, but the real issue was the CGI. When it finally shows what the problem has been all along throughout the whole film as in the underlying reason, the CGI effects were awful. It was in awful in the fact that the effects were just too noticeable and it looked way too fake to fool a horror fan. They also don’t really do a great job connecting Bobby Fowler who is the legend that everyone is scared of in the film to that underlying issue that I do not want to spoil for you. By the way, the underlying issue in of itself is pretty lame. We don’t get a reason as to why he is doing what he does and what kind of control it has over him as compared to the rest of the cast and rock salt? Really guys? That is all it takes to kill these things is rock salt you use to make ice cream? That was kind of a lame touch to it too in my opinion, but other than that it’s not a terrible watch. It’s worth at least seeing once and with that I am going to give it a C+ for a final grade because a little more money would have helped a lot and a little bit of a touch up on the writing too.

32-ogWhile this piece is going to be an opinion piece, I always remind you the Readers to take my opinion for what it is, but I have been too plenty of conventions to form this opinion. I have been going to Rock and Shock, a horror convention in Worcester, MA since 2015, I have been to two Rhode Island Comic Cons, and Three Super Megafests. I have spent plenty of money meeting all the movie stars, wrestlers, comic book artists, and everyone in between to form this opinion and this year’s Rock and Shock has been the best convention I have ever been to. This year’s Rock and Shock featured stars like Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks/The Wraith), Ray Wise (Cat People/Twin Peaks), Adrienne King (Friday The 13TH), Edwin Neal (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), John Dugan (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), Bill Moseley (3 From Hell), Bill Johnson (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II), Derek Mears (Friday The 13TH 2009), Kane Hodder (Friday The 13TH Parts 7, 8, 9, 10), Adam Green (Hatchet), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp), Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead), and so many more. With so many big names of the genre, it was hard to gauge coming in how everyone would react to the stark raving mad horror fans like me.

72070314_10217302401245635_7744229040059318272_nOne name on the list gave me hope for the rest of the show and that was original final girl Adrienne King who first gained fame as Alice in the original 1980 Friday The 13TH. The moment I approached her table, she was the sweetest woman on the planet who gets her fans 1000% and she was just a joy to talk to. I was feeling good about myself after meeting her that I made my way to Edwin Neal’s table who first appeared to us as The Hitchhiker in the original 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and we had a great conversation about the power the film had in its time and for years that followed. I couldn’t believe it, two for two, this had to be some odd anomaly because you never get two sweet people in a row. I then made my way five feet over to John Dugan who made his debut in the horror world alongside Neal as Grandpa and what an amazing gentlemen he was and Dugan was so knowledgeable that he has made me a fan for life. The one thing that we both could agree on is that Hollywood does not truly care about the horror genre otherwise we would have a category at the Oscars for it if they did. At this point, every has been great to my friend and I and it was smooth sailing from that point on as every one was amazing. Dan Yeager was amazing, Sherilyn Fenn was amazing, and Adam Green and Felissa Rose were always the nicest people to meet at a convention. A certain head spinning, green vomiting, cross shoving in the crotch area legend who appeared last year could learn a thing or two about humility. I want to thank the organizers of this convention on a job well done and I hope that there will be more to come next year.

leatherfaceOne of the most iconic independent horror films ever made besides John Carpenter’s Halloween is the 1974 Tobe Hooper classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The film featured one of the most iconic characters in the chainsaw wielding Leatherface who was based off of real life serial killer Ed Gein. In total there were four original films with three remakes that followed in the 2000’s. None of those however have ever taken the approach that today’s film has done in the brand new 2017 film Leatherface. Hal Hartman (Stephen Dorff) is the local sheriff who has a thing with locking up troubled kids in a mental institute and there is a reason for that. After his daughter died at the hands of the infamous Sawyer family, he made it a mission. Ten years later, he is back on the manhunt after four inmates escape the institution with a nurse as their hostage. Oh and Jed (Leatherface) maybe one of the escaped inmates. The film stars Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Verna Sawyer, Sam Strike (EastEnders) as Jackson, Vanessa Grasse (Roboshark) as Lizzie, Finn Jones (Iron Fist) as Deputy Sorrel, Sam Coleman (Game Of Thrones) as Bud, Jessica Madsen (Tina And Bobby) as Clarice, James Bloor (Dunkirk) as Ike, Christopher Adamson (Les Misérables) as Dr. Lang, Dimo Alexiev (Getaway) as Drayton Sawyer, and the film was directed by Alexandre Bustillo (Inside) and Julien Maury (ABCs Of Death 2). 

leatherface [icI was reading a lot of bad reviews online about the film and usually I try not to pay attention to it because I have liked films that others have hated. This was definitely one of those films that I really liked that a lot of people did not. I do have some criticisms on the film my self, but I want to talk about what I did like. Lily Taylor was one of the things that I liked about the film as she plays the strong role of Verna Sawyer, the matriarch of the killer family. She emphasizes and conveys the feeling of power and her love for her family to the point that you believe it. Now you see Jed as a child, but when the film moves to ten years later, you have no idea who Jed is because all of their names have changed. So when the four patients escape, I think one of the characters is Jed until I am proven wrong. The one character who turns out to be him is someone I did not expect because he is actually for the most part a docile character who does fight for who he loves. Was I happy with the choice they had for an older Jed? I’m not disappointed in the choice, but from what we have seen over the years with how he is built, it didn’t live up in my opinion.

leatherfacecmaskNow that is not a testimony of how bad the film is because as I said I enjoyed everything about the film from the acting (Madsen and Bloor pay real psychopaths), but there are some strange elements to the film. In this film, you have everything from a sex scene that involves some necrophilia, some intense graphic violence, death by pigs, and much more. This is definitely a film that should please any fan of horror, but as far as TCM fans are concerned, it may or may not please all of them. I was also a huge fan of the sets, the costumes, and how they were able to keep it in the past instead of today like Texas Chainsaw 3D did for us. The makeup department definitely deserves some kudos for how Madsen looked in the film (wait for that infamous scene I said above and you’ll know what I mean). I definitely also was a fan of how they set up why Leatherface looks the way he does and why he chooses to make dead skin masks. Is this one of my favorite films in the series, it’s definitely up there for me and I would definitely recommend this one to anyone. So with all of that being said, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade. Check it out on VUDU right now as we speak.

maxresdefaultOne of the best debut films in any horror franchise has always been the creepy The Texas Chain Saw Massacre from 1974. It was such an eerie film that had never been duplicated especially with the turn it made in the 80’s sequel. For this year’s Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween, I had been looking to watch the third film in the franchise, but to no luck. That was until I ran by a copy of a workprint composite (I’ll explain this below) of the film Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III at Rock and Shock yesterday and now I present it to you. All Michelle (Kate Hodge) wants to do is drive her dad’s car from California to Florida so that she can move on with her life. While on the road in Texas with her friend Ryan (William Butler), they come into contact with the strange Sawyer family and what happens next is a fight for survival as they try and escape the dreaded clutches of Leatherface (R.A. Mihailoff). The film also stars Ken Foree (Dawn Of The Dead) as Benny, Viggo Mortensen (The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King) as Eddie “Tex” Sawyer, Joe Unger (Escape From New York) as Tinker Sawyer, Miriam Byrd-Nethery (Stepfather II) as Mama Sawyer, Jennifer Banko (Friday The 13TH Part VII: The New Blood) as Leatherface’s Daughter, and the film was directed by Jeff Burr (Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings). 

leatherface-texas-iiiSo what a workprint composite basically means is that the deleted scenes or scenes that were left out of the final cut are weaved into this film to show you what they left out. One thing I will say is that the ending is completely different than how the original ended and I have to say that I sort of liked it. It’s that classic ending of you think she has gotten away and she has found help, but she really hasn’t when you see who it is. You also have to remember going in to watching this that the scenes that are put back into the film are not the same quality as the original film. As far as the film is concerned, it’s definitely not the best in the franchise, but it makes a good attempt at following the second film and believe me it only gets wackier moving forward. One of the things that kind of bothered me was the attempt at recreating Edwin Neal’s famous hitchhiker character as a creepy peeping tom gas station attendant. I get why they did it because every film had it’s whack job from Chop Top in part II, etc. The film can get gruesome at times, but I felt like it wasn’t enough. You see the second film did a great job at adding the gruesomeness to the film and this one sort of lacked at times. The one thing that I did like was how whacked out the Sawyer family was in this film, it was almost like they were a tight-nit family. If you can find the film then check it out, but for now I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.

The Mangler.png2017 was a lot like 2016 where we lost some legendary people and the world of horror suffered another huge loss this year in legendary director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre). So for today’s Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween film, I wanted to dive in to Tobe Hooper’s catalog and check out a film of his that I had not seen yet. In 1995 under contract with New Line Cinema, he would release the film The Mangler. In a small New England town, there lies a laundry factory that has a very big machine inside of that is known as the mangler because it mangles sheets. One day the machine becomes possessed and it starts claiming victims leaving troubled detective John Hutton (Silence Of The Lamb’s Ted Levine) confused over the whole matter because is the machine possessed and what does old man Bill Gartley (A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Robert Englund) have to do with it? The film also stars Daniel Matmor (King Of Sorrow) as Mark Jackson, Jeremy Crutchley (Lord Of War) as Pictureman, Vanessa Pike (Never Say Die) AS Sherry Ouelette, Demetre Phillips (976-Evil) as Stanner, Lisa Morris as Lin Sue, Vera Blacker (The Demon) as Mrs. Frawley, Ashley Hayden (Buried Alive) as Annette Gillian, and Danny Keogh (Starship Troopers 3: Marauders) as Herb Diment.

2This was definitely an interesting movie to say the least, but the 90’s was an interesting time for horror anyways. Things started to get darker in tone with horror where creepy elements like the creepy old uncle started showing up in films or the structures of buildings are lot more Gothic like. One thing though that I thought about the film was great a film about a machine that is possessed. Let me remind you, that I did not know that the film was based off of a short story by Stephen King before viewing it. All the machine does is essentially swallow people that are idiotic enough to get too close to it, but then it becomes more than that towards the end of the film when the machine looks for revenge. It goes from being an inanimate object to a living thing and they have to after Englund’s creepy character gets his. I have to admit that Englund is the true highlight of the film with his creepiness. I will admit that I was expecting him to turn into Freddy Kreuger and that this was really Ted Levine’s character’s nightmare. I thought Ted Levine did a decent job in the film despite thinking that he overacted a little in the film. The overall story is pretty good, but it could have been executed a little better and I say that because of one minor thing. The idea of the ice box and the machine having a relationship of sorts or a correlation (they’re both possessed) was really super cheesy in my opinion. I could have done without that part in the film, but it was the 90’s after all. Check this film out for yourself, but one thing that I will say is that Hooper did his job. He created an industrial hell with the way the laundry shop looked and that is one important factor. Otherwise, I am giving the film an C+ for a final grade.

 

AAqMrXi.imgToday the horror world lost yet another legend when legendary director Tobe Hooper passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday in his home in Sherman Oaks, California. Tobe Hooper was the man responsible for bringing us one of the original slashers in Leatherface for 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre before moving on to direct such classics as Salem’s Lot, The Funhouse, and 1982’s Poltergeist. Tobe changed the face of horror whether he knew it at the time in 1974, but he helped cement the building blocks for the Slasher horror genre. Tobe’s work didn’t stop in the 80’s as he provided us with some classics in the 90’s to 2000’s like The Mangler, Toolbox Murders, Mortuary, before he directed his final film in 2013 in Djinn. One film that I will be looking to see that is actually the last thing that Tobe helped produce is the Leatherface film that comes out this October which I am sure you will see me review for Eddie’s 31 Days Of Halloween. One thing is for certain with Tobe Hooper and that is he not only made me afraid of the state of Texas as a child, but also of Ghosts that can grab you and suck you into the television and other horrors faced in Poltergeist. Not to mention that I was afraid of going into Funhouses thanks to him, but I guess those can be scary regardless. One of my favorite films to this day from him is Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 which he threw a more comedic approach to the film, but it was campy and fun as well as iconic. He will be missed, R.I.P. Tobe Hooper (January 25, 1943-August 26, 2017).

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hollywood chainsaw hookersI was going to review something else for today’s Cheeseball Cinema, but some unfortunate news came this weekend when I learned about the passing of the great Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre). So as a tribute to the man who is the original Leatherface, I decided to check out one of his films whose title caught my eye in Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and why not it has a Cheeseball kind of name. The film stars Jay Richardson (Honeymoon In Vegas) as private detective Jack Chandler, who is in search of a missing girl named Samantha (Linnea Quigley) when he stumbles upon a very strange case. Men all over Hollywood are being hacked to death by a chainsaw killer and Jack decides to stick his nose in hopes that it will lead him to his missing girl, but he discovers more strange things along the way. The film stars Hansen as the master, Dawn Richardson (Surf Nazis Must Die) as Lori, Michelle Bauer (Gingerdead Man 2: Passion Of The Crust) as Mercedes, Esther Elise (Deathrow Gameshow) as Lisa, Tricia Burns as Ilsa, Fox Harris (Repo Man) as Hermie, Michael Sonye (Blood Diner) as Jake The Bartender, Dennis T. Mooney (Larger Than Life) as Harrison, and the film was directed by Fred Olen Ray (Evil Toons).

Clockwise from top: Michelle Bauer, Esther Elise, Linnea Quigley, and Susie Wilson

Clockwise from top: Michelle Bauer, Esther Elise, Linnea Quigley, and Susie Wilson

Obviously by the title of the film, you can immediately understand why I chose it for Cheeseball Cinema because the name alone reeks of it. For a long time, Gunnar Hansen had been out of the game as far as acting was concerned because he wanted to be a writer, but this was his first film back and it has chainsaw in the title. For the rest of them, it was business as usual especially for my favorite scream queen of the 80’s in Linnea Quigley. As far as the film goes, if you love lots of T&A in your Horror movies then this one will be right up your alley with all of the beautiful women in it. The acting for the most part isn’t super terrible, it’s just the lines were a little cheesy and some may have over acted a little. The idea of the chainsaw cult was a little stupid and it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, but these are the b-movies after all. One of the redeeming values about this film is that it isn’t that long of a film so you can sit through it no problem. It’s just if you are looking for Oscar material then do not bother and why would you with this film. On a scale of one being close to an A-List Hollywood film and five being the cheesiest film of all time, I would give the film a four only because I have seen worse than this. Once again, we would like to send our condolences to the family of Gunnar Hansen, who was the redeeming part of this film. R.I.P. Gunnar Hansen (1947-2015)