Saturday, October 14, 2006

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING - cheap thrills

Now what did you go and do that for?  Balance.THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING is - as the title suggests - a gory prequel to the famous film franchise. The basic idea for any people reading this who (improbably) don't know the original is as follows: it's Bumblefuck USA in the 1970s. A bunch of kids end up - Scooby Doo style - stumbling on a spooky old farmhouse populated by a family of cannibals one of whom wields a chainsaw and wears a face stitched together from his human trophies. Bad shit happens. Of course, we don't actually see much of the bad shit in the 1970s original. The genius of that film is that it relies on suggestion and slowly building up tension to scare the bejesus out of the audience. Famously, the UK film censor at the time tried to edit the film down to make it less scary but couldn't because there weren't any specifically scary shots. The tone of the whole piece was scary and the only route left to him was to ban it altogether.

The follow-ups and this prequel are, by contrast, firmly in the more balls-out, blood-spattered, teen-horror genre. Fans of the original and horror purists should therefore STAY WELL AWAY from TCM: THE BEGINNING. They will no doubt find it a crude, loud, shouty, shameless cash-in. And they're not wrong. But the real question is - if you just want a simple honest-to-goodness Friday night slasher pic - is TCM: THE BEGINNING going to do the trick? I guess I have to answer: yes. Scariness is subjective, but I have to say that I found TCM: THE BEGINNING scarier than HOSTEL if not as scary as the original SAW. I tend to prefer more mind-bending horror (stuff like CALVAIRE) but if gore is what you want, this movie has it in vat-loads. It's all nice-looking kids in low-slung jeans with waxed chests getting viscerated by chainsaws, meethooks, rusty scissors.....There's a certain sadistic pleasure in that and a good few times when I jumped out of my seat in fright. The thrills may be cheap, but there's nothing like a truly shameless piece of trash cinema once in a while.

TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING is on release in Iceland, the US, Argentina, the UK and opens in Singapore and Finland next week. It opens in Spain, Estonia, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania and Russia in November and in Germany in December. It finally rolls into Belgium and France in January 2007 and into Japan in April 2007.

7 comments:

  1. These horror movies are disgusting, perverted, sick and bad for the maintenance of a decent society. It's one of the odd things of modern life that pornography is prohibited but chain saw massacres are considered entertainment. A fortiori in America. Having a hard core porn flick in your high street cinema (not something I'd recommend, mind you) strikes me as much less perverted than this gore, or Saw, etc. Truly f****d up, this.

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  2. @Anonymous. I do not regard it as appropriate for this site to discuss the rights and wrongs of any particular genre but rather to recommend movies within each genre. If you want to see a horror/rom-com/kids flick - which should you see? This is not the forum for the views you wish to express.

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  3. Does that mean I can't point out how wrong "anonymous" is about "These horror movies" being "bad for the maintenance of a decent society"?

    Bina, have you seen the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? I actually thought it was pretty good although not as scary as the original. The original isn't a film I'm in a hurry to see again but the remake is more palatable & not such a headfuck lol

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  4. Bina007 who is very excited that the London Film Festival starts tomorrow!17/10/06 5:41 PM

    I did see the remake and thought it was okay as gore goes. I just don't think horror should be palatable!

    As for discussions of the rights and wrongs of horror movies - well, I guess I am in favour of free speech so despite my Jack Straw like instructions above feel free to slang it out, the two of you.....

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  5. Why, Stoogy, give us an argument, instead of merely announcing the intention of giving an argument.

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  6. Well "anonymous", you haven't actually given any evidence to support your claim so maybe you should. Another thing, why not reveal who you are rather than remaining anonymous?

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  7. I watched this last night with Alan & I actually thought it was alright. Not as scary as the original (obviously), maybe scarier than the remake. I wasn't too optimistic to begin with but the film definitely improves as it progresses. The gratuitous shots of one girl's ass helped a lot lol It is very gory indeed & a few parts made me jump but nothing truly terrifying (I think Alan might disagree, he covered his eyes a few times lol). The film's too slick to fuck with your head which the original managed to do to me a bit. Possibly the best thing about the film was R Lee Ermey. He's always good entertainment & he provided a few laughs which certainly weren't there in the original. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, especially for £5.70, but it might be worth renting on DVD when it comes out if you like trashy horror movies. At least the acting is an improvement on the original which isn't saying much hehe.

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