The original 1974 TCM was filled with a group of hippy teenagers who pick up a hitchhiker,wind up in a backwoods horror chamber where they're held captive, tortured, chopped up, and impaled on meat hooks by a demented cannibalistic family. All the while, the character known as Leatherface who does the maiming,torturing and killing while maniacally wielding one hell of a chainsaw from another world as it never seems to run out of gas. The 1974 movie's powerful sense of dread is marked by its grainy, semi-documentary style, wicked sense of humor and that overused 1970 - 80's camp style.
This remake is also filled with a group of teenagers, only with much better looks and acting ability who pick up a hitchhiker who does herself in early on in the movie with a "bang" which was quite a surprisingly good scene. Most of the beautiful teenagers wind up in a backwoods horror chamber where they're held captive, tortured, chopped up, and impaled on meat hooks by a demented, baby stealing, dentally challenged and somewhat cannibalistic family.
This remake has a powerful opening scene with black and white, 8mm police footage of the house of horrors where the murders took place. It, however, doesn't have the sense of humor that the original had, but that's OK. Instead, it has more of an industrial feeling to it. Likened to a NIN, Hole, or Metallica music video. There are "pig's heads", "doll parts", and lots of metal!
The grimy, crucified baby dolls, fly-specked pig carcasses and pig heads, all manner of different body parts floating in murky jars, impaled legs on meat hooks and the like make for a quite beautifully disgusting movie as far as esthetics are concerned.
However, it is R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket and Willard)who steals the show once again as the tobacco chewin', gun totin' masochistic policeman. For being a guy who is totally typecast, he gets some "juicy" roles, doesn't he?
I really enjoyed Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under) but Jessica Biel's attempt as the young heroine fell a bit short of the mark for me.
All in all, a decent watch and a somewhat above mediocre remake of the 1974 original. Gotta give credit to the people that had a cojones to remake THIS CULT CLASSIC!
Happy Watching and Unpleasant Dreams!
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