The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-and its sequels, remakes and prequels.

Gary

Getting Down to Business.
Since it's Halloween, and because I read this article, I want to have a thread about my favorite independent horror film of all time in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". However, I don't just want to talk about that movie-I also want to discuss the sequels. Have you seen them? Do you enjoy any of them? How would you rank the series? Did you know another one is being made? Anyways, feel free to discuss a franchise and how convoluted it is.
 
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snuffbox

Integral Poster
I haven't liked any of the others but the original is one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

I spent a night in Plainfield WI, Eddie Gein's hometown, last year. It was a hot July day but I shivered when I passed that hardware store.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
The original is one of the five best horror films I ever seen. There's a balls to the wall intensity that starts when you see Leatherface the first time and doesn't relent the rest of the way. I'm still usually out of breath once the credits hit and that is one of the best ending sequences I've ever seen. I'm of the opinion there never should of been any sequels and it should've been a stand alone, but I actually like more of the sequels/remakes/reboots than I'd like to admit.

I like TCM 2, but I don't love it as much as a lot of people. I'm not really a big Bill Moseley fan in general, but Chop Top drives me up a wall and a lot of the humor doesn't do it for me. Edwin Neal's Hitchhiker was so much better. It does have a great look and I love Dennis Hopper going toe to toe with the Leatherface and the Sawyers as well as Jim Siedow's performance. It also has one of the best jump scares I've ever seen.

I actually don't mind 3 that much. I really like the thrash metalled out look of Leatherface. I love the scene with Leatherface on the little reading comprehension computer thing. You also get Early Viggo and Ken Foree. The dude that plays Alfredo gives one of the strangest performances of the series and his humorous bits land with me better than Chop Top. Main girl is pretty terrible and so much worse than Marilyn Burns or Caroline Williams. Shit, Caroline Williams was even in this in a cameo as a reporter. Should've just brought Stretch back instead.

New Generation/Return of the TCM/Matthew McConaughey growling and licking everyone: the movie is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. But, also one of the funnest movies to watch in a group setting. Almost every performance is baffling, but Matthew goes for it so much that it's like the best and worst performance ever. Also, The Illuminati make an appearance.

I actually like the remake. The look of the movie is pretty great and I'm glad they brought back the cinematographer from the original. The movie is pretty damn gross and nasty as well. R. Lee Ermey is terrific and carries the movie although I thought the main group of kids was likable enough.

TCM: The Beginning is just meh. It's not terrible, but it's very bland and forgettable. The movie like a lot of the torture porn 00's movies lacks any sort of rewatch value or fun because it's trying so hard to be miserable and grim. Which I don't mind in a movie like Martyrs, but this series had Matthew McConaughey making stupid noises while jumping off the roof two movies ago so.

Texas Chainsaw 3D - I hate this movie more than New Generation, but it is a better made movie and doesn't look like brown shit. It's still ridiculous that they made Leatherface sort of the backdrop for a boring family feud and the two notorious lines are some of the worst lines I ever heard. I hate the ending and I hate this movie.

Leatherface (2017) - Pretty much what I said about The Beginning, but is a better movie because you have two solid veteran actors in Stephen Dorff and Lily Taylor giving good performances. It's not the most memorable, but I don't think it's anywhere near the worst of the franchise and there are some nasty surprises.
 

Gary

Getting Down to Business.
My ranking

1.) The Original-It's my second favorite horror film of all time. Everything about it feels fucked up and damaged beyond repair. Hardly anything about it feels "normal", and the horror is as visceral as it gets. The cinematic equivalent of poking an exposed nerve.

2.) Texas Chainsaw Massacre Two-I'm one of the fans. Just a wonderful satire that pokes at everything from the original to a lot of what was wrong about the 80's. Also, Jim Sideow is the funniest character in the film, and the scene where he tries (and fails) to explain the birds and the bees to Leatherface is one of the funniest moments of the 80s IMO.

3.) Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III-A guilty pleasure for me. As a Texas Chainsaw film, it admittingly isn't a success, but as a trashy slasher movie, it's actually entertaining, and the scene with Leatherface and a speak and spell is hilarious.

4.) The Remake-Looks a bit too slick, and lacks the grit, oddness and humor of the original. That being said, you can at least tell the people involved (even Michael Bay) actually respect the source material, and R. Lee Ermey does a good job as the sadistic sheriff. Also, this is apparently one of the movies that convinced Hollywood to to allow more gore in horror movies, so there's that.

5.) Leatherface-I dig the scene with a young Leatherface wearing a pig's head, the acting ranges from good to over the top (outside of the guy who played Iron Fist, whose as dull as they get) and it's very well shot and directed. That being said, the script is really bad, the conclusion is laughable and at the end of the day, I don't need to know how the titular character became who he is, nor do I want him to be somewhat sympathetic. Also, at it's worst it feels like Rob Zombie tried to make a hybrid of "Badlands" and "Natural Born Killers", albeit if he actually knew how to shoot and edit a movie.

6.) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation-I love Matthew McConaughey in this, and that's about it. I really want to mention
the whole illuminati subplot, which is one of the biggest what the fuck cinematic twists of all time. It's like if your were watching "Return of the Jedi" and all the sudden Obi Wan reveals to Luke that Darth Vader and The Sith are actually Freemasons.
. Also, this movie really seems to love watching women being beaten and humiliated.

7.) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning-Basically just empty, soulless torture porn. There's one neat kill, and everything else is just misguided, in it's political commentary (the ham handed "Vietnam and Iraq are the same" theme), it's attempts at humor, and R Lee Ermey being sadistic to the point of parody. Just...no. Oh, and stop trying to humanize Leatherface.

8.) Texas Chainsaw 3D-One of the worst movies I've ever seen. I could go on and on, but instead I just want to point out that Jingus is an avid defender of this movie, which is more proof that even without the pedophilia, don't be like Jingus.
 
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I agree with the sentiment about the original. The atmosphere of the film is insane and could never be replicated. It’s one of the three best horror films ever made.

That being said, and I don’t want to push the thread off topic so it can be answered in the horror thread, but what are some other films that have a similar atmosphere or tone you guys would rec? I feel like Evil Dead has a little of that but is more comical, while this has a feeling of dread, and movies like Maniac have the griminess but not the spark.

I guess it’s also a feeling of authenticity or a super reality.
 

Laz

0101100101
Like others have said, the original is an all-time classic, and one of the greatest horror films ever made. It grounds the absurdity with its documentary feel early on, escalating the tension until the most intense finale in cinema history. From the time Leatherface first pulls open the steel slider until Sally jumps in the back of the pickup? It is horror perfection. In my top 5 horror films, battling it out with the Romero and Carpenter classics for the top spot.

I saw the original second, oddly enough, as the mom n' pop video store I went to as a kid didn't have a copy of it, they only had the sequels. When I finally did get a chance to rent it after Hollywood Video came to town, I stayed up super late to watch it, like 2 or 3 in the morning, and kept fading in and out because of how tired I was. Then the dinner scene started. I was wide awake for another few hours and had to rewind the tape to watch it all over again.

TCM 2 is one I took a while to appreciate. The change in tone is jarring, even if the splatter is increased, but the greater focus on comedy still always separates it from the original. For good reason, of course, because it allows the 1-2 punch of Caroline Williams as Stretch and the ever-fantastic Bill Moseley as Choptop to really run away with the show. Dennis Hopper is alright, but he was open about hating the movie, so he only shows up and does the bare minimum. The sexual undertones of the relationship between Stretch and Leatherface is still something I'm iffy on, but I can appreciate how they play into the finale.

The third was an early 90s horror flick. That's an era worthy of being overlooked in cult/genre cinema, for the most part, as there were clear attempts being made to subvert expectations but also play them off in earnest. Viggo Mortensen does a decent job but that's about it.

The Next Generation was my intro to the series, being the only one available at that mom n' pop store for longer than it should've been. Still one of my favorite Matthew McConaughey performances, really. Worst entry of the series...for a while, anyway.

The remake and prequel remake were alright, but suffered whenever R Lee Emery wasn't actively being a sadistic asshole. Jessica Biel having to kill her friend (brother?) as he was hooked up because they knew he was dying slowly anyway was a great scene.

Texas Chainsaw 3D is one of the worst fucking movies I've ever sat through. Lukewarm garbage that's been brought in from the scorching sun and left near the produce. Fuck it and everybody involved in making it.
 
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