The Texas Chainsaw Massacre film are certainly a mixed bag spanning over 40 years and the rights switching from one production company to another. Tobe Hooper’s original which told the story of a group of teenagers who fall fowl to the escapades of Leatherface is a genuine classic piece of cinema regardless of genre and is still scary and unnerving to this day. A couple of years ago Lionsgate released Texas Chainsaw 3D which was the first sequel to follow events immediately following the 1974 version. It wasn’t the best film in the world but it did feature Alexandra Daddario in small tops and cameos from series veterans. It was successful, so a follow-up was ordered which was a ‘prequel’ telling you the story of how Leatherface became Leatherface according to the Lionsgate timeline which ignores every film apart from Hooper’s and the 3D one.
The Sawyer family are notorious for all kinds of escapades and our story starts with the murder of a young man by the Sawyer clan. They are encouraging the youngest sibling Jedidiah to start his murderous career but he is reluctant and after a raid by the local police is taken into care. Growing up under an assumed name, Jed no longer has murderous impulses and lives his life out in an institution for troubled kids.
When a couple escape they drag him along with his best friend and a nurse and head for the Mexican border. The Sheriff (Stephen Dorff) who is obsessed with bringing the family to justice sets out in hot pursuit and as well as Mummy Sawyer played by Lili Taylor.
Leatherface is not a conventional TCM film, more of a horror/road movie shot in Bulgaria which is one long way from Texas. Production values and effects are good with great attention to detail given to honouring the 3D sequel and the classic original. The young lad playing Leatherface is Sam Strike who is well known in the UK for playing Danny Dyer’s son in Eastenders. For an Englishman playing one of cinema most iconic American Boogeymen he does very well considering the trusty chainsaw doesn’t get revved up until the end of the film.
Is the film any good? Well it’s not fit to wipe the original or Hooper’s Part 2’s ass but it’s a fun ride into depravity with some sick stuff happening on screen and a couple of really nasty characters who are actually fleshed out really well. It’s not a great film but it’s it’s not rubbish, it’s just not bad. However, I think it is time to retire the character as not really more can be done in films with a lumbering brute running around chopping people up with his Black n’ Decker as it’s main character.
- Starring Sam Strike Stephen Dorff Lili Taylor Sam Coleman
- Directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo