Added the new trailer as well as my thoughts on it.
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It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything horror-related. In a world full of cheap Hollywood ripoffs (often masqueraded as ‘remakes’), sissy vampires, and a never-ending assembly line of zombies galore — there hasn’t been a whole lot going on to stimulate my interest as of late. With next summer’s Prometheus being the lone beacon of intrigue in this sea of rehash and staleness for some time, I was quite surprised when I started to hear about a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre film that actually sounds interesting.
First and foremost — this film is going to be a SEQUEL, not another silly remake. And not just any sequel, but a continuation of the original movie. That alone was enough to get my attention. As I began to follow the pre-production, I was pleasantly surprised to find an exhilarating ensemble of TCM alumni involved in this project.
The new film will mark the return of Gunnar Hansen to the franchise for the first time since the original, albeit a cameo. While Gunnar is not returning as Leatherface, just knowing he will be in the new movie immediately gives it a boost in credibility. I hope he gets his hands on a chainsaw at some point in the film. Even if it doesn’t make sense to the story. I just wanna see it one more time!
Also returning to the series is the original scream queen, Marilyn Burns, who starred as Sally Hardesty in the first film. This will mark only her second appearance in a TCM picture since 1974.
Most casual fans aren’t aware she had a small, uncredited cameo in 1994’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (aka TCM4). The film’s one redeeming quality, IMO.
For those who haven’t seen it, she is the woman at the end of the film being pushed on the gurney (by Paul Partain, Franklin from TCM1!) where yet another TCM alumni John Dugan (more on him in a minute) is explaining to Renee Zellweger’s character that “this isn’t the first time something like this has happened.”
If you’d like to save yourself from wasting the time of sitting through the entire movie (don’t say I didn’t warn you), you can check the scene out below.
A strong reference to the first movie and again, the only scene in TCM4 worth viewing. As a fan, it really makes you wish the movie had been 100 times better so that great ending could’ve really meant something to the franchise instead of going mostly unnoticed and largely unseen. But, in today’s world — movies that have been made over 10 years ago technically never happened, right? Sure seems that way.
Marilyn Burns returning to the fray only adds to the excitement. Although she is not returning as Sally Hardesty, I’m hearing her new role was more than just a cameo, contrary to what was previously reported when news of her signing onto the project first broke. Score!
John Dugan, who played Grandpa in the classic TCM, and the cop in the TCM4 scene above, is also back for TCM 3D. IMDB.com currently has him listed as Grandfather in the new film, as is the listing for the original. I have received confirmation that he is indeed reprising THE Grandpa role and this makes him the only returning star that will be playing his original character. Congratulations to kitleyskrypt.com for having the only decent-res pic of John Dugan readily available on the net. Didn’t have time to root through 20 pages of google results.
And last of the returning TCM alumni, but certainly not least, is a man who probably doesn’t need much of an introduction in the modern era, as he’s been involved in a handful of feature films in the last several years (House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Rob Zombie’s Halloween). For the new film, Bill Moseley will be taking over the role of Drayton Sawyer (aka, the Cook) previously played by the late Jim Siedow.
Moseley, as most are aware, played Chop Top in TCM2. He already has chainsaw DNA in his blood, and I can think of no one better suited to take over Siedow’s role than him. I am very intrigued to see his version of Drayton.
Tobe Hooper, the man who directed the 1974 masterpiece, had originally agreed to make an appearance in TCM 3D as well. But sadly, he was not able to make it to the shoot and his scene was subsequently omitted. Bummer.
According to a leaked version of the script that’s been floating around, the story as we now understand it picks up right where Tobe Hooper’s groundbreaking horror prodigy left off, then flashes forward 30 years where a young woman travels to Texas to collect her inheritance and eventually learns Leatherface is her cousin. Eh, not sure exactly how I feel about that. But, it can’t be any worse than having Leatherface cross-dressed in drag and running around screaming like a little bitch, right?
Then, there’s Trey Songz…
The first bit of news (is that really this kid’s stage name?) about the movie I found disappointing. With all these stars coming back who have such strong ties to the original story, they decide to bring in a hip-hop artist? First thing — I’ve never heard of this guy, which actually isn’t at all unusual for me. I honestly couldn’t name one artist in or around the top 40 these days. But suddenly, thoughts of Halloween H20 and Resurrection are dancing around in my head. Are they trying to widen an audience that they feel may only appeal to hardcore fans of TCM1? Or, is this kid simply using a horror movie to help jump-start his crossover film career? Either way, why does the movie need this? I’d be willing to bet he’s never even seen the original. Just seems like a very out-of-place casting decision and something I view as completely unnecessary for this project. I just hope he isn’t in the film primarily to fit the stereo-typical every slasher film must now have a black guy who is in the movie solely because he’s black, and every decision his character makes is based on the fact that he is black and everyone else is not. Not entertaining. Got more than my fill of this worn out garbage on the Friday the 13th remake, and every other movie they’ve tainted with it. That isn’t horror and has no place in the genre. Save the racial innuendo for the political arena. I don’t go to the theater to hear about it. That said, hopefully Mr. “Songz” is bringing something to the table that will entertain horror fans and contribute to the story in an effective way. Otherwise, adding him to the cast is just a stupid marketing ploy.
Next, in the beginning I wondered why they went with a new actor (Dan Yeager) to play Leatherface instead of bringing Andrew Bryniarski back, who I felt was stellar in the role in the two Plantinum Dunes movies. But, then I quickly realized that again, it’s been almost 10 years since the 2003 remake (already!), and Lionsgate probably want to separate their movie as far from that version as possible. Afterall, what could you really do with a one-armed Leatherface 30 years later?
Dan Yeager has been Facebooking quite a bit lately and has stated: “I am staying as faithful as I can to the work that Gunner Hansen did in the original.” And also adding: “We just finished a long day of shooting, culminating in a pivotal scene. It’s one of the major elements of the script that makes me believe we are making an extraordinary movie.”
I asked him a couple direct questions, inquiring about Tobe Hooper’s cameo along with Gunnar, Marilyn, John, and Bill. He offered a diligent response which I’ll share with you below:
“Tobe didn’t make it. I don’t know why, but we were hopeful he’d be there up to the end, but it didn’t work out. I know he has a lot going on. John Dugan did make it and did continue his role as Grandpa. Gunnar was there and did his cameo. Bill Moseley and Marilyn Burns also played roles, though they were both more substantial than cameos. I’m going to visit with Gunnar next week. I look forward to getting his take on the project. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see a lot of what they were doing as they were shooting days on first unit and I was shooting nights on second unit. I did manage to have a cigar with Gunnar and take a few pictures. I hope you like the movie. We are a month away from the director finishing his cut. If I get to see it, I’ll let you know. A year from today, everyone will know if we did the thing justice. I think we did.”
— Dan Yeager (Leatherface)
With all this I am definitely intrigued to see this film. Of course, I could do without the 3D aspect, but that is what sells tickets these days so I’ll overlook it. Studio has to maximize their return. The things we’ve learned about this film easily make it the most interesting sequel/remake/prequel in the series to date IMO. To actually see the classic story continued properly by some of the people who helped make it automatically sells me on a theater ticket. I love the fact that Leatherface’s real name in this film is Jed Sawyer, and not Thomas Hewitt like in the last two movies. They are ignoring those and taking everything back to the original roots. In today’s day and age, I am actually shocked at this. But, absolutely stoked about it at the same time. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be another letdown. While that is possible, somehow I tend to doubt that will happen with this one.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D opens
EDIT — The movie’s opening date has been pushed back to 1.4.2013.
My apologies for this post being a little all over the place at times. But hey, that’s why I called it Random Thoughts!
Stay bloodthirsty, my friends…
UPDATE – FALL 2012
So, the trailer for TCM3D is out. Saw it online and have also caught it a couple times in theaters before Sinister and Paranormal Activity 4 I think. As much as I hate to say it, this trailer is pretty deflating. I’ve been so psyched to see this film, but the first look leaves quite a bit to be desired. Does anyone else see all the similarities between this trailer and the one for the Platinum Dunes remake? In case you don’t remember it, have a look:
One of the greatest trailers ever, IMO. Nearly ten years later, it STILL gives me goosebumps.
The new one borrows a LOT from this, almost deliberately (though not nearly as good). I’m honestly kinda torn at this point. I’m still gonna see the movie, but my expectations have dropped quite a bit (which might be a good thing). Not too much longer now.