Now this is probably going to be a lot less impressive than Tormented was last week...in other words, we're back in business with the badness. This one is Texas Chainsaw 2-D(no massacre in the title, and no third dimension to "enjoy"...), so I'm not expecting greatness here, considering that the last one of these I loved was the wacky, bloody Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2...the one with Stretch and Chop-Top, as opposed to the sequel to the remake with Jordana Brewster. That one was just depressing. Which one had the Speak'n'Spell, where he just kept spelling pronouns as "food"? Part 3? That scene alone made it watchable.
Anyway, enough with my distracted rambling...this movie ain't watching itself! SPOILERS ahead...and probably many, many severed body parts. I hope.
Okay, so this is rather promising: the story opens with a brief recap of the 1974 version. It's like a highlight reel of that movie's kills...There's Kirk getting conked on the head; the scantily-clad girl, Pam, getting snatched up and impaled on the big hook; nerdy Jerry's hammer to the head; Franklin, the one in the wheelchair, being killed head-on by Leatherface; and Sally's torture and eventual escape. Great way to start the film!
Then it flows into the new storyline: Sheriff Hooper(heh, nice reference there) is speeding down a dusty dirt road to arrest Leatherface AKA Jed Sawyer for the murders. Moments before he arrived, another car pulled in, and a young couple rushed into the house. The wife is pregnant. Hooper orders Leatherface's father, Drayton, to send his son outside.
In the house, there are numerous family members, and most are armed with shotguns. Oh, and there are a couple of nice cameos from familiar faces in the previous movies: Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface, and Bill Moseley, who played Chop-Top. Pretty cool, at least so far. I hope I didn't just jinx myself!
Anyway, the psychotic rednecks get into a shouting match with Sheriff Hooper, and he threatens to call for reinforcements. Drayton agrees to end things peacefully, and marches into the basement to confront Jed, who is in his classic suit-and-tie outfit. Oh, and he's mutilating a body. Must be nice to have hobbies...
Sheriff Hooper waits for Jed to emerge from the house, then the shit hits the fan. A group of disgruntled townsfolk, led by a guy named Vern drive up, and demand that the lawman allow them to storm the house. One of them hurls a Molotov cocktail through one of the windows of the house, and a crazy gun battle evolves from the situation.
Several of the family members get riddled with bullets, and another explosive bottle is thrown, quickly turning the house into an inferno. The sheriff has men demolish it to keep the fire from spreading, then has them walk through the rubble looking for bodies. One of the searchers finds a charred chainsaw in the wreckage.
Another person, Gavin, searches the woods nearby for evidence, and encounters the pregnant woman, who has since had her baby. She's also dying from a stray bullet wound, and asks Gavin for assistance. He gently picks up her baby, then kicks the wounded woman hard enough to send her head roughly into the frame of the car she was leaning against, killing her. Wow, I hope he's not the redneck version of a paramedic!
Gavin carries the baby away from the crime scene, taking great pains not to be seen. When he arrives at his truck, he hands the infant to hos wife, claiming that he "found" her a baby. Apparently she was having trouble getting pregnant herself, so this is like Christmas for her. Yay. Then we get a montage of crime scene pictures, followed by the title credits.
The movie resumes the story roughly 20 years later, where we meet Heather, the baby that the young couple took all those years ago. She's now working at a grocery store, in the butcher shop of the meat department. Her best friend visits her at work...oh, and her best friend, Nikki, also happens to be the same actress who played Alex Rousseau on the show Lost. And, wow, she is smokin'!
Anyway, Nikki thanks Heather for having her boyfriend Ryan set her up with his friend Kenny. I'm going to make a wild prediction here, that by the time this film ends, I'll be making a "They killed Kenny!" joke. Let's see if I'm right.
Heather goes home to Ryan, who reminds me of another actor I've seen in a slasher film before, either Bumper Robinson or Texas Battle maybe. Ryan's boxing, and Heather interrupts his workout for some quick face-sucking. A knock at the door cuts the intimacy short: Heather gets a letter from Texas, explaining that her grandmother recently died. One problem: As far as she knew, both of her grandmothers were already dead. Whoops!
Heather brings the letter to her "parents", and demands some answers. The answers are short and not-so-sweet: your real parents were trash, your entire bloodline was psychotic, and you should thank us for kidnapping you. Heather takes what few possessions she has, and announces her intention to travel to Texas, and find out who she's supposed to be. To her credit, Arlene comes outside to try to convince Heather not to go. Perhaps she's not as bad as the pregant woman-kicking husband she married.
Heather and her buddies take off, and make a stop at a gas station for snacks, fuel, and directions to Newt, Texas. As they pull out of the parking lot, they hit a guy with their van, and end up offering him a ride. Good thing, too...it's raining hard enough to start building a massive ark.
The stranger is named Darryl, and he quickly charms them all. Heather explains to him that they're going to Texas to hear her grandmother's will, and he makes a comment about the bond of family blood. Why are the hitchhikers in this franchise always so bizarre and creepy?
In Newt, Nikki starts to strip down, and the others look for the house the old woman lived in. It's a mansion, and the family lawyer, Farnsworth is there to greet the weary travelers. He hands Heather a hefty ring of keys, and a letter that Granny Verna wrote to her. He urges her to read the letter soon, as it explains a lot of things to her. Then he leaves, just as quickly as he had arrived.
The estate grounds are beautiful, as is the interior of the house. They wander from room to room, and soon discover a game room with a pool table and liquor. While everyone else congregates in there, Heather walks around the outside of the house, and finds a private cemetery. It's divided into 2 sections, Sawyers and Carsons.
When she returns to the house, it's decided that some groceries are needed. Everyone goes into town except for Darryl, who opts to stay behind to clean the place up a bit. He watches them drive away, then drops the whole "nice guy" act.
He starts by stealing silverware, while the others arrive back in town. They walk into a store, where Nikki sexually harasses Ryan in a jokey fashion. He takes offense, because something happened once between them, one night when he was drunk. I'm guessing it's something that Heather knows nothing about?
Darryl grabs more valuables in the kitchen, before finding the secret door in the kitchen. He pokes his head in, and decides that it's worth a look. He then gets to the area where Leatherface is kept locked up, and uses the massive key to open the door. He breaks the lock on Leatherface's bedroom door, and Leatherface jumps out of the darkness, bashing him many times in the head.
Heather meets a young cop named Carl Hartman, and then his dad, Burt Hartman. Burt's the mayor, and he makes an offer to buy the mansion and the land. Heather refuses, and Burt doesn't react very well.
Back at the mansion, they discover that Darryl ransacked the place. Heather finds a photo showing that all of the Sawyer woman wear a necklace with a pendant in the shape of an 'S' on it. Then Kenny finds the secret passage, and decides to take a look. Kenny's a genius.
In his defense, Kenny does shout over to the others that he thinks he discovered a butler pantry, but no one hears him. The closest person is Ryan, and he's making a ruckus playing pool and cranking music. But at least Kenny tried.
He finds some blood, as well as Darryl's stuff, but no Darryl. Like a lunkhead in a slasher movie?(...), Kenny decides to make it easier for Leatherface to find him, by shouting Darryl's name several times in a row. Then he comes to a hallway that is too dark to explore, and Leatherface rushes at him from the darkness. Kenny manages to haul ass back to the stairs, but Leatherface grabs his legs and drags him back to his lair. "Oh my God, he's killing Kenny! You bastards!"
Ah, that felt good to get out of my system.
Oops...were we still watching a movie? Oh well. After the demise of Kenny, Nikki stumbles in on Ryan, who is now playing pool alone. She begs him to come see something, and pulls him outside. Did she discover a body?
Yeah, but only her own. It turns out that she just wants to have sex with Ryan in a barn. She strips down to her sexy undies and, uh...ummm...sorry, just rewinding and watching this scene. For, uh, a scientific study. Yeah, let's go with that.
Heather picks up a perfume bottle, revealing that she has the hands of an eighty-year-old man. Yikes. As she's ransacking Verna's closet, she finds Verna's corpse behind her, propped up in a chair. Scared, she runs away to find Ryan.
No sign of her friends, but she does run into Leatherface, who is busily bleeding a severed hand into the kitchen sink. Heather tries to escape, but he knocks her out. Then a series of gory images flash onto the screen.
Heather wakes up just in time to see Leatherface impale the not-quite-dead Kenny on a meathook. She manages to get to her feet, and escapes the house. Leatherface follows, but has a fairly pronounced limp slowing him down. Heather stumbles, but manages to hide behind a tombstone before he sees her. She then spots Verna's open coffin, and leaps in.
She makes a noise, and Leatherface begins to saw through the lid of the coffin. Before he can kill her, Leatherface is distracted by the arrival of Ryan and Nikki. He abandons Heather, and chases them back to the barn instead. Rut roh!
As Leatherface closes in on the barn, they manage to shut the doors, then use a crossbar to seal it...but barely, man. As they scurry around to find weapons, Leatherface begins the arduous task of sawing the door apart. Nikki gets her hands on a shotgun, and proceeds to shoot at the killer through the door. They wait to see if the shot hit him, and a van crashes through the doors.
Phew, it's just Heather! They climb into the vehicle mere seconds before Leatherface shows up again, and attempts to saw them through the van door. Luckily, they get away. Who knew that a van was faster than a cannibal?
Oh wait, I forgot what genre this was, silly me. The dingleberries crash the van into the front gate, rather than waiting for it to open, and fret when it seems to be stuck. Leatherface jogs down the road toward the van, as they back it up to give the gate room to swing open. Then the engine stalls again.
Leatherface breaks the back window, just as the vehicle roars back to life. They speed away again, but not before Leatherface manages to slice one of the tires. Boy, that was an easy getaway!
Oops, I think I jinxed 'em. The van has flipped over, and Heather wakes up upside-down. She finds Nikki, banged up and bleeding, but still alive. Ryan didn't fare as well, sad to say. Then Leatherface pops up again, and begins to cut through the van.
That doesn't work, so he rocks the van until it tips over again. Heather scurries outside, just as Leatherface reaches into the van and cuts into Nikki. Ouch! Hands off my movie crush! Heather comes to her rescue by calling Leatherface a "country fuck", and leading him away from the crash site.
They race through the woods, until Heather arrives at a chain-link fence, where we can see a carnival on the other side. She desperately climbs the fence and jumps over to the other side, just moments before Leatherface reaches the fence and tries to cut through it, drawing a shower of sparks.
Do you think anybody at this carnival noticed any of this? Nope. Clearly, this movie was going for more realism. I wonder how many crayons were wasted on the script? Not enough, would be my guess.
Heather runs past a House of Horrors attraction, where several screaming patrons are being chased out of the building by Jigsaw. I shit you not: the guy is dressed in the robe and animal mask from that franchise, and he's also clutching a chainsaw. Yeesh! If the meowing kid from The Grudge shows up, I'm seriously going to shut this off and start watching Amish porn instead.
JigsaWannaBe sees Leatherface approaching, and runs clear into the next county. Then our killer spots Heather, and the chase resumes. She begs people to help her, but no one does anything even remotely useful. Then the smart-ass deputy from earlier arrives on the scene, and heads toward the source of the commotion.
Heather nearly gets trapped by Leatherface, but she manages to grab one of the seats on a moving ferris wheel, and gets lifted into the air. As she starts spinning back to him, the deputy fiiiinally gets to them, and draws his gun on Leatherface. Leatherface responds to the threat by throwing his chainsaw at him in ear-splitting, ground-shattering, hernia-operating 2-D!!!
Deputy Dawg ducks out of the way, narrowly avoiding getting the closest shave EVER. As Leatherface escapes, our hero checks on Heather. He decides to escort her back to the station, where she can be protected. Yeah, sure.
Sheriff Hooper walks into the building, and delivers the chainsaw to the evidence room for safekeeping. For some reason, this reminds me of the scene in Jason X, where the professor is cornered by Jason: "Hey guys, it's okay! He just wanted his machete back!" Heh, good times.
A deputy named Marvin arrives at the crash site, but Nikki is nowhere to be seen. However, a quick investigation leads Marvin to a trail of blood leading away from the van, into a dark area of the woods. So long Marvin.
Deputy Carl checks on Heather, and she asks if Nikki is still alive. Turns out that he was only bringing her a clean shirt to wear. Then he assures her that Leatherface will be stopped, before he gets called away. He comes back to walk her into Sheriff Hooper's office for further questioning.
When Heather tells Hooper who she is, he perks right up. He sends Carl away, then leaves Heather alone in the interrogation room with a big carton labelled EVIDENCE, while he deals with Carl's father, the creepy Mayor Burt.. The sheriff tells Mayor Burt that he thinks Jed Sawyer may have returned to the town. As proof, he shows Burt the chainsaw from the carnival attack.
Deputy Marvin calls in to report that he defied his orders, and is now right outside the gate to the Sawyer property. Sheriff Hooper tries to convince him to return to his car, but the Mayor tells Marvin to hunt for the killer and kill him. The dumbass agrees with that plan.
Back to Heather. Her curiosity gets the better of her, and she decides to look at the evidence box. She reads a newspaper article about the vigilantes, along with a sidebar about the lone survivor. After scanning the articles for details, Heather looks at the date on the paper: August 19. Sound familiar?
Marvin follows a blood trail up to the house, and Sheriff Hooper again urges caution. Marvin enters the house, then uses his phone's camera to let them watch while he searches for the maniac. Come on...he wouldn't at least wait for backup? This is getting dumber by the second.
Heather reads more papers and legal documents, and discovers that Burt was the leader of the vigilantes. She reads the gory details, then there's a flashback to the aftermath. Heather looks annoyed, apparently because she forgot the part where Leatherface slaughtered her friends. Seriously man, this movie is dumber than Paris Hilton on meth. (Speaking of which, can you believe that Breaking Bad is ending this season? :( Me am sad.)
Deputy Marvin finds even more gore in the kitchen, and discovers the secret basement. He gets into a wine cellar, and finds himself in Leatherface's lair, where he sees a blood-filled sink. Heather, by the way, has used the crime report to figure out who her real mother was. D'oh! Our intrepid deputy finds a room filled with various body parts, masks, and clothing for both men and women.Marvin seems surprised by that last detail, but Leatherface was a transvestite in at least one of the other movies, the 4th one I think.
Anyway, Marvin moves into room with even more body parts, and spies an ominous cooler against the far wall. It pops open, and he shoots at the person inside...but it wasn't Leatherface. Nope, the stupid deputy just shot Nikki by mistake. Why can't I ever have nice things?
The sheriff and the mayor have a tiff over whether sending Marvin in alone was a good idea, while Marvin rushes back to the kitchen. Leatherface is there waiting for him, holding an axe. He plants it deep into the deputy's back.
Burt and Hooper keep fighting, until Burt decides to confront Heather himself. He pushes past Hooper into the interrogation room, but Heather has already left. He and Hooper see that she has written "MURDERERS" on one of the photographs of the lynch mob. Hey, I think she knows what they did!
Heather makes her way down a deserted sidewalk, and finds a payphone. She calls up Farnsworth, and tells him about the murders. When she also informs him that she now knows the significance of the security code number, Farnsworth suggests that they meet up at Johnny B. Reds, a local bar. That's followed by a quick but gruesome scene depicting Leatherface removing Marvin's face, then sewing the new "mask" over his own face, while Marvin is still somewhat alive. Harsh!
Heather demands some quick answers from her lawyer, and finds out that most of what she needs to know was contained in Verna's unread letter. D'oh! It turns out that "Jed" is Heather's cousin, and that Farnsworth only found out about him a few months before Verna passed away. Verna investigated everyone who had been involved with the arson, including Heather's "parents", and decided that Heather was safer with them than she would have been in Newt.
Then Farnsworth warns Heather that LeatherJed will continue going after her, only because he doesn't know who she is yet. Oh, and Burt will be looking for her as well, now that he knows that she read the file in the police station. Right on cue, Burt enters the bar, and a buddy of his points out Heather's table.
Heather snatches up a steak knife and heads for the back exit, while Farnsworth lets Burt throw him around the bar. One of Burt's cronies hits her with his car, but she waits for him to get close to her body, then uses her knife on his face. As she gets away, they resume the chase.
She flags down a car, but it's Burt's son Carl. How gullible is she??? As expected, Carl calls his dad, who tells him to bring Heather to an old slaughterhouse out in the middle of nowhere. Leatherface also gets the address from listening to Marvin's police radio. Oh, and Farnsworth saw Heather trapped in the back of Carl's car, so he goes right to Sheriff Hooper. Gosh, I hope no one gets hurt.
As they get close to the slaughterhouse, Heather tries to stab Carl with that handy steak knife. When he stops the car, he drags her out, then slams her face into the frame of the vehicle. She screams for help, but he ignores her cries. Then he rips her shirt open(strategically avoiding any nudity, of course...it's okay to kick pregnant women and cut people in half, but the world would collapse in on itself if they showed us boobies...), chains her hands overhead, and tapes her mouth shut.
Leatherface shows up, just as Carl meets up with Burt outside. Leatherface sneaks up behind Heatherface, then rests the dormant chainsaw blade on her shoulder. She tries to tell him who she is, but the tape makes it impossible to understand her. Yup, just like my last relationship...chains and gags ruin the mood, I guess.
As Leatherface moves in for the kill, he sees a birthmark on Heather that he recognizes. He removes her gag, and she quickly tells him that they're cousins. Yay! Family reunion time! As she continues to scream out her own name, Leatherface revs up his weapon once more, but only to cut her bindings. See? He's actually the hero!
Well, one binding came off. Before he could get the other arm free, Burt's group ambushed him. They use clubs, hammers, crowbars...everything but an actual kitchen sink. Oh, and they're leading him to a shark tank. No, not the show about inventors, but an actual shark tank!
Heather gets away, but decides to fight back. The rednecks wrap the badly-beaten Leatherface in chains, then show him the deadly fish tank. One of the goons turns on a panel that drags Leatherface toward a grinder, but Heather impales him as he leaves. The goon, not Leatherface.
Sheriff Hooper finally wanders in, and hears Heather confronting the attackers. She throws a heavy chainsaw, letting it slide over to her cousin,who takes it to fight Burt. They have a duel, but stop when Hooper is seen. Burt tells him to kill Leatherface, even as he is being cornered at the very same grinder that he was going to use on Leatherface just moments ago.
Burt gets into the machine, where he dangles over the deadly blades by holding onto the top edge. Leatherface saws off his hands, and Burt slides down to a messy death. Sheriff Hooper simply goes home, after ordering the cousins to clean up the crime scene.
They return to the mansion, and Heather uses a wet cloth to clean up Leatherface. Then he shambles off to bed. Heather reads the letter, and it explains that Leatherface is the family protector: as long as they feed and shelter him, he will help them. Heather goes down to the basement, and retrieves a plate of food, to prepare his next meal. THE END?
NOPE. There's a fast scene after the credits, showing Arlene and Sleazeball showing up unannounced on Heather's doorstep. They knock on her door, and are met by Leatherface, who threatens them with his chainsaw. Fade to Black.
Well, you take the good with the bad. While it was silly and slow, it DID get better during the final act. And seeing Leatherface as a hero was fun, as was noticing all of the references and cameos during the story. I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5.
Oh, and what did I learn?
-Always read letters.
-Cops can be complete dicks.
-Hiding in a freezer is a stupid way to die.
The next movie is called The Curse of El Charro. Honest truth, that's the title. Oh, and I'm taking an informal little survey here...If I were to start a second blog, just for movies that have been called SciFi/SyFy Channel Originals, do you guys think it would be fun? Let me know. Same format, just a different genre of films. Anyway, see you soon!