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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

What you know about fear... doesn't even come close. 

Year: 2003 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In the summer of 1973, four teenagers are on a roadtrip through Texas to a Lynryd Skynyrd concert when they pick up a hitchhiker, Pepper (Leehsen) who is on her way to Mexico to score some dope.  Further along the road, they come across a bloodied and distraught girl who they are compelled to help.  However, the girl, who is obviously the victim of some traumatic event, blows her brains out in the back of the van.  The teenagers try to alert the local police but are drawn into the disturbing and gruesome activities of the most infamous cannibalistic family in cinema history, coming face to face with Leatherface himself.

Inspired by the true story of the crimes of Ed Gein (also the root of Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs), this is truly a macabre tale that doesn’t pull any punches in the severed limbs department.  However, many will wonder why Marcus Nispel and producer Michael Bay have decided to remake what is one of the greatest horror films of all time; some will even resent them for touching the 1974 horror classic.  However, from the outset we can see this is not in the same vein as Gus Van Sant’s Psycho - a straight remake.  The opening of this film is very much like the original, but soon spins off in its own direction, becoming more of a sequel.

Gems of the film include narration from John Larroquette who narrated on the original and the look created by original cinematographer Daniel Pearl.  Bryniarski as Leatherface also stands out with brilliant subtle reflections of Gunnar Hansen’s memorable portrayal of the crazed cannibal.  Biel ably handles her role as resident scream queen with everyone else thankfully not falling into the stereotypical behaviour of the genre.

Nothing will ever touch the original but this film doesn’t aim to rewrite what already exists, more to enhance.  This is a slick and stylish MTV generation flick that shows Southern hospitality at its best.  Certainly one to watch.

Hannah Upton

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Screenings of this film:

2003/2004 Spring Term (35mm)