Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (Rated R) 2 Stars

I don’t use the phrase shamelessly derivative cash grab lightly. I find it ut-terly incomprehensible that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (92 minutes) was number one at the box office the week it released. I mean, neither Django nor Les Miserables was able to take down The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and here we have this worthless bit of nothing leapfrogging into the top spot.

01-23-13-movie.gifI really enjoyed the original when I first saw it (a shoddy copy on VHS) and I enjoyed the remastered DVD even more. The se-quels were completely unnecessary, and the millennial remakes amounted to little better than torture-porn. Going into this film, I thought I was about the see the third in the remake trilogy so I was extremely puzzled when the film appeared to start with scenes from the original — including shots of original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen.

The quality of the earlier footage is ruined by the insertion of Bill Moseley. He is not even playing his Chop-Top Sawyer character from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Instead, his character is the patriarch of the clan who was played by Jim Siedow in Chainsaw and its sequel, Drayton Sawyer. Things start to make sense when the original footage segues into new scenes of the Sheriff (Thom Barry) shout-ing at Drayton to bring the boy out. At first there is some disagreement in the Sawyer clan as to whether or not to send Leatherface out, but then some Texans with cowboy hats and shotguns/rifles/guns show up and start slinging nooses. Clearly, things are about to get interesting. With the shouting back and forth headed towards Leatherface being taken into custody forthwith, the Texans decide that lynching is too good for those who cooperate with authority, and so they set the place on fire.

As you would expect, a small fire quickly engulfs the large house and burns it to the ground. But wait! There’s a survivor! One of the Texans takes a baby from the wreckage and gives it to his wife. Recap: this film is the sequel to the original, not the remakes, but it essentially ignores the events from the original sequels, assuming Drayton Sawyer is killed in the fire. Of course, if there was one survivor they may be a few more…

Anyway. The baby grows up to be a hottie with really pretty eyes who appeared in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia that one time. Heather (Alexandria Daddario) finds out she was adopted and has inherited a large property in Texas. She plans to head down South to settle the estate. Her boyfriend Ryan (Tremaine Neverson) and frenemy Nikki (Tania Raymonde) decide to go with her, bringing along Ryan’s friend/Nikki’s hook-up Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sanchez) to be supportive.

On the way to Texas, they run into a hitchhiker. Of course, it turns out that Darryl the Hitchhiker (Shaun Sipos) was working a scam all along, and tries to rob the estate the first chance he gets. Because, duh, stupid young people, don’t pick up hitchhikers.

While the trusting fools get supplies, Darryl begins poking around until he finds the butler’s pantry and a secret door. I feel like I should include Spoiler Tags here, but I’m not spoiling much, given the title of the film. Out pops Leatherface! He blud-geons Darryl to death and I roll my eyes in disgust because it’s not called Texas Bludgeoning Massacre 3D. The death count rises and the stupid chainsaw has still not made an appearance.

Eventually, the town’s police force gets into the action and tries to lure Leatherface into an abandoned slaughterhouse for the final act. Narrative in-consistencies abound, and an after-credits scene provides little satisfaction. The entire effort is ugly, nasty and more than little bit icky, and not in that arty way like Gummo.

Now showing at Wynnsong 7, Carmike 12 and Carmike Market Fair 15.

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