Before I start this review, I would like to talk about the trend of movie stars starring in horror movies before they were famous. For example: Jesse Esinberg from Camp Hell, Jennifer Lawrence in House At The End Of The Street, and Mila Kunis from American Pyscho 2.
Now I present to you The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation or The Return Of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre starring Oscar Winners Renee Zelwegeer and Matthew McConaughey.
The two actors were publicly embarrassed for ever being in this film. When the movie was re-released in 1997, Matthew McConaughey's agent sued Columbia Pictures for even releasing the movie at all. Renee Zelweger used "I was young and needed the money" excuse instead. So yeah, everybody doesn't like this movie. And you see all those years I listed on my movie review title? Because it had a difficult release history, which I would further in the trivia segment.
Now what do I think of this movie? I don't know. I don't know what to think of this movie. I'm spilt in the middle whether it's so bad, it's good or so bad, it's horrible. It just have so many WTF moments that makes me scratch my head every time. It's over-the-top, outrageous, and just plain notoriously bad.
The Story: Four teenagers, having got back from the prom, are driving off....somewhere. The movie doesn't explain. When suddenly they get into a car wreck with another driver. So once they go find help, they are suddenly attacked by Leatherface and his family. It's a simple story, really, but that's all I can fall back on.
The cast is...strange. Or bad if you want me to say. And let me tell you the performances are BAD but it's just how the actors deliver their line and portray their characters is what makes the experience of watching this movie surreal.
First before I get to the main characters, let's get Jenny's dumb friends out of the way.
First there's Jenny's boyfriend Sean. Um...I got nothin'. I mean what is there to say about the guy? His character is so thin, he's the first one killed off. He's also...kind of slow in the head, kind of like he's on some strong herbal drugs. That's all got really.
Here's Barry, Heather's cheating boyfriend. He's a douchebag. Though, the actor tries too hard at playing one. There's not much development about him except he complains a lot and he's pretty much a jerk to everybody. That's his character, he's the jerk. Moving on.
And now you have Heather, who is probably the most annoying of the bunch. She is, what I call, the female equivalent of Franklin, she's whiny, she complains, and she also conveys this high-pitched valley girl accent that would make your ears bleed.
She's also self-explanatory, which is unnecessary for a dumb character like this. Apparently, she's a bitch but she's more a ditz if ask me.
But boy! Is this girl put in the ringer. First, she's impaled on a meat hook, gets her tongue bitten off, set on fire, then finally have her head crushed. It made me feel bad for a character who was the most annoying, even more annoying than Leatherface. Even though she's put through a lot of crap, she still is irritating and dumb to me.
Just to get him out of the way, you have W.E. who spouts out quotes from famous people. That's all he does. Do his brother's bidding and speaks famous quotes from historical figures. Guys, I know you think I'm being lazy with this but the characters in this are poorly written, so how far am I gonna go?
Okay, here's the important characters:
Jenny. What can I say about Jenny? She's a typical final girl. There could've been times where she would be a badass but the movie refuses to do that. There also could've been times where she could easily escape or get help but is unable to do so because of her idiotic choices. She gets caught so many times I just didn't care anymore. That's how lousy the suspense is. Though in the scene where she finally stands up to Vilmer, tells him off and demands to leave, everybody else is like, just by the look on their faces, "Okay....you can go if you want to, we won't stop you." It's just too freaking hilarious to be seen. It's like the writers didn't know what to do at that point. You see where this movie is going, people?
Jenny could've been a strong character, however....she's just isn't. Renee Zelweger did an ALRIGHT job, you certainly can't believe this woman would be nominated or win an Oscar one day. She starts off weak but gets better by the end. I really don't see Renee Zelweger as a scream queen but at least her acting is a bit better than everybody else's.
Matthew McConaughey as Vilmer is outrageously over-the-top to the point of being a cartoon character. In his more quiet moments, there are times where he is really chilling though most of his acting is straight out outlandish that it overshadows the fact that he's a really good actor. But it's just bad direction in my opinion.
I would like to note that there is a strange sort of violent/sexual nature between him and Jenny. He's kind of stuck between whether he wants to kill her or make out with her. It's strange, creepy, and unsettling if you ask me.
What most fans complain about is that Vilmer does most of the killing. So yeah, the character is pretty much the scene stealer of the movie, chewing up every scenery that he can and taking everyone else's spotlight.
Darla was probably the funniest character in the movie. She kind of reminds me of Jennifer Aniston. if she was in family full of cannibal maniacs that is. I like the fact that the actress knew what kind of movie she was in and roll with it.
What's strange is Darla is actually likeable and has a lot more personality than the teen protagonists. That's really saying something. Overall, Toni Peresky was really entertaining and the made the experience of watching this a little more enjoyable.
Ugh, here is Leatherface. I really don't need to give a grand introduction about him because it comes to show that in the 90's, our modern day famous horror icons begin to derail. Throughout the movie, all Leatherface does is whine and scream. WHINE and SCREAM. I can't believe this is the same guy that gave me nightmares as kid. He is such a wimp in this version. And what's even worse, he kills one person, however, it's not out of brutality, it's more out of panic. How lame is that.
Most of the complaints, and there a lot of complaints, is that Leatherface is mostly drag as evident in the poster. That's pretty much the basis of his character is that he's a transvestite. Doesn't really bother me, well only a little, but what most people don't know is that in a deleted scene of the original, he wears a "pretty woman" mask and is seen priming up make up. So yeah, that's all I got to say really. I feel there is no importance to his character anymore. All he does is whine, scream, waves his chainsaw around, and stay in the background most of the time. What more can I say?
Can I add this for a minute? I kept wondering who the hell wrote and directed this movie? I mean the way it shot, the writing, the dialogue, it's all terrible! then to my surprise, it's the same person wrote the 1974 original. Kim Henkel did a good job at conveying a simple plot and turning it into a creepy and effective story. But as the result of this, it's just hard to explain. Okay, there is, you guess it, a twist.
So it turns out the family works for the illuminati because once the film leans towards it's climax, all of sudden, a French guy in a suit arrives at the door and would definitely guess he's part of secret government agency. So apparently they're murdering and eating people for money. Oh, let me scratch that, they don't eat people since Darla is shown ordering food at a pizza place. You see how dumb this all is?
But oh no, I haven't even reached the tip of the iceberg. Here I present to you one of the strangest endings in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film:
I seriously don't know what Kim Henkel or the other creators of this movie was smoking that day but that was one of the funniest out of the blue moments I've seen in a horror film. Hands down.
Now for some trivia.
*The film first screened at the South By Southwest Film And Media Conference in 1995, but only briefly. Columbia Pictures at least tried to distribute the film but it also got released on video a the same time in October. THEN two years later in 1997, the studio did a failed attempt to release the film at limited time to cash in on the success of Renee Zelweger and Matthew McConaughey. THEN it was released on VHS in September 1998 and only for the DVD to be released in July of 1999. Whew! Can I be honest here? This film had no reason to be released in theaters at all. It just has a cheap direct-to-video feel, why would they even bother giving a crap about this movie?
* There is an extended cut of the film which features Jenny's abusive stepfather in the opening scene, more dialogue between Heather and Barry (ugh!), and a longer conversation between Darla and Jenny. The only known release of the extended cut is the 2009 lionsgate Canadian DVD version.
*Marilyn Burns, John Dugan, and Paul A. Partan all make cameo appearances at the end of the film.
So there's Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. Boy, what a piece of shit. If you read my last review of this, I obviously enjoyed this movie for all the wrong reasons. But what can I say? It's a love it or hate it film. It's really just a time waster, a background movie. And trust me, I've seen even worse crap with even worse writing. So prepare yourself for the next so-called "sequel."
All in all, it's nothing to look back to.
My last word: it's your choice. This IS a bad movie but if you like bad movies, this could definitely fit in with your collection.