Sunday, May 31, 2015
I remember being excited to see TCM 3 showing on IFC, because I feel like it's one of those that's never on, and not available on Netflix instant. Plus, my man, Ken Foree! This movie has a weird history, with directors and actors being hired and fired, characters that were supposed to die being kept alive in the end, and an X-rating that led to the movie being cut numerous times so it could get a release. The saw is family, bitches, let's do this!!
I haven't seen TCM 2 in a while, so I had to check the Wikipedia page, and it looks like everyone, including Leatherface, was presumed dead at the end of that one. This sequel kicks off by talking about the original TCM, and how the only survivor was Sally, who died in a private health facility in the late 70s. It also says that one member of the family was arrested after the massacre and was assumed to be "Leatherface," as a result of a split personality, and he died in the gas chamber in 1981.
Fast forward to the time of this movie, Michelle and Ryan (Kate Hodge and William Butler) are driving from LA to Florida, bickering the whole way. They get held up at a checkpoint, where a mass grave is being excavated, and later, move onto a creepy gas station where they run into Tex (Viggo Mortenson), who gives them some "better directions," which we all know never to trust. Of course, they run across some demented cannibals, but somewhat luckily, they also cross paths with survivalist Benny (Ken Foree).
We get the typical TCM "formula" for the core of the movie--the poor travelers and anyone they ran into, get kidnapped, forced to see the now very decomposed "Grandpa," and are invited to join the clan for dinner while a loved one gets strung up on meat hooks. There's the requisite creepy family members, who seem to materialize out of nowhere after the majority of the clan is supposed to be dead in the previous two films. With the presence of Benny, we get an extra dose of racism and the "dark meat" analogy the family's been dying to use for years. We're left with the cliffhanger as usual, and of course more sequels, and remakes are to follow.
TCM 3 is neither as groundbreaking as the original, or as delightfully oddball as the sequel, but it has the aspects that have made us love the franchise, from the freakishly backwoods individuals to the ever-present roar of the chainsaw. Now bring on Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.