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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Starring: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker
Director: Marcus Nispel
Rated: R
RunTime: 98 Minutes
Release Date: October 2003
Genre: Horror

*Also starring: Eric Balfour, Andrew Bryniarski, Erica Leerhsen, Mike Vogel, R. Lee Ermey, Terrence Evans, Stephen Lee, David Dorfman

Review by Susan Granger
0 stars out of 4

If you're looking for splattering bloody gore this Halloween, this is it. MTV veteran Marcus Nispel has remade the Tobe Hooper low-budget horror classic that initiated the slasher genre back in 1974. In fact, when it was originally released, there were rampant rumors that it was actually a snuff film. That movie was so scary it was banned by British censors until 1999.

This reworked story by Scott Kosar - which deletes the political subtext of the Vietnam Era early 1970s - revolves around a group of five friends (Jessica Biel, Mike Vogel, Erica Leerhsen, Jonathan Tucket, Eric Balfour) who are driving a Volkswagen van back from a pot-purchasing trip to Mexico. En route to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas, they pick up a battered teenager (Lauren German) who is aimlessly walking on a deserted road. But this hitchhiker's unexpected suicide delivers them into the clutches of a demented Texas sheriff (R. Lee Ermey) who brags about sexually abusing suicide victims while wrapping their corpses in plastic. Then there's the weird, inbred, backwoods family, particularly relentless Thomas Hewitt - a.k.a. Leatherface - (Andrew Bryniarski) who was modeled after serial killer Ed Gein, the Wisconsin farmer who butchered women and then draped their body parts around his house.

Daniel Pearl, who worked with Tobe Hooper on the original, holds the dubious distinction of being the first cinematographer to shoot a remake of his first film. Only - this time - his depiction of the violence and fetid gore has gone into overdrive and overkill. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a garish, gross, gruesome 1. How reprehensible is it? You may, literally, be sick to your stomach. Consider yourself warned.

Copyright 2003 Susan Granger

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