The problem with films featuring one dimensional mindless killing machines is that there are only so many ways to skin a cat – or a teenager. Jaws found this. Slasher films suffer from this. The Expendables will learn one day.
The Texas Chainsaw franchise – like the chainsaw wielding special needs murderer – is quite slow on the uptake and non-creative in working towards its limited goals. The terror generated by the first 1973 Texas Chainsaw Massacre emanated from the ‘what if?’ scenario that it posed. Well we’ve seen ‘what if’ now. 53 times. And frankly we’re bored with it. I’m ready for ‘what if something else’.
So with the noted absence of new material this ‘Beginning’ seeks to give us backstory, something which proves laughably simplistic. Essentially ‘ugly baby born on abattoir floor and summarily discarded in dumpster. Ugly baby found and raised by loathe some family, sent back to work at the abattoir, cutting up dead meat while wearing – for no reason – a grotesque ill fitting mask.’
So that’s the ‘mindless’ covered, where does the ‘killing machine’ part come in? Simples, they close the abattoir and sack him. Apparently enough to turn any simpleton into a mass murderer.
Meanwhile at home, Pop kills a cop and decides not only to take the cop’s uniform and pretend to be law enforcement, but to take the cop-corpse home and become cannibals.
If only life was as easy as coming up with idiotic scripts.
Sorry to give spoilers but no one is here for the story, they are here for the gory.
Enter four pretty people who won’t stay ‘magazine cover pretty’ for much longer. They wander in, crash, get apprehended, tortured and variously defiled, before swapping positions with others and having everything repeated. Some escape momentarily. Some fight back. Some cry and whimper about their predicament. Frankly I can’t remember.
Then, sixty minutes in, the chainsaw revs into life. But by this time my tiny brain had long since checked out of this. Only someone with the mental limitations of Leatherface could find joy or entertainment – even distraction – here.
This might be labelled as the ‘beginning’ but the equally lamentable 2013 reboot proves that while there remains no life in this franchise, that won’t stop Hollywood from trying to wring it dry.
Final Rating – 5.5 / 10. This 40 year old chainsaw is rusty, noisy and missing too many teeth to be useful.