The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre, really bad as some say?

Discussion in 'Slashers' started by Kevin, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    I've been thinking about this for quite sometime in my head, and have been wondering if the remake is as bad as some people say? Now don't get the wrong idea, I love the original more then this version, but I have to day that many underrate this film. Most folks tend to say that it's god-awful, but I must disagree with that, I thought it was one of the better TCM films made. It's also atleast better then the pathetic fourth sequel The Next Generation. And come on, you have to give credit for how Leatherface was portrayed, even though it is somewhat disappointing to what they did to him in the movie. It does have its moments too, just like any other film. Does anybody else feel the same way?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 18, 2004
  2. Tuzotonic

    Tuzotonic Guest

    When I saw this movie I went in with my own bias against remakes so maybe I'm not the best person to comment on this movie but I agree. It isn't as bad as some people say it is but it certainly is nowhere near as good as the original either. It is much better than TCM part 2 or New generation. My problem with this movie is that they glossed up some of it and also added characters that did not work at all like the 2 women who live in the house together. They were useless and I think they made a big mistake by leaving out the crazy character who was hitchhiking. Overall it is not a bad movie but I don't know if I would ever see it again either. Part of what makes the original work is it's cheap grainy quality that makes the audience feel as if this may have actually happened. None of the actors in the original had been in anything else up to this point. I think the remake loses that creepy feel when the lead character is played by an actress who was in 7th Heaven. If an unknown actress had played the part I would have been fine with it.
     
  3. geeare

    geeare Guest

    no, it's not
     
  4. As long as you watch it with no expectations....don't think of it as a re-make but as it's own movie (cause let's face it...when compared to the original there's no contest)
     
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    Yeah, I know were you're are coming from, the new scenes in the move, however, simply felt cheap. You could easily tell that it was fake, and was nothing more then new footage added with scratches and high grain.
     
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  6. adric

    adric New Member

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    i went in looking at this movie as more of a sequal then a remake and i thought ti was good
     
  7. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    Well, comparing it to the sequels doesn't quite ring true for me. The job of the sequels was to move the story along, so commenting on their success at doing that is fair game. This movie though, was a remake of the first film. As such, it should be compared with the first film, and only the first film it was trying to update.

    --And come on, you have to give credit for how Leatherface was portrayed--

    Nah, you see, that was one of the main weaknesses. He just wasn't very menacing. At least, not in the same way Leatherface was in the first film. Just seeing people in the same room with Leatherface in the first film filled you with dread. In the new film, it was akin to Jason or Myers - he was a movie monster wearing a mask.

    In the first film, I think Leatherface transcended the movie monster stereotypes, he was very much more human (albeit twisted and sick). The new film portrayed him merely as a movie monster, and hey, who isn't waiting for the sequel?

    The new TCM also falls down when compared to say, Wrong Turn. In many ways, Wrong Turn is a similar film. So how comes it's more enjoyable? Given the rich legacy of the original TCM, that shouldn't be!

    The only real credit I can give the new TCM is the suicide shot in the van. It's a highlight, and nothing that comes later in the film can match it, sadly. Since it comes early, it acts to highlight how poor things really get (and how good things could have been).

    I don't think it's an awful film (and the extras on the DVD, especially the Ed Gein documentary, are really fascinating), but it doesn't elevate itself above "OK" status with me. You won't hate yourself for getting it, but it won't get stuck in your player for repeat viewings either, imo.
     
  8. fceurich39

    fceurich39 Well-Known Member

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    i thought it was pretty cool better than the sequels
     
  9. Demon

    Demon Don't Fuck With Dolly!

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    no its not as bad as some say, its a WHOLE LOT WORSE!!

    Urban Legends Final Cut completely kicks the dog shit out of this movie!!
     
  10. thrashard76

    thrashard76 Guest

    I agree. It was better than I expected though not as gritty as the original. I'd recommend you renting first, then see for yourself.
     
  11. I know I'm in the minority here, but I thought it was great, and maybe my outright favorite recent horror film. It's hard to compare it to the original because there are so many fundamental differences--I'd even go so far as to say that there are dozens of cheap knock-offs that are more of a remake of the original TCM than the remake was. I also don't have a deep love for the original (I thought it was great, but not my favorite of all time or anything) so I don't mind as much that certain aspects didn't match our collective expectations.

    However, I thought it did a number of things right, and there are scenes that still make me squirm just a little. The only horror fans I wouldn't recommend this to are those that have a deep love and respect for the original, simply due to their potential expectations.
     
  12. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    -- The only horror fans I wouldn't recommend this to are those that have a deep love and respect for the original, simply due to their potential expectations.--

    I think this is true of all the current remakes doing the rounds. For instance, there was less griping about Willard, than there was for Dawn of the Dead. In the genre, Dawn is the more popular, so people felt more personal about it being remade. TCM the same - there was no way the remake was going to gain respect unless it was much better than simply "good".

    Further proof of this can be seen with Vanilla Sky, Insomnia, and The Ring. The original films of each of these never got an R1 release until after they had been popularized by the Hollywood remakes. While the remakes, on their own merits, might not have grabbed a huge fanbase - few of the criticisms aimed at them was due to their being remakes.

    I know I, personally, was far more receptive to Willard due partly to my relative unfamilarity with the original (which I've not seen in twenty years). I will say though, if a studio does a remake, then the remake is fair game for comparison with the original film - both as a scene by scene comparison, and as a commentary on the overall impact. It's fair and reasonable to do so. In this regard, I'm in no doubt that the new TCM failed. I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan of the original, but I do appreciate it's magic. and like it a lot. The new film is pretty forgetable, and as mentioned earlier, was largely upstaged by Wrong Turn, which to be honest, shouldn't have been half as good.

    What struck me today was the current remake craze is generating such a backlash partly because of its timing. This is the probably the first time that consumers can do a side by side comparison of old and new so easily and quickly. Us genre fans are highly likely to own a copy of the original TCM on DVD (in almost pristine condition no less!) so comparing it and the new is easy to do. Back in the day - we had only our dim memories to do such comparisons, or crappy pan and scam rentals or commercially spliced TV broadcasts. How different things are now. In other words, the standards are higher. We know more, and therefore expect more. The new TCM, at least for me, didn't make it.
     
  13. --Mild Spoilers Ahead--

    In the interests of full disclosure, I only saw Wrong Turn once in the theater. With a girl I was dating. Drunk. And yeah, this isn't the ideal scenario in which to develop an informed opinion of a film. But still, I would say Wrong Turn is one of the weaker films I've seen over the past year, simply because of the cliches it catered to and the holes in the plot. Teen sex? Check. Scenarios that could have been averted or diffused with common sense? Check. Yeah, it was okay, but neither I nor any of the group of five I went with thought it was anything worth getting too excited over. This certainly isn't an attack on your tastes, dwatts, because I know a lot of people thought Wrong TUrn was pretty good. I'm just saying when comparing the two (which are VERY similar in tone) I personally find TCM to be the better film.

    -I will say though, if a studio does a remake, then the remake is fair game for comparison with the original film - both as a scene by scene comparison, and as a commentary on the overall impact. It's fair and reasonable to do so. In this regard, I'm in no doubt that the new TCM failed.-

    I think I would disagree. I don't know about the overall impact of the original--I wasn't even born yet, and all I have to go on is the reminiscences of other horror fans--but in a very general sense, I think it may have had a very similar impact, in type if not magnitude. Here was a film that didn't try to be funny or sexy or trendy in a time when most other Hollywood horror films were doing exactly that. The lead was a star from a young adult oriented pseudo-drama, but the film played to none of those built in expectations. Try getting your average sixteen year old girl to watch a man's fingernails being ripped off from clawing at the walls while being dragged to his death, or someone trying to pull himself off the meathook in his back only for his arms to give out and drop him back onto the hook. We didn't see (relatively) big-budget pictures doing that a few years ago. Scream--the film that defined 90's American Horror--would NEVER show this, This is a film that took all of our expectations, threw them out the window, and continued on with its grisly work. It grinned as it twisted the knife. It may not have revolutionized the genre, but it most definitely flashed some very obscene gestures at what the Hollywood-ized version of the genre had become. I also think not trying to go for the grainy documentary feel of the original was a plus, as it's difficult to reproduce that sort of feeling.

    Let's face it, a remake of something made generations ago is not going to have the same cultural impact simply because the original has been so absorbed into our culture. But as far as remakes go, I strongly feel this one is at the top of the pile along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing.

    Of course, once again, I concede that this seems to be the minority opinion.
     
  14. Roman Pillar

    Roman Pillar Guest

    I personally feel the remake was much more successful than the original. I've never liked the original because it was so odd and unintentionally funny but never scary.

    Considering that I'm in the minority, if anyone's interested in hearing my reasons why, I'll gladly state them when I'm not typing at 6:30 am. :)
     
  15. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    What's wrong with a film being odd? I thought the remake was that as well, but I didn't see anything wrong with that. Funny? With the exception of some scenes, how is Leatheface attacks on the kids, the big chase between him and Sally, and the dinner scene ... funny?
     
  16. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    -- Teen sex? Check. Scenarios that could have been averted or diffused with common sense? Check.--

    One of the things people can either love or hate about the subgenre of the slasher, it's predictable. Like gialli, the war film and the romantic comedy, you pretty much know where it's going before you get there. You see, Wrong Turn is a slasher, and those are the rules of a slasher. I guess we'll have to make up our minds if this is a "problem" or not. Each to their own. I think there is a fair argument though - was Wrong Turn really any less original than the new TCM - which was a remake? Could TCM have ever been "original"? Is it really worthy to break the boring codes of the modern slasher film, simply by remaking an older film? Would it not have been better to make a whole new film, really throwing it into the face of the modern film? Or is there an argument that while effective, it's a bit prissy hiding behind an already established film and form, to make a point?

    Regardless, I would confess, Wrong Turn was nothing new. It was just well done and entertaining. That's my number one requirement for any film.

    -- Here was a film that didn't try to be funny or sexy or trendy--

    Hm, you think? I think it tried to very sexy - even with scenes where the camera followed a girl butt through a field. How about the two making out in the very first scene? Given that in the first film, one of the gang was in a wheelchair (I guess this was too inconvenient, so they changed it for the remake), I'd say the tone of the new actors was quite different. I also found it quite "trendy" too, I'm sorry to say.

    --We didn't see (relatively) big-budget pictures doing that a few years ago. Scream--the film that defined 90's American Horror--would NEVER show this, This is a film that took all of our expectations, threw them out the window, and continued on with its grisly work.--

    I think this is where we perhaps differ. You see, I agree with everything you just wrote.. but..... in the context of what the film was trying to reprise, which was the original TCM, it didn't go quite far enough.

    If you compare the new TCM to Scream, I think your point of view is valid. If you compare it to the film it was remaking - then it actually held back a bit. For instance, I for one missed the dinner scene, with the grandpa - dead but alive - sucking fresh blood from the finger tips of the last remaining survivor. In the original, this was one of the most repulsive scenes in the film. The grandfathers scene of the grotesque was changed in the remake, instead we got to see him emptying his bag of p*ss. Is this the modern equivalent to gorss bodily secretions? has p*ss replaced good ol blood? What would Dracula have to say? :D

    -- It grinned as it twisted the knife. It may not have revolutionized the genre, but it most definitely flashed some very obscene gestures at what the Hollywood-ized version of the genre had become.--

    It's an excellent point, and again I agree in principle. However, this film didn't do it for me. Why? Because why this is perfectly true, the film it jumped on - as a remake - to do it, happened to have been made when the rules the new TCM were trying to beak, did not exist. In fact, the original TCM went further.

    The horrific and shocking effects of original TCM simply didn't exist in the year the original was made, but came much later. Its effects, however, were so good, they've carried on for decades later. If the same were true of say - the Willard remake - I think I could have applauded it's audacity a little more. The fact, for me, however was that, as gritty as it tried to be, the new TCM was still standing in the shadow of a genre great. One it couldn't hope to match.

    One issue is simply this - if I want a good shot of Leatherface, am I going to put on the new film, or the old? For me, it is without question, the old to which I'll turn.

    --Let's face it, a remake of something made generations ago is not going to have the same cultural impact simply because the original has been so absorbed into our culture.--

    This is what I was talking about earlier. Isn't this the peril of remaking such a iconographic film? Yet they did make it. So, what can you do? It has to stand against the original, imo. DVD has resurrected the original film, and made it available to us, so unlike in the past, it is going to be much more difficult for remakes to maintain a distinct personality. Given that I own both versions, all I have to do is reach for the one I most want to see. The competition, as it were, is greater if someone tries to recreate a film. The new TCM will, I believe, suffer for all that.

    --I personally feel the remake was much more successful than the original. I've never liked the original because it was so odd and unintentionally funny but never scary.--

    It was odd - which is the beauty of the thing. It's also not a perfect film. However, it has something special, and that is reflected in its longevity, I think. As for not being scary, I thought the portrayal of Leatherface was much better in the original (read scary). Since the original, he's become a horror monster, and the new film treated him as such. In the first film, he wasn't lumbered with that history, and he came across as smiply a very sick person. The first kill in the original is so well done, it might stand as the best kill in any genre film. They didn't even attempt the same shot in the new film, although their replacement shot (by a door) wasn't bad. I for one, would love to hear your fuller opinion Roman Pillar!

    Your comments on predictability struck a note with me. If I change the film for a bit, I found myself really enjoying Cabin Fever. One of the reasons it was so much fun, is because it did exactly what you comment on - it met all expectations. It didn't fight the slasher (even though it's not a slasher, it adopted its rules) rules, and instead, merrily complied to them to great effect. Gratuitous nudity - check. Teen sex - check. It was actually good fun checking the boxes and enjoying the show.

    Livingdead102, huge welcome to the board, that's a great post!
     
  17. steve

    steve Guest

    I've just recently finished the review for the new TCM. Dave should have it posted as soon as the website conversion is complete. Hopefully it will help anyone still on the fence about seeing this film.
     
  18. abattoir17

    abattoir17 Guest

    I agree with dwatts, the movie didn't go far enough. There was virtually none of the kinetic energy that the original film had. I too, missed the dinner scene. I was interested to see how that would be handled by a remake, but it wasn't to be. Frankly I don't know what they could have done to top it. And, save for one or two moments, I never felt that blanket discomfort I get every time I watch the original.

    I have a lot of other problems with the remake (the cliches, the highlighting of Leatherface instead of the family), but it has grown on me. I'm finally able to distance it from the first film and enjoy it on a different level. As a horror film in its own right, it's not all that bad. As a remake, it's got about half a leg to stand on.
     
  19. Kevin

    Kevin Guest

    Speaking of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, did anyone get a sense of power when they showed the dinner scene? You truly can feel the pain, torture, and agony of the character Sally went through. The beauty of it is that it didn't require violence, rape, or anything like that. It was something, in a way, simple. Believe it or not, this also affected Marilyn Burns. All the crap she went through just making this movie, wether it was getting scratches from running in the woods, getting her fingure cut, or severly womped in the head. I'm surprised she didn't break down and cry. I admire her role in the movie, and gives kudos to her, it also proved she could take more shit then the Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, whose role was something like a walk through park compared to Marilyn's.

    Oy, sorry for making this post sound ridiculous, however, I felt this is something people should know, or at least give out to what I think.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2004
  20. Revoltor

    Revoltor Guest

    Just realize a lot of people are full of shit and have no business critiqing anything.

    "*sniffffffffffff*.....I SMELL BULLSHIT!"
     

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