I, like you, ask myself ‘why did I bother?’.
Seriously – why?
In the full knowledge that this would be a shallow retread I watched it with the faint hope in my heart that it would have something of worth in it. But as the opening credits rolled and I realised Michael Bay co-produced it, I sensed my hopes were scuppered and I’d let myself in for a dreary couple of hours.
Yep – you heard right. Michael fucking Bay – he who is responsible for the likes of The Rock, Armageddon, Bad Boys and other such rot with massive production values and stupid, dull plotlines. Having killed off clever, subtle action pictures he’s now turned his hand to the horror genre and, ultimately, played a part in ruining the whole bloody thing.
Horror films (or at least the ones I enjoy most and the original of this tired franchise) thrive on a small budget. Schlock special effects, grainy camera work, poor acting, they don’t come at a price. You can’t apply the kinds of budgets that make things like Armageddon successful and hope it does the same for horror. Where’s the money going to go? Special effects? Herein lies the problem.
TCM (TB), to abbreviate this shitflick, is simply shock after shock with absolutely nothing of any worth sandwiched between. And the shocks are so blunt and heavy handed they don’t even make you jump. They make you sigh and, from time to time, vaguely grimace at the unpleasantness of it all. There’s no subversion, no intelligence, no allegory, no nothing. It’s not even good enough to be called an exploitation movie as it hasn’t been made on a budget to ensure maximum profit. We don’t get the pleasure of a really cheap ride. Instead we get really, really expensive disappointment. This is a film without merit in any sense whatsoever. A real low point.
What’s more irritating is that this is a cash in on a complete and utter fucking masterpiece. Despite this, it makes no effort to do any justice to the original.
As has been documented a bazillion times, the original is based loosely on serial killer Ed Gein. Our buddy Ed had a serious mother fixation which induced him, alongside some serious pathological mental illnesses, to cut women who resembled his expired mother into small pieces and use their flesh around the house, for furniture and accessories. Hence the whole concept of Leatherface.
Completely ignoring this freakish beginning, the Bay product makes the father the domineering parent. The first face Leatherface decided to skin and wear is that of a teenage boy. The whole premise is pissed into a corner and the concept goes out of the window. It turns from a tale of a warped and deformed young man with a distorted Oedipus complex into an overblown pile of tat about some violent men. And it’s not good enough I tell you. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
As for Michael Bay, I’ve heard word he’s now working on a remake of The Birds as well as the first Friday the 13th. Can’t someone cut off his cock before he pisses on any more graves?