Friday, May 14, 2010

Battle Royale: Who would win in a fight? MASSACRE IN TEXAS WITH A CHAINSAW


You've heard it all before. Celebrity Death Match, right? In this corner, we have Ben Affleck and in this corner we have... Matt Damon, or Kevin Smith, or... This is not Celebrity Death Match and this certainly isn't Freddy Vs. Jason. Battle of the King of Nightmare land vs. the Juggernaut. We're here tonight to pit lipstick vs. chainsaw vs. chili making crazy family vs. Tobe Hooper's wet dream vs. Matthew Mcconaughey vs. Bill Mosley's starring appearance. Texas Chainsaw showdown starts... NOW!

What exactly is a Battle Royale?
Texas State Tree

We're going through the first four movies today. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre created by the master himself, Tobe Hooper. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II also directed by Tobe Hooper but this time with DENNIS HOPPER AND BILL MOSLEY. Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. We're stopping at the remake here because it would be like analyzing, historically, the first movie and the Beginning doesn't fit because a prequel does not a battle royale make. They're dangerous... unpredictable... more like cage match material.

Master of Horror, Tobe Hooper

Texas. 1974. Tobe Hooper says to a bunch of indy film proteges, "let's go to Texas and scare the Hell out of people by sending a slightly overweight man running through a bramble of trees ... with a chainsaw". Forget what you know about it being a "true story". Was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre a true story? No. Based on true events. Not even. Loosely based on the factual evidence surrounding several prominent serial killers in the United States of America... yes. So you have a not-so-true movie (despite what the disclaimer may warn you about). It makes for great publicity. Suddenly, everyone in Texas has a chainsaw... chases innocent teenage wanderers through the hill country with said chainsaw and wears a mask. I think it's believable. How many folks ya'll know from Texas anyway? It's plausible right? I mean, we saw what happened to the unassuming teens in H.G. Lewis's 2000 Maniacs when they went to the southland.

Texas is for Lovers
Find where the Texas Chainsaw Massacre actually happened! (or didn't happen at all)

What's to love: Cannibals. Chainsaws. Gunnar Hansen gets his start. Crazy hitchhiker offers a brilliant public service announcement to the "no hitchhiker pick up rule". We learn how to get an R rating with minimal blood or gore (especially when Hooper wanted a PG rating). And... we have a box office sensation that kills for horror movies and inspires countless genre classics. Excellent sound fx. Excellent "don't show the violence it's scarier". Excellent screeching noise (yes you know the one). That's like saying the Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974 knows how to do an elbow drop from the top rope followed by an inverted atomic drop and a suplex ... pile driver... pile driver... figure four leg lock(in professional wrestling terms).

Original Movie Trailer

Texas. Again. 1986. 14 years later. We have... Tobe Hooper again. Oingo Boingo in the soundtrack (and here's where I brag that I have an original vinyl pressing of this soundtrack, and I don't think you can find it on CD... bitches). Is this a true story? No. Less true than the first movie. Same... disclaimer... same... true story promise. So it's a tired gimmick but this time they include a spooky, serious voice reading the disclaimer allowed. Spooooooky. Bill Mosley is your new, hilarious hitchhiker with a metal plate in his head, bad teeth, better glasses... lots of humor. This movie is what 80's horror comedies were trying to do. Why does it get the laughs out you might ask? One word: DennisHopper. He's the Chuck Norris of horror films. Can't die. Kills all the baddies. Leatherface doesn't fight Dennis Hopper. Leatherface greets Dennis Hopper with his chainsaw as bowing. This movie has the gore. The laughs. The creative plot twists that M. Night would have been happy with.. especially when we consider the chili cook off. Seriously, we have some very funny folks in this movie and some very fun red light cinematography that shows that Mr. Hooper was in fact paying attention in film school and he's funky fresh in the 80's.

Chuck Norris
Dennis Hopper
and Bill Mosley

So we have a horror comedy. We have Bill Mosley scratching his head with a clothes hanger that has been heated with a cigarette lighter and screaming about Nam-Land, a strong-willed Texas harlot, radio DJ who has some nice legs and a hot southern accent (but not really...) The best Leatherface mask of them all. The best soundtrack (unless you like obscure Death Metal bands... see Leatherface). and DennisHopper (one word). Kung Fu chop to the chest. Side Suplex. Sleeper hold. Boston Crab (but the victim got the ropes). Moon kick. Tombstone piledriver. Funny as they come. Gory... Where's Superfly Jimmy Snuka?

Trailer for the Second Movie
Texas Chili Company!
Texas Chili Parlor (from Grindhouse... oooo)

FOUR... YEARS... LATER... Texas (you guessed it). 1990. Bayou. Bayou? It looks like the Bayou and Leatherface looks like he's actually wearing a mask of human flesh for the first time. Problem: it's not nearly as good as the non-human flesh looking masks. So give him... AN ANGRY FACE! Teeth. eyes... popping... :snore: zzzz zzzz zzzz and then some good special effects. What's the story? Guy with a chainsaw... in Texas (bayou country). Nothing new. What's the best part of this movie? THE POSTER! The movie poster looks so darn good and of course the tag line "The Saw is Family" is just so darn catchy. Brother Jedidiah is family ... the saw MUST be kin too.

Ash vs. LEATHERFACE... alternative battle royale if you fell asleep

This is the wrestling equivalent of the no-name kid who gets in the ring and gets sodomized by the champ for five minutes before mounting a minor offensive only to have the champs finisher promptly engaged. I include this as a benchmark only. I do not include this to laud it's merits but to illustrate that even though you have a bad sequel, you can still have redeeming qualities like a Death Metal OST and ... a cool movie poster. I also own this soundtrack. It's on CD... never released on iTunes!

Trailer for the Third Movie
iTunes Search for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre II Original Soundtrack
Texas State University

Texas (Deep in the heart of...)... four years later. 1994. Enter Matthew Mcconaughey before he did anything worth while if at all. Excellent accent. He's the tow trucker driver from hell that even Jim Van Beeber couldn't top (well at least he's prettier than Van Beeber's vision of a tow truck driver). Classic story. Kids get lost in the woods and the car gets messed up and there's Matthew Mcconaughey... sexy.... Texan. And of course he's with the Texas equivalent of the mafia i.e. he's with Leatherface. We get an excellent reflection of what we were discussing in the mid 90's. Domestic abuse and inbreeding. Where's Tipper Gore? This movie works because it gets back to humor. Horror comedy rebound in a sequel becomes almost formulaic and sets the basis for movies like Scream (even though A Nightmare Elm Street and Friday the 13th were already sequel-humoring it up).

You too can be just like Matthew Mcconaughey
How To Use A Chainsaw

Let's break down the play by play... full nelson, face slap.... and then this one gets a quick close line and then Mr. Fuji chops it in the back with a cane. and then the overweight sumo wrestler does some horribly stereotypically named move onto it's chest. But wait... here comes the "fill in the blank" brothers. Disqualification. It doesn't get the title, but it wins the match.

The Bluebonnet: The State Flower of Texas
Next Generation Trailer
You too can do the Banzai Drop!

Battle Royale... Texas (the yellow rose of)... nineteen sevent.... nineteen eighty... Who wins? The title goes to Texas Chainsaw Massacre II because it's more than a spook show horror classic. It's not truly a remake and you can't tell that it probably was actually meant to be a remake. It evolved the genre (no Dead Alive without this movie)... this set the stage for the modern blood and gore show just like H.G. Lewis did in the 60's. Yes... the first movie is brilliant. It's terrifying and it's a scare-a-second. But it's a bit dated. It'll scare, but lacks camp. We love the insane laughing. We love Bill Mosley. We love Chuck Norris... I mean Dennis Hopper. We love grandpa with a hammer, but what about grandma with a chainsaw embedded in her stomach, keeping her alive and as we know... the Saw is Family (crickets).

Songs about Texas
Ed Gein: Texas Ranger

-Terror M.D. (wearing nylons and sensible pumps to fit in with Leatherface, the mad fat lady killer).

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