Tobe Or Not Tobe

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Knock it off Hollywood. Stop trying to turn everything into a cinematic fast food franchise. Lay off the ‘Saw. Tobe Hooper’s original Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1&2 are completely unique…a perfect chocolate-and-peanut-butter blend of horror and humor sprinkled with an ineffable weirdness that I like to call “Texcentricity”. It’s Hooper’s style and the chemistry between the cast members that made those films such classics. All the others feel like Summer Stock dress-up. Part 3 (Leatherfacealmost  got it right and is an enjoyable romp. Part 4 (The Next Generation) is such an egregious waste of celluloid it should be melted down and recycled into guitar picks. The two previous “reboots” are competent but lifeless. This latest entry, Texas Chainsaw, is obviously endorsed by Hooper and Henkel since they were executive producers. And the newbie director really works that nostalgia angle by loading up on cameos by Gunnar Hansen, Bill Moseley and Marilyn Burns. It’s better than the other sequels and taken by itself is a good picture…but it still feels more like a generic modern splatter flick, not a Chainsaw film. Alexandra Daddario is a great heroine but the guy playing Leatherface projects none of the presence, personality, humor and humanity that Gunnar Hansen and Bill Johnson brought to the role. He comes off like just another big, silent, scary guy straight out of any of the thousands of Friday The 13th knockoffs. Hell, maybe I’m just an uptight, old-fashioned fanboy but I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way…

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