Thursday, July 29, 2010

Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

The Man Responsible: Kim Henkel
Victims (Careers May or May Not have Survived): Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Leatherface

“Girls have tits.”
-Barry

Okay, so I got one horrible Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel out of the way; how about another one? How about a movie so bad that it makes even long-term fans of the rest of the series cringe? Yes, that’s right, people who actually support Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, shun this movie. People who actually thought that was a good piece of cinema… this is the movie they don’t like of the series. How bad can Tex-ass Chainsaw Massacre get? Well, let’s take a look at The Next Generation, which more or less means ‘here’s a crappy 90s sequel that attempts to half-assedly modernize an old horror franchise with stupid characters and banal attempts at humor.’

First of all, if that title isn’t going to have anything to do with Star Trek, I don’t want a part of this movie. Second…did we just enter a parallel dimension or something? I’ll do a quick rundown of just the first five minutes: Weird montage of a girl and her boyfriend getting ready at home, taking pictures and then going to a high school prom. Cut to two guys wrestling in the parking lot. Cut to this one blonde girl named Heather asking a teacher where her boyfriend Barry is, to which the teacher says, “I thought you two broke up?” I’m sorry…but what the hell does that have to do with anything? Couldn't you just tell her the answer? Keep your nose out of her business! Then Heather talks to her friend, who is muttering gibberish for absolutely no reason and twitching like she has Tourette’s…although she stops doing that and does not appear to actually have said disease. Then Heather finds Barry kissing some other girl, steals his car and goes careening across the parking lot. But somehow he gets in the car and they start talking.

He says that she’s so controlling and won’t let him see his friends anymore, even though everyone in the audience and her clearly saw him kissing and feeling up another girl. He says that he needs sex and that there’s “nothing wrong with kissing another girl once.” Uh…YES THERE IS, YOU MONGOLOID. And then the kids from the opening scene, Jenny and Sean, from the first scene pop up spontaneously in the back of the car even though they weren’t shown ever getting in, and were just seen a few seconds ago coming out of the doors of the dance. They talk about…okay, okay, wait. I need a second here.

Five minutes. Five minutes is all it took for this movie to break me. I mean WOW, man, that’s a new record right there! This is like an M. Night Shyamalan movie...if it was on steroids.

So they get in two car crashes – don’t you know you’re not supposed to drive angry? – while Barry delivers such witty lines as “Girls have tits.” Startling observation there, Sherlock; how long did it take you to figure that one out? The second crash actually stops them cold and they even find an unconscious guy in the other car. Then they go looking out in the woods for help…instead of just going back the way they came for some reason. Your guess is as good as mine why that is. They just…randomly barge in on this weird little wood-office place where the lady at the desk starts talking to Jenny about random stuff while she calls her friend Vilmer.

…who arrives at the scene of the accident where Sean is waiting. Sean asks if Vilmer can take a look at the unconscious guy, and Vilmer promptly slits his throat. He stands up and announces that he is going to kill Sean too, and then…Sean disappears. I can infer that he ran away from Vilmer, but I don’t hear any running sound effects, and I sure didn’t see him run away, so what the hell, movie? What, is this like some kind of visual fun-house mirror or something; just twisting our perceptions of reality by including normal looking people and situations but making them just a little strange and out of focus? My brain is being raped by this movie. I haven’t even gotten to the chainsaw wielding cannibals, and my brain is being raped.

We see Vilmer chasing Sean with his truck and playing around with him before actually backing up and hitting him. What happened to him? Is he really dead? I guess we won’t find those things out before the movie’s whimsical sense of fucked up magic decides we need to know! Our three other characters are wandering through the woods when Vilmer speeds by them and does not respond to their cries for help. Jenny wanders off into the woods, deciding she doesn’t want to be a part of this movie for a while, while Barry and Heather exchange…some of the most fascinating dialogue I’ve heard in a long time.

I’m dead serious! Just read some of these quotes:

Heather: Let's stop and ask for help. Tell them we'll give them fifty bucks if they give us a ride.
Barry: Fifty bucks?
Heather: We're not really gonna GIVE it to 'em, tell 'em to send us a bill. If they get mad...give them five bucks, tell em we'll send the rest later.

...I'm sorry, what? Why are you talking about that? It's like completely out of left field with what is actually going on, like looking at a picture of a hot girl to stare at her right earlobe.

And later on…

Barry: You better not shoot me, mister. I heard this guy pulled a gun on a kid at his house, and he got tried for murder.

...Yeah, man! You stick it to him!

There is too many of these lines for me to even count, let alone write down or comment about. So how about we take a look at the next scene…Heather is sitting on the bench waiting for Barry to look around for people to help them. This ratty old man in a mask and a dirty trench coat comes up behind her and starts picking her hair. She makes no sign of even noticing him. We cut to the scene above where Barry is confronted by a man with a gun. We cut back, and she still hasn’t noticed. She finally notices this huge guy who was probably breathing down her neck the whole time, and we see it’s Leatherface!

But that doesn’t trouble me nearly as much as how much this girl screams. I’m really starting to hate girls screaming in these movies; it’s so annoying. It even annoys Leatherface! Good job, movie, you created a character that could aggravate a seven-foot serial killer who wears other peoples’ faces. That takes talent. But he kills both of them off anyway.

Meanwhile, Vilmer is playing cat and mouse with Jenny, who is still stranded in the woods. He shows her the dead bodies of Sean and the unconscious car-crash victim in the back of his truck, spouts some pseudo-existentialist philosophy and then chases her into the woods, only to leave again. Gee, you’d think a guy with that kind of imagination would have something better to do on a Friday night. She then gets chased by Leatherface until she gets back to the little house from before, where she gets cattle-prodded and tied up by the lady who she thought was a good guy, and a man who does nothing but quote famous intellectuals.

Phew.

The movie trudges along and we see the cops completely ignoring the crazy woman with Jenny tied up in her trunk - If someone, even a hot and flirty girl, says to you "You don't want to know" when you ask what's in their trunk...you probably need to check it out. That is your job, you frigging retard. And then we see the woman hitting the escaped (???) Heather, who we presumed was dead since she had a hook stuck in her last time we saw her, with a stick for no reason. But for some reason, she does not actually take Heather back with them, despite that she tells Vilmer to go find her when they arrive at the house…but then, brace yourselves! WE GET A CROSS-DRESSING LEATHERFACE.

I’m…I’m at a loss for words. They don’t even say anything about it. Before he was wearing regular clothes and now he’s wearing a grandma’s wig and an apron! Why? I don’t know. He never did that in any of the other movies. And later on we even see him in a full dress and lipstick and everything! And you know what the strangest part is? I’m not even that surprised! That’s right; I’m not surprised. That’s how far this movie has driven me. They showed a classic horror icon CROSS DRESSING, and I wasn’t surprised. Movie, go lobotomize yourself with a rusty chainsaw.

I can’t summarize the rest of this. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just…I’ve covered so much of this already, and the rest of the movie basically amounts to Vilmer and the Leatherface family shouting, beating each other up and doing everything short of throwing their own feces; it’s like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre if they went on Jerry Springer. Oh yeah, and there’s a plot thrown in in the last fifteen minutes about the Illuminati. Color me surprised!

This is amazing. It is so absolutely awful and simultaneously perplexing in every way that it is flat out amazing. I have no idea what this movie is trying to get across. I have no idea what the audience for this was. Sometimes it’s trying to be funny, but there aren’t any jokes so much as…random, weird conversations. And the rest of the time? Well, uh, it’s nothing you ever want to see again. None of this movie is. Don’t get me wrong; this is bad, one of the worst out there, but at the same time…go see this if you have 90 minutes to waste. It’s really a spectacle of a film. A movie as flippantly, whimsically weird as it is godawfully horrendous and ear-rapingly annoying. You decide which one is more prevalent.

Now I’m going to go have my eyes gouged out to forget this whole thing.