Preview by: Jack Foley
IT REMAINS one of the most enduringly terrifying horror movies
of all time, so the idea of remaking Tobe Hoopers seminal
1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, seemed like pure folly to film fans.
Yet while few believe the remake could come close to the heights
of the original, it seems that director, Marcus Nispel, hasnt
done a bad job in reworking the film.
The story behind the film goes as follows
On August 20, 1973, police were dispatched to the remote farmhouse
of Thomas Hewitt, the former head-skinner at a local slaughterhouse
in Travis County, Texas.
What they found within the confines of the cryptic residence
was the butchered remains of 33 human victims, a chilling discovery
in what many still refer to as the most notorious mass murder
case of all time.
Wearing the grotesque flesh masks of his victims and brandishing
a chainsaw, the killer, dubbed Leatherface, gained
infamy following headlines such as: House of Terror Stuns
Nation Massacre in Texas.
Local authorities eventually gunned down a man wearing a leathery
mask and declared they had their killer, before abruptly closing
the case. But, in the years which followed, many close to the
grisly murder case came forward to accuse the police of botching
the investigation and knowingly killing the wrong man.
Now, according to the PR for the film, the only known survivor
of the killing spree has broken the silence and come forward to
tell the real story of what happened on a deserted rural Texas
highway, when a group of five young kids inadvertently found themselves
besieged by a chainsaw-wielding madman.
The new film stars Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen,
Mike Vogel and Eric Balfour, along with screen veteran R. Lee
Ermey, Lauren German, David Dorfman, Andrew Bryniarski, Terrence
Evans, Heather Kafka and Marietta Marich.
Nispel is more commonly known for his music videos and commercials,
and makes his feature film debut, with Michael Bay serving as
Commenting on the opportunity of tackling such a classic, Bay
comments: "I wanted to do The Texas Chainsaw Massacre because
of name value alone. It has a mythical quality to it as one of
the very first movies of its kind."
Though the budget is modest by Hollywood standards, Michael Bay
feels the artistry and care Marcus Nispel and his team infused
into the film will transcend any preconceptions audiences have
"Thats the school I come from," Bay comments.
"Even though we had no money to do this, we had to have high
production values. Marcus is a great shooter and it starts with
him. But I had to beg, borrow and steal, and call in every favor
I had in terms of sound mixers and musicians. I guess [New Line
Cinema co-chairman and CEO] Bob Shaye said it best. He said, You
can tell it was very lovingly produced. We took care. I
think its a really good-looking movie."
He concludes: "What were trying to do is create a
visceral experience. We want a no-holds-barred, not-joking-around
movie about your worst nightmare. Youre stuck in this town
and you cant get out. Its like a bad dream. I just
wanted to go back to the thrillers that I grew up with, where
the terror was real."
Adds executive producer, Andrew Form: "Audiences are going
to be devastated by what happens over the course of the movie.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about raw emotion and terror,
and with the exception of The Silence of the Lambs and The Exorcist,
I cant remember a movie where the terror and fear resonate
so deeply as they do here.
"This film isnt about flying limbs and blood spurting
at the camera, its about watching these characters make
decisions that every audience member would make in those life
and death moments."