Tag Archives: John Dugan

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) Review

Time: 92 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Alexandra Daddario as Heather Miller
Dan Yeager as Leatherface
Trey Songz as Ryan
Tania Raymonde as Nikki
Scott Eastwood as Deputy Carl Hartman
Shaun Sipos as Darryl
Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Kenny
Thom Barry as Sheriff Hooper
Paul Rae as Mayor Burt Hartman
Richard Riehle as Farnsworth
Bill Moseley as Drayton Sawyer
Marilyn Burns as Verna Carson
John Dugan as Grandfather Sawyer
Gunnar Hansen as Boss Sawyer
Director: John Luessenhop

Decades ago, residents of Newt, Texas, long suspected that the Sawyer family was responsible for the disappearances of many people. When their suspicions finally were confirmed, vigilantes torched the Sawyer compound and killed every member of the family — or so they thought. Much later, a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns that she has inherited Texas property from an unknown relative, and she is unaware of horrors that await in the mansion’s dank cellar.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a really effective horror movie, it’s one of the only horror movies that got close to actually making me feel unsettled, and was the scariest slasher movie that I’ve seen. As for the sequels and reboots, I haven’t seen them but I heard that they are pretty bad. Still, years ago I still decided to see Texas Chainsaw 3D and was less than impressed to say the least.

Even though it initially seems like a reboot or remake, Texas Chainsaw 3D is actually a sequel to the original. It even opens right after the events of the first movie. If there’s something I can give credit to this movie for at least trying, it’s that it attempts to be a continuation of the original story instead of just rebooting… though that would still prove to be a problem for the movie. One of the biggest mysteries and confusions surrounding Texas Chainsaw 3D is the time period. It certainly feels like a modern movie, but certain things revealed just don’t add up. The first movie was made in 1973 and that’s where the movie was set, Texas Chainsaw 3D is like 20 years later so really it should be in the 90s. But it doesn’t seem that way, it’s in the 90s yet characters have smart phones. I almost feel like the people making this movie didn’t know entirely themselves, there’s a bit when the main character reads a newspaper and it shows the date but deliberately hides the year. Its not just the time period that’s wrong with the movie unfortunately, for the most part Texas Chainsaw 3D is a rather generic slasher movie, with boring characters who make stupid decisions, the type that a lot of bad horror movies have. Early in the movie, the main character is given a letter and is told that its absolutely important for her to open it before going into this faraway house that she apparently inherited from some mysterious relative. Yet she doesn’t until much later, revealing so much incredibly major things that would’ve made the events play out much differently. They basically made her conveniently not think about checking out that letter even when some weird stuff starts happening. Weird decisions at the end aside, for the most part the movie is very predictable. It’s also got some moments which come across as silly, like at a point there are two people chainsaw fighting, and I’m pretty sure the filmmakers wanted us to take this movie seriously. The strangest parts however come towards the last act as the plot takes a weird turn, and not necessarily for the better (potential spoilers for the rest of the paragraph). The film actually tries to make Leatherface likable and sort of an anti-hero of sorts, and it’s just bizarre, it’s so sudden and jarring. I guess credit for them for trying but they weren’t anywhere close to succeeding. By the time it got to the point where it was clear what direction the story was going in, I just gave up on the movie at that point, I couldn’t take it seriously.

I don’t know if most of the cast have talent, but the characters are so underdeveloped that they really didn’t have a chance. There’s only two actors in here that I recognise. Alexandra Daddario I guess was the best of the cast as the lead character. She’s passable enough and I’m not really sure if I’d go so far as to call her performance bad, but she really didn’t have anything to work with in this movie, more so to the rest of the cast.

The direction of the movie is competent at best. For the horror, the movie relies heavily on jumpscares, with none of them effective at all. I always found the scariest part of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be not the chainsaw wielding murderer, but just the absolute insane people in the family. Texas Chainsaw 3D mainly relies on Leatherface however, and in this movie he really isn’t intimidating, just another silent killer who happens to have a chainsaw. Again, there isn’t a consistent time period, if it’s really the 90s, the modern music has no place here. Yes, there’s a lot of gore here but it looks incredibly fake. There’s one bit where someone is being sliced at the waist with a chainsaw, but only the top half is moving, the bottom half of the body isn’t moving at all. Now this movie is called Texas Chainsaw 3D, and indeed you can tell that this movie was filmed to be 3D at points with the way that its filmed, with Leatherface thrusting his giant chainsaw in front of the camera just for audiences to see in its 3D glory (even though pretty much no one is watching this in 3D). There was even a moment later on where Leatherface throws his chainsaw at the camera, which was straight out of a bad 3D movie from the 90s where they tries to have random things popping out at the camera (and no, I’m pretty sure they aren’t attempting to tribute those movies at all).

Texas Chainsaw 3D is really not good at all. The acting isn’t good, the direction is lacklustre, it’s not scary in the slightest, it’s a rather standard and average slasher movie that you’ve seen done so much better, and although it does try to connect to the original movie, its ties just end up making the story stumble even more. Even if you liked the original movie, I don’t think you’ll get anything out of Texas Chainsaw 3D.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) Review

Time: 83 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Horror scenes & violence
Marilyn Burns as Sally
Allen Danziger as Jerry
Paul A. Partain as Franklin
William Vail as Kirk
Teri McMinn as Pam
Edwin Neal as Hitchhiker
Jim Siedow as Old Man
Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface
John Dugan as Grandfather
Director: Tobe Hooper

A group of five hippies, Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), Franklin (Paul A. Partain), Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail), and Pam (Teri McMinn), on a road trip through the backwaters of 1970’s rural Texas fall prey to a murderous cannibalistic family making up of a leather-masked chainsaw-wielding maniac (Gunnar Hansen), his knife-wielding grave robber brother (Edwin Neal), and their cannibal chief father (Jim Siedow) and decaying grandfather (John Dugan).

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The horror genre has always been a hit or miss sort of movie. There are some movies which do scare me (Sinister and The Babadook) there are movies that don’t scare me (The Fog) and there are movies which are at times scary, the latter being the most common type. Because of the underwhelming feeling I felt after watching the original Friday the 13th, I was a little worried that Texas Chainsaw Massacre would be another movie that aged poorly. However I found myself quite enjoying The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It is still today quite an impressive film, especially for its time.

Out of the four slasher franchises (the other three being Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street), Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s first instalment was the closest to scaring me. The plot is set up well and paced (for the most part) at about 80 minutes, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The opening scene deserves credit in immediately grabbing your attention and setting the tone for the rest of the film. The first two acts go in and out of being well paced and being a little too slow, however once the main characters reach the house, that’s when the film really picks up. The film is surpirisingly well at creating and maintaining tension. The last act however is really great as further creepy and scary things happen and the tensions rise. There is particularly one scene at a table (without spoiling anything) which actually got under my skin.

The acting was pretty good by everyone. We don’t really know much about the main characters but they do pretty well with what they’ve got, particularly Marilyn Burns, especially in the later scenes of the movies. Along with the main characters being played well, the people who played the psychopathic characters are excellent, not just Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) although he is a standout amongst them. They were at least for me most of the scariest parts of the movie. One performance that really stood out to me was from Edwin Neal who makes his first appearance quite early on in the film. He makes such an impression.

This film has a very low budget of $300,000 but this film is still very effective. The film has a very realistic and raw look to it that really helps the film. Compared to horror movies of today, this movie isn’t quite as bloody, but when there is blood, the film uses practical effects and it does work much better, it doesn’t look cartoonishly over the top. For me, the more disturbing elements are brought out in the bizarre characters that our protagonists come across. Nonetheless, the violence is shocking and it’s effective in amping up the scares.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic horror film and if you are a big horror movie fan, this movie is essential to watch. It’s the horrific imagery, the unsettling feeling and scary performances that make it so effective. I can’t really comment on any of the other move in the series (with the exception of 2013’s Texas Chainsaw) but I can say that the 70s movie is really good.