When the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a hit film, producers decided to give fans a chance to discover how the legend of this new Leatherface came to be.
In 1939, Sloane, a worker at the local slaughterhouse, gives birth to a deformed baby but dies during childbirth. The baby is left in the garbage, where he is found by a beggar named Luda Mae. She names the baby Thomas. Having been raised by the Hewitt family, Thomas has dealt with psychological issues as well as being made fun of because of his physical deformity. Nevertheless, he gets a job at the local slaughterhouse where he was born. Thirty years have passed and the slaughterhouse is being shut down. When the supervisor makes fun of Thomas, the young man goes ballistic and kills the supervisor, taking with him a souvenir: a chainsaw.
Meanwhile, two couples are heading for a last road trip. Chrissie and her boyfriend Eric along with Eric’s brother Dean and his girlfriend Bailey, are enjoying what will be their last hurrah before Dean and Eric head off to Vietnam. When they arrive at a local bar, they run afoul of a biker gang led by Holden and his girlfriend Alex. When the group leaves, they are pursued by the bikers and ultimately end up in an accident. When Sheriff Hoyt arrives, Chrissie hides as she sees Eric, Dean, and Bailey being taken away after he shoots Alex down. While Chrissie finds her way to find her friends, she and her friends are about to experience something extremely terrifying.
This prequel to the reboot is perhaps the most disturbing entry in the sage of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Replacing Marcus Nispel, who directed the 2003 reboot is Jonathan Liebesman, who brings the origin of the Thomas Hewitt character to life. One of the people responsible for coming up with the story is David J. Schow, who had written Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III but that film ultimately faced the wrath of the MPAA censors (a director’s cut version is available on DVD). Now with the horror genre going insane today in terms of gore, we are given a full-blooded TCM movie.
A first for Texas Chainsaw history, Andrew Bryniarski is the only actor to play the central character of Leatherface twice as he returns to play the very angry Thomas Hewitt. Unlike Gunnar Hansen’s original Leatherface, it is clear that this Leatherface suffers from both mental and physical damage. If one wonders the physical deformity, the mystique of Leatherface was practically destroyed when in the 2003 film, Leatherface is unmasked. Yet here, Hewitt first sports a brown ninja-like mask that covers only his nose and mouth before he finally unleashes his destiny as Leatherface.
The victims this time around are two couples. Played by Fast and Furious franchise star Jordana Brewster and White Collar star Matt Bomer as well as Taylor Handley and Diora Baird. R. Lee Ermey, who stole the show with his demented performance of Sheriff Hoyt in the 2003 remake, returns to that role and brings even more of the disturbing factor, showing full well he is in charge of this family. We get quite a few questions answered here and one thing may be questions. Will anyone survive?
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is truly the most gruesome and disturbing entry of the TCM saga. While the 1974 original was more a psychological trip, this prequel to the remake is disturbing in terms of its gore effects. If you liked the 2003 remake, chances are, you will like this one.
WFG RATING: B
New Line Cinema presents a Platinum Dunes production. Director: Jonathan Liebesman. Producers: Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Mike Fleiss, Kim Henkel, and Tobe Hooper. Writers:
Sheldon Turner; story by Turner and David J. Schow; based on characters created by Scott Kosar, Kim Henkel, and Tobe Hooper. Cinematography: Lukas Ettlin. Editing: Jonathan Chibnall and Jim May.
Cast: Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, Matt Bomer, R. Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Lee Tergesen, Terence Evans, Marietta Marich, Leslie Calkins, Tim DeZam, Cyia Batten.