Leatherface

Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

We all know Leatherface, the human flesh-masked villain of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, but do any of us really know him, like on a personal level? Maybe he had hopes and dreams and plans for his future before he started capturing unsuspecting tourists, impaling them on meat hooks and turning them into prize-winning chili. No judgment; maybe his aspirations and goals were actually to become the town’s most feared and respected cannibal chef — if so, he definitely succeeded. But a new film is finally going to reveal exactly what went on in the days before The Texas Chainsaw Massacre taught audiences a thing or two about the phrase “stranger danger.” Simply and effectively titled Leatherface, according to The Wrap this prequel is an origin story for one of the horror genre’s most iconic faces (covered in other faces, so many terrible faces) set in the 1970s. At this point, the plot details are being kept under wraps (again, like someone’s horrible face), so it’s unclear what Leatherface’s actual life before the whole “gruesome torture and murder phase” entailed, but it’s a safe bet that things weren’t all sunshine and roses.

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Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Hooray! Look at Sally screaming in delight! She’s celebrating (with a little sausage dinner) because The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) has just been crowned The Scariest Movie Ever by you, our dear readers! If there’s one thing we learned from the nail-biter of a championship round, it’s that Exorcist fans vote early and Leatherface fans vote late, but while William Friedkin‘s demonic horror flick held a slight lead going into the evening, our friendly neighborhood cannibals overtook Linda Blair so fast it made her head spin. The final tally was 808 – 657 in favor of Texas Chainsaw, but if Exorcist lovers are bummed out, they can always cheer themselves up with this. Thanks to all whovoted. October Insanity has been intense, so let’s take a victory lap over the final numbers.

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Texas Chainsaw 3D Trailer

There’s a certain segment of the filmgoing audience who’s going to go see every movie about a group of hard-partying young people who go out to a remote location to get sadistically slaughtered by hillbillies, no matter how many times the plot gets overdone, and no matter how many entries in this cookie-cutter genre end up being just plain bad. If you’re one of these people, then boy does the new trailer for Texas Chainsaw 3D look like it’s advertising a movie for you.  Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a movie franchise that’s already been sequalized, rebooted, and reborn into the ground, but it’s yet to have an entry presented in glorious three dimensions, so it seems the suits in charge have deemed that there’s still some life to be sucked from this old girl yet. From the look of things, Texas Chainsaw 3D seems to be telling a very simple story, that of partying young people and chainsaw wielding maniacs. But it also seems to be working in the same old aesthetic that’s responsible for all of these horror movie remakes being so forgettable. This movie looks glossily generic, and fails to capture any of the gritty grossness of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre that’s made it such an enduring horror favorite down through the decades.

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Editor’s Note: We’ve spent a while searching for a fitting replacement for Ashe (who we still miss), but we’re elated to welcome David Christopher Bell to our team. He’ll be writing insightful lists for us every Thursday from now until we stop blackmailing him for that thing he did in Florida in 1986. Please give him a warm welcome! It’s funny. After Anthony Perkins first appeared as Norman Bates there was absolutely no going back from it. No matter what role he was put in after Norman, when audiences looked at him all they could see was the shower-interrupting taxidermologist that they feared so deeply. This proved to be a major hindrance in his career, causing him never to land any major role in the industry afterward. Now if only he had worn a mask. After all, if horror films have taught us anything it’s that no matter how effective a performance is, if you have a bunch of rubber on your face, mainstream audiences aren’t going to end up learning your name or recognizing your face. So in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, the following are some of those very names and faces that are responsible for some of the greatest movie nightmares of modern horror. People who you could walk right by on the streets and never know that they are to thank for all those times your childhood-spawned neuroses forced you to double-check under your bed.

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Since it’s number 13, and we’ve all been infected with the Horror virus around these parts, this week’s column will be bloody and terribly scary. Well, not scary exactly (though I’m sure it could give Wes Craven’s decidedly non-trouser-messing recent stuff a good run for its money), but, like, dedicated to Halloween. Next week, with it being the last column before All Hallow’s Eve, I’ll be looking at some costumes you can pick up from the world of horror movies, so this week it’s all about murderous merch. Scary swag. Ghoulish goodies. And loads of other not-funny, but pleasant alliterative phrases in the same mold…

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When I was talking with some friends a while back about how much my wife and I enjoyed Insidious (probably one of the first genuinely well-made horror films in ages), I started thinking about how they’re almost sure to greenlight a sequel any day now (still waiting on that) for some studio to run into the ground like James Wan and Leigh Whannel’s previous collaboration, the Saw series. Saw got dumber and shittier as it went on, probably due to the fact that by fourth film or so the plot was incomprehensibly stupid. What’s the point of all this again? And Jigsaw had how many apprentices now? By the end of the series, I was expecting him to have solved the financial crisis by employing the majority of Americans to set moronic traps for each other. But the thing that’s easy to forget is that the first Saw movie was actually a pretty damn good movie. It wasn’t unique by any means. It owes a lot to Dario Argento and his fellow Italian Giallo filmmakers, but that’s not the point. The point is, Wan and Whannel paid attention. They actually put forth an effort to make a film that wasn’t a remake or a sequel or a cheap knockoff. They showed their hand as far as influences go, but fuck, so does Quentin Tarantino. Hell, even Saw II and Saw III weren’t bad. So maybe that’s the secret to making a horror film that’s not ball-crushingly idiotic. Maybe it just […]

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Whether you’re ready for another Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie or not, it’s coming, and it’s coming in 3D. The John Luessonhop directed The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D is set for an October 2012 release, so it’s time to start hearing some casting news. According to Variety, this new film picks up right after the classic Tobe Hooper original, and it will star Percy Jackson’s Alexandra Daddario as the lead character Heather. Adding to this, Deadline Plainfield is reporting that the movie follows the Heather character to a small town in Texas, where she is attempting to collect on an inheritance that, unbeknownst to her, includes interactions with her less than well-adjusted cousin Leatherface. Along for the ride is her best friend Nikki, who is said to have a bit of an attitude problem, and will be played by Lost’s Tania Raymonde. So by my count, that’s two pretty young girls and one Leatherface getting together for the same movie. And if there’s one thing that I know about Leatherface, it’s that when he sees a pretty girl he tries to Texas chainsaw massacre them. It may not be high art, but I’ll take it. And I’ll take it in 3D to boot. I better get some limbs flying at my face.

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It is a known fact that the Alamo Drafthouse is one of the best places to watch a movie on planet Earth. That said, sometimes the confines of a movie theater are too restrictive for the level of awesome that the Drafthouse wants to achieve. The Rolling Roadshow was born as a result and it was good. Junkfood Cinema auteur Brian Salisbury and I had decided to sample this year’s offerings together. So it was with thoughts of cold Shiner Bock and hot chainsaws that we found ourselves driving out to Kingsland on a warm Texas evening for the second stop on the Alamo’s annual Rolling Roadshow tour. Kingsland, for those who are unaware, is the site of the now infamous house used in Tobe Hooper’s classic horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While shooting originally took place just north of Austin around Round Rock, the house was moved to Kingsland in the 90s to avoid demolition. In any case, it is the very house used in the film and there was something eerie about seeing the house on a large inflatable projector mere feet away from the actual building. Being able to glance back and forth and notice small details made for quite a cool experience.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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