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Terrifier (2017)

Damien Ross

Damien Leone

“Punctuality is the thief of time dear!”

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Opening: An old ass mini-screened tube TV sitting on a floor. The screen is static, then we see a talk show host talking to the mutilated survivor of Art the Clown. The victim kinda looks like ET and of course, the host is beautiful. Art the Clown is elsewhere, pacing and watching the old TV. After the interview, the ET chick overhears the host laughing and talking shit about her on the phone backstage. Bye bye host.

Elsewhere, two drunk girls, Dawn and Tara stumble to their car. Art the Clown, AKA, the Terrifier is taking out the trash. Literally, he’s carrying a huge Glad-Bag. They acknowledge him, then decide neither are fit to drive so they go to a nearby pizza joint. It’s Halloween or close to and they’ve just left a costume party. Enter the Terrifier. He sits at a nearby table and pulls creepy faces at them. Dawn is the fearless flaky friend, who couldn’t sense real danger if it bit her on the ass while Tara is the sensible one. They get their pizza and the owner violently throws the Terrifier out after he uses the bathroom. Not sure exactly what he did in there, something in between taking a gnarly shit and mutilating a customer.

Afterward, the girls walk back to their car and discover they have a flat so Tara calls her sister, Vic. Vic is studying for mid-terms, but agrees to pick them up after her drunk dorm mate brings a boy home. Dawn and Tara wait in the car. Tara begins connecting the dots: What if the clown slashed the tire? Of course, Dawn is the denier of reality, critical thinking, and common sense-the obvious first victim.

Meanwhile, back at the pizza place, the cook finds the owner’s severed head lit up like a Jack O’Lantern as the Terrifier moves in to kill him. Terrifier? Is that even a word? Why didn’t they just call the movie Art the Clown

Back to the girls: Tara has to pee (I’m kind of a planner, and I know my bladder, so I would’ve used the pizza bathroom). A creepy guy walks out of a creepy building, but he turns out to be cool. He takes her up to the Trainspotting bathroom and warns her of the rats he was about to bomb. He works there, you’re telling me he doesn’t know of a more sanity bathroom that perhaps the employees use? He asks if she remembers the way back then bails. 

While waiting for Tara, even though it’s 2017 and the car is undriveable, Dawn has the radio on, but only since Tara has been gone. A 1950’s special bulletin comes on warning of the double-homicide that just happened at the pizza place, along with a complete description of the Terrifier. I know his name is Art the Clown, but I’m sticking with the Terrifier cuz it’s funnier to me. It seems the director/creator of the Terrifier is stuck in a different century, but didn’t have the wherewithall to just make his films take place in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. She hears sirens as the car door opens and assumes it’s Tara, but it’s actually the Terrifier!

Elsewhere, Tara is done pissing and trying to find her way back. She runs into a weird lady who has a baby that’s actually just a doll. Tara makes up a lie to escape the lady and evidently, this is an apartment complex(?) She goes back to the car, but no Dawn, just the Terrifier in the distance, doing weird Terrifier shit. When she takes her eyes off him, he sneaks up behind her, and stabs her in the leg. He then gets on top of her and starts fighting like that ET chick from the opening, gouging her eyes, till she manages to kick him in the balls and run off and hide. Now she can’t find her way back out of the building. She sees the maintenance guy who let her in and yells, but he’s wearing earbuds and the Terrifier nabs her. He injects her neck with a syringe and she wakes up gagged and tied to a chair. The Terrifier is nearby sorting through his Glad-Bag of tricks deciding which weapon to use. He chooses his trusty ol’ hacksaw, but instead of killing her, he unveils Dawn, hanging upside down, spread eagle and naked, then proceeds to hacksaw her from the vajayjay to her nose (I’m not a girl, but ouch!). 

Tara breaks the arms off the chair, now that it’s too late to do anything about Dawn, and escapes. When the Terrifier finds her she beats him down with a 2x4. Little does she know, he’s packin heat, and shoots her in the leg. He shoots her again just below the ribs. There’s a final shot we don’t see and now he’s out of bullets. Three bullets, really? Back to his bag O' tricks as Vic arrives. He finds more bullets as he hears the text message tone from Tara’s phone. He reads the message, takes a selfie with Dawn’s corpse, then shoots Tara in the face, twice. Somehow, Vic does not hear the gunshots. I expected Tara to be the Final Girl, she had all the ingredients!

The crazy doll lady witnesses the final shots and tells Mike, the maintenance guy, but he wants nothing to do with it, which leads to a hammer to his face, and then his phone’s face. Now the crazy doll lady’s “baby” is missing. She finds her “baby” being cradled by the Terrifier. She tries to Luke Skywalker him out of the Death Star as Mike’s buddy arrives. Mike called him just before he died.

Elsewhere, Vic hears Dawn’s phone then finds what’s left of Dawn. She runs away, then thinks she’s found Tara, but it’s actually the Terrifier in disguise and not too far away is the moribund doll lady. He chases her wearing Tara’s tits. She hides where she can watch him from a peephole. He’s kinda got a Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Next Generation look going on. He finds her, but is interrupted by a car horn, it’s Mike’s buddy, who finally finds a way in. Why does this apartment building seem abandoned, yet there are two maintenance men and at least one tenant? Mike’s buddy takes a knife through the top of the head then gets decapitated with a different knife and the Terrifier is back in his own clothes looking like his old self again and now he’s riding a tiny bicycle.

Vic is still trying to escape. The Terrifier greets her with shrink wrap over the face. She pokes a hole in the mouth and escapes. He gives her the finger.

Mike is still alive? Vic finds Tara’s corpse sitting in a chair. As she mourns, the Terrifier has a chain and starts whipping the shit out of her till Mike bashes him from behind and knocks him out. He takes her to a room and calls the police and apparently they’re actually in an old warehouse. He tells the dispatcher to send police and paramedics and that they are leaving. They try to escape, but the Terrifier is back, again, and stomps Mike’s head in. He tries to get Vic, but she pokes him in the eye and makes it outside. Okay, not quite outside. She can see her car, but can’t quite get to it yet. Suddenly, she hears sirens as the Terrifier crashes through the wall in a truck. He starts eating her face as two cops show up, guns drawn. The Terrifier has a gun strapped to his boot. He pulls it out, puts the barrel in his mouth, and pulls the trigger. The cops look sad. They must have known be was white. 

The cops drop all of the bodies off at the coroner’s office even though Vic was still alive. After they leave the MD alone, he opens the Terrifier’s bodybag and somehow the Terrifier is still alive and grabs and squeezes his throat, killing him. He even stood up to reveal the blood leaking out of his suicide hole. WTF?

1 Year Later: This made more sense upon second viewing, not sure how I didn’t catch it the first time, maybe I was reading in too much? The ET looking chick from the opening is Vic! The opening is present day and the rest of the film tells the story of what happened prior, setting up sequels: Terrifier is definitely alive and kickin, whatever he’s supposed to be, so is Vic gonna be a crazy killer now too? Dun, dun, dun! Side-note: How did he eat so much of her face in such a little amount of time? He was barely nibbling when the cops showed up, he must’ve been hun-gry!

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The Badass Bitch Award goes to Vic? She went to rescue her sister, granted she didn’t know the depth of the rescue. She faced the Terrifier many times without being killed, yet not killing or stopping him either, only to become a deformed homicidal bitch in the end. Definitely not a model Final Girl. The Terrifier doesn’t really make for Badass Awards cuz he’s never really around. Once you get the better of him, he just kinda disappears for awhile.


What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Empty your bladder any time you're in a public facility if you don’t know how long it’ll be till you’re getting home again. One of my worst fears is getting into a fight with a full bladder.

2) Save yourself.

3) Just avoid clowns, especially at night, I don’t care if it is Halloween... Hell, I don’t care if it’s the fucken circus!


The Tripper (2006)

Damien Ross

David Arquette

"You're just saying that because George Bush hates black people."

A man disrupts a tree-hugging protest in front of his son until he is struck in the head with a rock. At this point, the little boy grabs a chainsaw and kills the striker.

Years later, present day, the little boy is all growed-up, obsessed with Ronald Reagan, and wants revenge on hippies.

A group of friends are on their way to a free love festival while at the same time the sheriff is hot on the trail of the Tripper. The hippies get harassed and attacked by local rednecks while at the same time being accosted one by one by the Tripper.

Eventually, the festival is in motion, shit hits the fan, and the Tripper is seemingly stopped, but wait, they left it open for a sequel. See how well I paid attention? This movie did have a good cast: Thomas Jane, Paul Reubens, and motherfuckin Jason Mewes! It also had a good soundtrack with Tomahawk and Eagles of Death Metal, and the story line was interesting, yet still, it didn't quite grab me.

It even had some good one-liners, it was just missing something. Maybe it lacked the horror score, the music that makes scenes suspenseful, I dunno, it was just kind of a miss.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Samantha for battling her demons and ditching her boyfriend and then killing the shit out of the Tripper, even though he lived.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) As a passenger in the backseat, do not distract the driver.

2) Don't go to hippy love festivals.

3) Never hide in a port-o-potty.

Trailer Park of Terror (2008)

Damien Ross

Allen Wilbanks

This movie starts off as a Rob Zombie flick meets a first person shooter game. It's neither funny nor scary, although I think it tries to be a little of both. I understand Norma killing herself in the beginning, but I must have missed the part when they explained how she and her family came back. I can't imagine a scenario where she would want to bring her family back since they were the psychos that made her kill herself in the first place. All in all, it didn't make a whole lot of sense.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Watch the road when you are driving.

2) Don't have sex with girls you just met who live in trailer parks.

3) Watch for claymore mines, tripwire, and hand grenades when running through a field.

4) Don't steal drugs then "trip" in the house you stole them from.

 

Thankskilling (2009)

Damien Ross

Jordan Downey

"We gotta find a way to kill this cock-blockin turkey." 

I watched this movie and thought: Ya wonder why so many new movies are remakes?"

Within the first five minutes I realized that this movie was even worse than I thought it could be. It had a boy-band-like cast of male characters: Jock, stoner/partier, and nerd, three opposites, working together to create something shitty.

Going in, I knew that the killer was a turkey, but still I expected to see some CGI, even shitty CGI, instead, it was a puppet that looked worse than A.L.F.

The actual best line of the movie was, "Her legs are harder to shut than the Jon Benet Ramsey case." But I swear I heard at least three different renditions of it throughout the film. I can't help but wonder how this movie even got made? And I mean that on all fronts. The acting is so bad, it's as if the director told the actors they were filming a porn. The best thing about this movie is that it was only an hour long. Other than that it's terrible, and not in a good way.

Toolbox Murders (2004)

Damien Ross

Tobe Hooper

"Shut up and bleed motherfucker."

Nell and Her husband, Steve, have just moved into an old Hollywood apartment complex. Nell is mourning over the passing of her father, which has nothing to do with anything. Nell starts to notice that there is something odd about the apartment complex, which is because she has no job, no hobby, and thin walls. She's kind of like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window: Bored as fuck, create your own drama.

She meets her neighbors: The weird goth chick with the abusive boyfriend, the chick who used to be fat and now looks anorexic, the old guy who's lived in the apartment for sixty years and speaks cryptic, the pervert down the hall, and the creepy maintenance guy.

Nobody believes Nell that people may be dying until the perverted kid shows Steve his video of Julia, the anorexic, getting murdered.

I love Tobe Hooper, but he did a couple of things I really hate: I hate when they exaggerate something to the point of impossibility for effect. Nail guns do not shoot nails like bullets. It is a safety feature that a nail gun has to be pressed up against the object you are nailing. Even if you held that down with your finger, a nail you shoot twenty feet is not going to stick into anything. That and it would be damn near impossible to nail a girl to the ceiling alive or dead by yourself.

I also hate it when a movie is set up like a mystery and you meet an array of characters only to have the killer turn out to be some nobody with a lame back story. Coffin birth? It also seems like that many corpses spread out inside the walls and secret rooms of an apartment complex would produce an odor. It's also ironic that in a movie called Toolbox Murders, most of the murders are done with tools that are too big to fit in a toolbox. For some reason at the end the killer's body had disappeared like they were setting up a sequel...

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Avoid creepy maintenance guys.

2) Don't run right past the murderer to help the one you love, you've got to take him out first.

3) Mind your own business.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Franchise)

Damien Ross

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Tobe Hooper

"Look what your brother did to the door!!!”

Five teenagers, Pam, Kirk, Jerry, Sally and her invalid brother, Franklin, are on a road trip across Texas. They hear about grave robbers vandalizing the cemetery where Sally and Franklin's grandparents were buried so they stop by to check it out.

Afterward, they pick up a strange hitchhiker outside the slaughterhouse. He freaks them out with his stories and cuts himself with Franklin's knife so they kick him out of the van. Low on gas they stop by the nearest gas station, but the gas station is out of gas and won't be getting more until later that afternoon. They decide to press on to the old Hardesty home.

Once they arrive they snoop around the place. Kirk and Pam ask Franklin for directions to the old swimming hole. At the swimming hole, they hear the sound of a generator nearby so Kirk figures he could probably negotiate for some gas. They go to the door, but there's no answer. It's unlocked so Kirk goes inside where he is met by Leatherface and hit in the head with a sledgehammer then dragged offscreen. After a few minutes Pam wanders inside after him. She is grabbed and put on a meat hook. Eventually, Jerry finds the house and wanders in and he too is hit in the head with a sledgehammer. It's like a roach motel!

At nightfall, Leatherface finds Sally and Franklin. Franklin is killed, but Sally runs away. Leatherface chases her all the way back to the gas station where the attendant, who happens to be Leatherface's father, takes her back to the house. Somehow, Leatherface beats them there. When they arrive, the hitchhiker, who happens to be Leatherface's brother, is also there. They bring Grandpa down to the dinner table where they plan to serve Sally, but Grandpa is too weak to make the kill so Sally escapes. Leatherface and the hitchhiker are after her, but she runs to a main road where a semi-truck runs over the hitchhiker. The driver gets out and throws a wrench, hitting Leatherface in the face, knocking him down, and causing him to cut his leg open with his own chainsaw. A pick-up pulls up and Sally hops in the back and escapes for good.

This is one of my all time favorite horror movies. It was banned in a lot of places despite the fact that it's actually not that graphic, most of the violence is implied. Ironically, Leatherface only kills one person with his chainsaw, probably because it was too hard to have convincing kill scenes on that budget. The cinematography at the dinner table scene is awesome with all the flashing back and forth close ups of the insanity.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Sally Hardesty. Even though she didn't kill or save anyone, she did jump through two closed windows, one being on the second floor, and she was the sole survivor who showed the tenacity to escape once and for all.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Do not pick up hitchhikers.

2) Make sure to gas up as often as possible on long trips.

3) Patience, wait at the gas station for the gas.

4) If a creepy old gas attendant gives you a warning, you should accept it as fact.

5) Don't walk into stranger's houses.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Tobe Hooper

"Are you the little saboteur that's been fuckin up our house?"

Two teenagers are drinking and driving, shooting mailboxes and signs. They prank a radio station, twice, but the second time they run into Leatherface and get killed live on the air. This is where we meet "Stretch" the DJ. The tape brings Lt. "Lefty" Enright snooping around. Lefty is the uncle of Sally and Franklin and for 13 years he's been hunting the chainsaw family.

Stretch gets attacked by Leatherface and his annoying brother. After getting run over by a semi-truck in the original, all he has to show for it is a metal plate in his head and a hyper, irritating personality. They kidnap Stretch and take her back to their new house, which is an abandoned amusement park that looks like a cave.

We get to see a softer, more human side of Leatherface. He won't kill Stretch because he's developed a little crush on her. He does everything he can to hide her and even lies about killing her, until Dad gets home. Once Dad gets home it basically turns into the dinner scene of the first movie complete with Grandpa too weak to swing the sledgehammer! In the end, Stretch swings the chainsaw in kind of a victory dance akin to Leatherface at the original.

The Badass Award goes to Lt. Lefty Enright for hunting down the chainsaw clan and sticking a chainsaw up Dad's ass before winning a chainsaw duel against Leatherface by stabbing him through the stomach. Somehow Leatherface comes back for a third movie, while it is unclear what happened to Lefty.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't drink and drive.

2) Don't prank call radio stations.

3) Always question the meat content of southern chili.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3: Leatherface (1990)

James Rolfe

Leatherface returns once again. Not as bad as part 2, but not all that original either. It seems like the 2003 remake was actually less like the first one than parts 2, 3, and 4 were. In the original, although you were never all out rooting for Leatherface, you could still feel sympathy for him at a certain point, which is a concept completely lost by part 3. Benny was a fun character, which made getting through the movie a lot easier, but Leatherface's mom, where the hell did she come from?

Fun movie I guess, but they should have stopped after the first one. Unfortunately, horror movies have to become franchises, Leatherface has to compete with Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, and what was once a unique story becomes a repeated, similar version that gets worse with each telling, which works sometimes, but some classics should be left to stand alone.

One big question I was left with was how does a guy the size of Leatherface, carrying an 80 lb. Chainsaw, sneak up right behind you in the woods without you knowing? Your senses are already hyper-sensitive from the fear of death, you're telling me he didn't step on a single twig the whole way to you?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4: The Next Generation (1994)

James Rolfe

"There's a guy outside with a shotgun. I locked him out though, you should of seen me."

In the final film of the original series we are basically watching a remake with new characters.

Four teens, Jenny, Heather, Shawn, and Barry are at their prom. Heather catches Barry making out with another girl so she decides to leave, with him, in his car. This is where we actually meet Jenny and Shawn who are in the backseat.

They argue as they drive down the road until getting into not one, but two car accidents. The person in the second accident looks pretty bad so Jenny, Barry, and Heather leave Shawn at the scene while they go look for help. Even though they are from this town they seem pretty lost. They come across an insurance office that is still open where they meet Darla.

Back at the scene, Shawn meets Vilmer who kills him. Jenny gets separated from Barry and Heather who find themselves at Leatherface's house. Leatherface sneaks up behind Heather on a creeky old porch and she somehow does not hear him. She soon finds herself on a meat hook much like Pam in the original. Barry gets hit in the head by a sledge hammer just like both guys in the original. Jenny is inside the house, but manages to escape, then winds up back at Darla's office. It turns out, Darla is in on it, just like the dad in the original. Now Jenny is on her way back to the house for dinner except this time there is no grandpa with a sledgehammer and shaky hands.

For some reason, Leatherface has decided he wants to be a woman and he wants Jenny's face. Jenny manages to escape, with a little help from Vilmer's remote control for his robotic leg? Yeah, this movie is a train-wreck, although it does look good.

At the end, in the hospital, we see the actress who played Sally in the original get wheeled by in a wheelchair and then the credits roll.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Jenny I guess, for escaping and surviving, not to mention she did kill W.C. , however she also made about every mistake you can make in a horror movie.

What did we learn, besides that sequels are often unnecessary and cheapen the original classic? Survival tips:

1) Don't cheat on your girlfriend.

2) If you find a gun, make sure it is loaded before you rely on it for safety.

3) When you find a vehicle to escape in, lock the doors, roll up the windows, turn on the headlights,

and get an idea of your surroundings.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Marcus Nispel

"You know, I have just as much respect for dead as anybody... Get that nasty, goddamn thing out of the backseat of my goddamn car! Put it in the trunk, what the hell's the matter with you?"

Five college kids are on a road trip to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd when on the way they almost hit a wandering girl. They pick her up and she seems out of it until she realizes that they are inadvertently taking her back to the nightmare she has just escaped. She pulls a .357 Magnum out of her vagina(?) and blows her head off. So begins the nightmare for the five college kids.

First they get harassed by the psychotic "sheriff," then the amputee, and finally Leatherface. They are brutally picked off one by one with no chance of escape, except for Erin.

This is the movie that put Jessica Biel on the map for me. Sure I was aware of 7th Heaven, but that didn't really cut it for me. This movie, strategically had her land in a pool of water at the bottom of the stairs in the basement (why was there a pool of water in the basement? I guess it would have been weirder if it were in the attic), then soon after, she was hiding in a meat locker (where it's cold), all the while wearing a white tank-top.

This remake was actually more original than any of the sequels... There was no dinner scene!

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Erin. She chopped off Leatherface's arm and ran over the sheriff. She then backed over him then ran back over him again before finally escaping.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't pick up strangers.

2) Don't hide from a killer, always keep running. Unless it's Dexter, his cardio is probably not that great.

3) Don't mouth off to sheriffs.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

Jonathan Liebesman

"No talking until I've said grace, asshole."

Eric and Dean are two brothers on the road with their girlfriends, Chrissie and Bailey. They are off to Nam to go fight for their country. Eric has already been there and is on his way back, but little does he know that little brother Dean isn't going, he and girlfriend Bailey are heading to Mexico.

On the other side of town, the slaughterhouse Leatherface works at is being shut down so Leatherface kills his boss and steals his chainsaw. The sheriff finds out so he goes to Uncle Charlie. Uncle Charlie kills the sheriff and becomes Sheriff Hoyt.

Elsewhere, Dean and the gang are driving along getting harassed by bikers. The female biker pulls out a shotgun so Eric reaches into the glove box and pulls out his pistol. In doing so, he breaks an important horror movie rule: Keep your eyes on the road! Just then a cow steps into the road and the group crash into it causing the vehicle to flip multiple times. Chrissie is flung from the vehicle out of sight while the others remain inside banged up.

Sheriff Hoyt shows up, kills the biker chick, then takes the others to his house. He ties Bailey to the kitchen table and tortures Dean and Eric out in the barn. Eventually, we end up at the inevitable dinner table scene. Christie manages to escape, but with a slight twist.

This movie actually works, especially if you have not scene the original or if you just pretend it doesn't exist. It is not as creepy as the original, yet not as over the top as most remakes. One thing this movie did well was something Rob Zombie has a problem doing well and that is the soundtrack/score. Even though the songs weren't out when the movie takes place, it still gave us the feeling of an older time period, yet the score still kept you in a horror movie. Rob Zombie seems to be good at one, but not the other.

I liked that they brought John Larroquette back to narrate the ending although it's kind of hard to pass this off as a true story when you completely rewrite the story every time!

The Badass Award goes to Eric for standing up for his little brother and not taking any shit from Sheriff Hoyt, especially once he pretty much knew he was going to die. I hate it when people are still begging for their lives even when it is clear that they are going to die.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't talk shit to a big guy holding a sledgehammer.

2) If you're going on a road trip, pack weapons with you.

3) Don't mess with Texas.

 

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

John Luessenhop

"Out of all you sick fucks, the only one who gets out of the fire is the fuckin retard?! How the fuck did that happen?!"

This movie actually picks up right where the original leaves off, negating parts 2 and 3, except Leatherface's whole hillbilly family is here now. They are met by the police and an angry hillbilly mob who torch the place to the ground. This is weird because at some point in the future (where the story takes place) Heather inherits the place and it is no longer burned to the ground. It is a mansion that looks like the original house on the outside. I say at "some point" in the future because they never actually tell you how many years have passed, although the original is 1974, Heather (who is also the baby who gets rescued from the burned down house, is probably 20 at the most, which takes us to about 1994, but the cops have smart phones?)

Heather discovers she is adopted when her grandmother dies and she inherits the burned down resurrected mansion. She and three friends get in a van and make a road trip. They stop by a gas station and pick up a hitchhiker. So far, it's basically the set up of the original. They leave him alone in the house so he sees the opportunity to fuck them over, which is when he meets Leatherface in the basement and is quickly disposed of.

This movie takes a lot of twists and turns, has a lot of continuity issues, but all in all, not bad. And thank God there was no dinner scene! It does give us more insight into Leatherface's character and gives us room for empathy, but I kind of felt like it tried too hard by extending his family too much. Part of the charm of the original was that it was just the four of them. They had been abandoned by the women of the family, which made the relentlessly stalking of a woman through the woods and tormenting and torturing her make sense in a revenge sort of way. But now there's more family and a town nearby with a competent police force, which really eliminates the lonely desolation of the original. Now it feels like The Village.

I thought this Leatherface looked the worst out of all the previous movies combined. He looked like a bitch, non-menacing, maybe that was the director's goal to get us to feel empathy? From the get go, I always recognized Leatherface's victims as victims, but with each movie, I realized that Leatherface too, was a victim. Maybe that is the true nightmare: To be Leatherface. To be born into a fucked up family and wake up in the same story line over and over again with slight nuances, only to always find yourself holding the chainsaw in the end.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Nikki for going straight for the shotgun and shooting at Leatherface, god only knows how she missed considering where his chainsaw was.

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't pick up hitchhikers, and if you do, don't trust them enough to leave them alone in your new place while you go into town to run errands.

2) If one day you find out you've been adopted and have an inheritance, google your family before you immediately head down there.

3) Never trust small towns.

4) Don't go into the basement!!!

5) Don't blast loud music when staying the night in a creepy old mansion unless everyone is in the same room.

Leatherface (2017)

Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury

“Now you remember, bad people like him are trying to break our family apart.”

Leatherface-Movie-Trailer-2017[1].jpg

Texas 1955: It’s Jed Sawer’s birthday. His mom, dad, brother, and grandpa are all gathered around the infamous dinner table, along with a “guest” tied up at the end. For his birthday, Jed gets a chainsaw, along with instructions to kill the guest who is a pig thief. Jed can’t go through with it so Grandpa kills him with a sledgehammer.

Elsewhere, a young couple, Ted and Betty are driving down a country road and think they hit some kind of animal (Even though they never actually mention his last name in the film, I read that Ted is actually Ted Hardesty, making him the father of Sally and Franklin Hardesty from the original). Betty checks it out, but it’s actually just Jed dressed up as a cow. “Help me,” he says, then runs to a barn. She follows and meets her demise. She is Sheriff Hal Hartman’s daughter and he is pissed. Not even upset, just pissed. He takes Jed away from his family because he’s not safe at home. Every time there’s a crime, there seems to be a Sawyer around.

10 years later: Gorman House Youth Reformatory.

Dr. Lang welcomes the new orderly, Elizabeth, Lizzy. She decides to mingle with the patients where she meets Bud and Jackson. There is an altercation and Bud protects Lizzy. Bud is a big, silent, crazy-haired delinquent. Jackson looks and acts quite normal by comparison. Afterward, Lizzy goes into the women’s bathroom to get a hold of herself and meets Clarice, a patient trying to force a mouse down another girl’s throat.

Verna arrives planning to free her son, Jed. She has married into money and her last name is now Carson, but she needs a different court order to get the files that reveal the patient’s real names. They change the kid’s names when they enter the reformatory, like how the Army shaves your head right before Basic. I still laugh every time I see Lili Taylor (Verna) cuz she’s the chick from Say Anything who got dumped by her boyfriend, Joe, and sings all those cringe-inducing songs she wrote about him. Verna pretends to need to use the bathroom and sneaks off to find Jed, meanwhile Bud is busy getting shock-treatment while Lizzy watches.

Bud escapes, taking out two orderlies as Verna gets kicked out and now all the patients are on the loose. It seems all the patients happen to be crazy murderers. Bud goes to Dr. Lang’s office and bashes his face repeatedly into a window. Jackson saves Lizzy only to both wind up in the trunk of a car. Ike is at the wheel, Clarise is riding shotgun, and they pick up Bud. The plan is to go to Mexico.

Sheriff Hal Hartman is on the case. Why do all these sequels and prequels and remakes have to incorporate a Sheriff? The original didn’t have a Sheriff.

Clarise, Ike, Bud, Jackson, and Lizzy stop at a diner for lunch. When it comes time to pay Ike and Clarise instead go on a killing spree and rob the place. Bud takes a bullet and they leave a witness behind. They find what appears to be an abandoned trailer. Inside is a corpse so later that night Ike and Clarise decide to have sex on it. Bud later kills Ike.

In the morning, Jackson and Lizzy find Bud sleeping on Ike’s bloody corpse. The cops find Clarice. She makes a run for it and Hal shoots her in the leg. She makes a remark about his dead daughter and he shoots her in the face while the others watch in the distance. They continue their escape and Lizzy yells at a cop passing by. He stops. Bud attacks him and he shoots Bud in the head. Jackson flips out and kills the cop then he and Lizzy steal his car. Hal is after them gun blazing. He shoots Jackson in the face and now all male leads are dead? He shoots Lizzy and she crashes. It’s night time when she awakes in the barn where Betty died. Jackson is hanging. Apparently Jackson is actually Jed and he is still alive, although his face is horribly disfigured.

The Sawyer family rescue Jackson (Jed) and Verna sows his face back together. Lizzy and wounded Hal are held captive in the house. She unties him. The family catch them as they try to escape and Jed chainsaws Hal to death. Lizzy runs out of the house into the woods so Jed goes after her, chainsaw in hand, a throwback to the original. She steps into a bear trap and as he approaches she tries to bring out the good in him, but it is too late. He chops off her head. She becomes his first mask.

Okay, so this really didn’t even feel like a horror movie nor was it much of an origin story either. Bud fits the exact mold of Leatherface, despite not being the main character, but after a good 70 minutes of convincing us that Bud is Leatherface, this film pulls the unnecessary plot-twist: Bud dies, thus making him not Leatherface. Huh? Instead they pull the Darth Vader twist: Jackson is actually Leatherface and up until the last 15 minutes he was the most sane one in the film, despite living in a mental institution for most of his life. Lizzy plays the Padme part until turning into Luke trying to prove there is still good in him. Instead of losing a hand she loses her head. Somehow he was always a bullet to the face away from becoming pure evil?

The previous films led to an almost, yet maybe inadvertent, sympathy plea: While destined to become a killer, he was also the victim. The freak. This film takes that away. This film makes him cognizant of what he is doing. His actions become his choice. Like Vader, he is seduced by the darkside, but up until this film, it was a lack of free will. The chaos around him was normalized rather than a choice. It’s harder to sympathize with someone who chooses to be evil rather than a victim who doesn’t know right from wrong.

Also, there is no indication of cannibalism in this film, but come to think of it, cannibalism didn’t really occur until part 2, probably as an attempt to outdo the first film. And now that I think about it, the dad made chili out of human organs, but we never actually saw anyone in the family eat humans, it was just always assumed. Maybe food was just a way to dispose of the bodies? Granted, there was a strong implication that they were planning to eat Sally in the original.

The Badass Bitch Award goes to Lizzy. Even though she wasn’t much help, her heart was in the right place and she was the only character who turned out to not be a piece of shit.

What did we learn? Survival Tips:

1) Don’t follow a kid in a weird animal costume into a barn.

2) Don’t attack armed policemen, even if you’re white.

3) Watch out for bear traps!

 

Teeth (2007)

Damien Ross

Mitchell Lichtenstein

“I haven't even jerked off since Easter.”

Dawn is kind of a prudish teenage girl who grew up next to a nuclear power plant. She gives lectures to kids about practicing abstinence and is waiting until marriage to have sex. Until she meets Toby. Toby seems like the perfect guy she could one day marry so she decides not to wait. At the last minute, she changes her mind to which Toby is not on board with. Little does Toby know that Dawn has vagina dentata (teeth inside her vajayjay) that only attack when she is being attacked. One thing leads to another and now Toby has no dick.

Ryan is another guy who has a crush on Dawn so he tries to hook up. He tricks Dawn into thinking he's a nice guy and has sex with her with no problems. They have sex again and the phone rings in the middle of it. He answers it and Dawn finds out that she was a bet so it's bye bye penis.

She goes home and decides to give her stepbrother his wish. Apparently, he has always wanted to fuck her, and that's why he hates his dad for marrying her mom. She fucks him, off with the penis, and as a bonus the dog eats it.

She decides to hitch hike out of town and gets picked up by an old man who isn't really creepy until he takes her to a motel and starts wiggling his tongue at her without saying a word. She smiles to the camera and the credits roll, but it is safe to assume that the old man no longer has a penis.

I love a good dick-slasher flick, but this one was kinda weird. There were scenes I couldn't believe were happening, not because they were shocking, they just didn't fit in. I kept expecting her to snap out of a dream. This poor girl is a rape magnet, maybe that's the problem with preaching abstinence.

The Badass Bitch Award obviously goes to Dawn for having the highest dick casualty count of four (I'm just going to give her credit for the old man at the end even though they didn't show it), breaking the old three-way tie of one. This could make her the most badass bitch of all time!

What did we learn? Survival tips:

1) Don't live next to a nuclear power plant.

2) Don't finger your sister, even if she's your step-sister.

3) Always check for teeth before bombarding the vajayjay.

4) I've already said not to rape girls so I'm not gonna say it again. You should already know this by now.

5) Dare I say, practice abstinence? No, just don't be an asshole