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Dear Texas Chainsaw 3D Target Audience: It Gets Better

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | January 4, 2013 | Comments ()


Texas Chainsaw Hero Image.jpg

Dear Texas Chainsaw 3D Target Audience --

Let me guess, you're a dude somewhere between 16 and 22 years old, and if you didn't sneak into this movie, you used to sneak into movie just like this. You spend a lot of time watching horror movies because it's a great escape. It's not necessarily the violence you cling to, but the nerdier aspects of it: How the effects are produced, the people behind those horror movies, the mythology of the characters, and a lot of the books they're based on. It beats having to talk to the meatheads and rednecks that surround you, am I right?

You'll probably see Texas Chainsaw 3D with your two best friends (some would say, only friends), right? One of them is probably a chunky virgin, and the other probably has long hair and occasionally has a girlfriend. You? You're probably a band geek, or something approximating it, and you and you're friends probably spend a lot of time, hanging out, shooting the shit about horror flicks or comics, and not getting laid. You're good kids; you're smarter than most of those around you; you engage in petty vandalism from time to time, and you probably spend too much time on the Internet.

It gets better.

That pudgy friend of yours? He'll probably get even more invested in horror movies over the years, maybe cut himself a few times in college, and smoke a little pot, but he'll eventually find someone. He'll grow up to be a school teacher or something, and maybe have a kid or two, and one day, you're going to wonder about future generations because they're being taught by a guy who used to spend most of his time watching and obsessing over slasher pics. Hell, he still has a massive collection of horror movie toys, and spends a lot of his time with his wife at horror-movie Cons. He never really grew up, but he likes it that way.

That other guy? The one with longer hair? He'll actually apply a lot of what he learned obsessing over make-up effects in horror movies to his future career as a dentist. He kind of hates his job, but he does well, and he still spends most Friday nights forcing shitty horror movies onto his wife, who'd probably be rather watching anything else. He doesn't realize it because he has some insecurity issues and complains too much, but he's living the good life, too.

You? You're going to be all right, too. You'll eventually transfer that obsession with horror movie minutia to something slightly more beneficial, the debates over movies may work to your benefit in law school, and you'll eventually end up doing something you love, even if it doesn't pay that well. But you'll be happy, and eager to introduce your own kids to the horror classics someday. Assholes will probably accuse of you of being a hater because you're often too nostalgic over the way horror movies used to be. Simpler. Bloodier. Less nihilistic. Fewer CGI effects, and there was no such thing as a f*cking PG-13 horror film. GOD.

But it gets better.

For now, Texas Chainsaw 3D is exactly what you need: A shitty horror movie where skinny bitches get cut up, the frat boys end up in in pieces, and the rednecks wind up in the meat grinders. It's not a great -- or even good -- movie, but there's some new kills, a cool goth chick in the center of it all, and some new mythology to geek out with your friends over.

Specifically, the prologue is set in the 1970s, right after the events of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. After ole Leatherface waves his chainsaw at the Last Girl, who gets away in a pick-up truck, the townsmen close in on the Sawyer farmhouse and burn it to the ground. All the Sawyers are burned alive except one woman, who escapes with her child. The baby is abducted by one of the redneck townsfolk. He kills the mom, and -- along with his wife -- raises the child as his own. Twenty some odd years later, the Sawyer matriarch passes, and ends up leaving her mansion -- where all the Sawyers are also buried -- to that child, Heather (Alexandra Daddario).

Heather goes on a road trip with her friends to collect her inheritance, that old Sawyer mansion, but soon discovers that good ole Leatherface -- Jed Sawyer, a 6'5 menace with the brain of an eight year old who wears other people's faces over his own -- is living in a basement. One of the dumb friends lets him out, and Leatherface -- chainsaw in hand -- goes on another killing spree. But there's a fun little twist in the end, one that is somewhat predictable but satisfying all the same, and it'll leave you and your friends with plenty to chew on and discuss while you're avoiding the real people around you.

That is to say, Texas Chainsaw 3D is not a good movie, but you never expected it to be, did you? But you're happy enough; it gets the job done, kills a couple of hours, makes you squirm a couple of times, and gives you something to talk about at IHOP afterwards. Not a bad night, not a bad night at all.

It does get better, but my advice to you is to appreciate how good it is now.





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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • redbeki

    I love Pajiba and I've learned to like the pop-filler pieces. But sometimes (like when I read a sweet little gem like this) I yearn for the days when it was just Dustin, Dan and Seth writing about movies.

  • What the hell did I just read.

  • adam_fragments

    Couldnt you just review the movie - reading that review was worse than sitting through this pile of shite last night (it was one of the worst cinema experiences ive ever had, the 3d (which you failed to comment on) was non existent (possibly why you left it out) one of the dumb teens gets killed in a crash - practically offscreen!!!

    this film belongs in a bargain bin in texas where it can be forgotten

  • matt

    Oh wow how incredibly patronizing and slightly dickish that was.

  • BlackRabbit

    Downvote high-five!

  • BlackRabbit

    Oh good, arrogance and condescension. Nice way to end the week.

  • Groot

    And this should be the second feature on the grindhouse ticket: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • bewegung951

    ...and to the girls who watch Texas Chainsaw 3-D, to you I say there is hope for you as well. You will probably go see this movie by yourself. This is not because you don't have friends, but because the friends you do have won't care. The one whose beauty you wish you could match is thinks it will be gross, your best guy friend will see it with his girlfriend, and you, you tom-boyish, cinephile, will feel no shame as you ask for a single ticket to the ten o'clock showing. For a few years, the quiet of the theatre seats to your left and right will match the silence of your social life. Time will pass quickly because you fill your time passionately involved with as many passion projects as you can get your hands on. You will work hard for a long time. You will barely make ends meet, but your hard work and love for the things with which you involve yourself will be worth it. You will meet someone who shares your passionate love for things extreme, with whom you can share inspiration from the goriest of sources, and will not think you odd for having watched these films alone for such a long time. You will spend your time creating thing you love, and consuming things that others built with their honest, creative passion, sharing those laughter-filled horror movie nights with fellow gore enthusiasts who welcome you with open arms. Texas Chainsaw 3-D will be a happy escape from the reality of our stresses. You will love it, and while you should enjoy every second, try to remember to not defend it as a legitimately good film.

    Thanks for this review. It brings back memories.

  • No. This piece of shit will do none of that and I fit into that trope you chose to describe. If you want a happy escape, go look for the 80s classics rather than get taken for $10-$12 for something that put in a slicker, glossier cover and should be sold to you as "Texas Chainsaw 22: Electric Boogaloo."

  • Natallica

    Wow, thanks!. Even though I'm not a horror fan, I'm deep on the nerdy side and I could totally identify with that. I hope it will get better for me, even though I'm VERY far away from my teens now. Damn

  • L.O.V.E.

    I think someone has been reading his teen diaries again.

  • Maguita NYC

    And had replaced "because they have boobies" with "How the effects are produced, the people behind those horror movies, the mythology of the characters, and a lot of the books they’re based on".

    A grown-ass man should be able to admit to it already: Boobies. The bread and butter of horror genre's main pubescent attraction selling point.

    Not that there is anything wrong with it. We all love boobies.

  • The good news is that we're compiling them into a collection: Dustin Rowles: An Erotic Life.

  • e jerry powell

    Erotic or Neurotic? I didn't hear you correctly.

  • L.O.V.E.

    I was thinking of turning it into a sitcom called Dustin Rowles The Universe. (Rules/Rowles. get it. Pure genius, I tell ya).

    It would star Andy Richter as "present day" Dustin, with periodic flashbacks to his past. (sorry dude, but you got aged because he was the best available)

    Perhaps Jonah Hill doing a guest spot as high school/college Dustin, and Nolan Gould as a young Dustin?

    I'll have my people talk with their people and get back to you.

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