Here is how stupid John Luessenhop's incompetent sixth installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is: An alternate sequel, the film picks up where the 1974 original left off (literally with the police responding to a call from the pickup truck driver who rescued final girl Sally) and concerns a baby who is kidnapped from the demented family of homicidal cannibals. When we meet her in the present, she is played by the 26-year-old Alexandra Daddario and surrounded by horny college-esque kids. She should be at least 38.
But this film doesn't care about that, or about changing Leatherface's name again (in the original thread, he was "Bubba," and now he's referred to as "Jeddidiah Hewitt," who was a different character in the remake narrative), or about the first film at all (this movie's intro is a supercut of the death scenes from the first movie, sucking out its fascinating, revolting, practically pungent weirdness and reducing it to a proto-Friday the 13th slasher that appears deficient for its relative lack of gore). Luessenhop arrogantly apes the original classic by tying some bones to strings and calling it decoration and by using Hooper's famous slow camera flash to briefly illuminate obscured objects that just look like hamburger meat. The first movie gave us headcheese-loving slaughterhouse employees; here we have a person who is inexplicably 12 years too young who works as a butcher and arranges small bones on a painting before asking her idiot friends, "You think I'm cracked?" Not nearly enough, and I balk at your Fairuza Balk invoking, Daddario.
(Balk, by the way, was born in '74.)
Despite Texas Chainsaw 3D's failure to live up to even direct-to-video standards, it is watchable in its awfulness. It moves at the pace of someone with his legs cut off, thus there are no scares (literally not one), but many stumbles into howlingly stupid dialogue, nonsensical plot twists and a general disrespect for the legacy that spawned it. The family concerned has a fixation on the notion of family superseding any other association, but in the family of Texas Chainsaw movies, Texas Chainsaw 3D is the one with, as Leatherface is described, "the emotionals of an 8-year-old." And there have been some fucking inane movies in this franchise.
But bad has a funny way of turning to good, and here's a list of everything that made me snort:
- The bumpkinisms squealed by Arlene Miller (Sue Rock) after being presented the kidnapped child by her husband include, "Oh my god, it's a baby!" and "We gonna keep her right?" She says this in the manner one would say, "It's Shake ‘n Bake, and I helped!" if one were a mostly toothless child in a 1970s Shake ‘n Bake commercial.
- The dialogue exchanges are so muffled and delayed that it seems the actors were directed to, "Count, ‘One Mississippi, two Mississippi,' and then talk like you're just learning how after someone says a line." I felt the seconds drag on the back of my hand as watched Daddario and Tremaine 'Trey Songz' Neverson (how he's billed!) exchange inconsequential dialogue about a doorbell that had just been rung.
- Heather learns of her origins by her adopted father/kidnapper explaining to her, "Your mother has a defective uterus," and, "You came from a shit heap. There. Now you know."
- Rock's Room-worthy performance, all twang and furrowed brows and trashy ellipses that could easily be mistaken for a come-on, is of the same ilk but even more cartoonish than the crazy cat-throwing lady on The Simpsons.
- In a very Scooby Doo-like development, Heather finds out that she has inherited a house in Texas (the house in Texas, except not really, because the family's original house burned down after the police responded, so now there's a plantation to inherit). So then she must travel over, and she asks her friends and they say yes because, "Come on, you're a girl!" — at least according to her friend Nikki (who is such slut, Heather probably met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine).
- A Corbin Fisher-esque (NSFW) drifter Darryl (Shaun Sipos) pops up in front of the group's van at a gas station, gets hit by the van and then, when everyone asks if he's OK, he says, "I should probably sue, but I'll settle for a stick of that jerky." Spoken like a true no-carb jock bottom.
- The policeman played by Scott Eastwood that Heather befriends (until…) is also Corbin Fisher-esque, but seems more on the vers side.
- Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sánchez) looks like what would happen if k.d. lang decided to emulate Rob Schneider's vibe and style.
- The chainsaw-through-the-coffin-almost-grazing-an-eyeball shot could very well be homage to Lucio Fulci's City of the Living Dead, but it could be something Luessenhop pulled out of his ass like, oh you know, everything else.
- Leatherface chases Nikki and Neverson's Ryan character into a barn where Ryan takes pains to latch the wooden door. "But Leatherface has a chainsaw, he's just going to cut through it!" you think to yourself. And then he cuts through it.
- There is an extended scene where Heather catches up on her history (of which we already know all about, btw) by reading her police file. As we watch her read (a really exciting thing to do that should be included in every film), words from articles flash on the screen: "GUNFIRE" "ESCALATED" "BRUTAL" "BURNED." They described my agitation and its effect on my soul.
- "Ladies' makeup? What a fruitcake!" says an investigating cop when he sees Leatherface's vanity table.
- Leatherface has been making masks out of people's faces for almost 40 years (as far as we know – could be even longer) and he's really shitty at it. He also stitches a new one to his face so deliberately, it's like he took notes from the Les Misérables cast on dramatic effect.
- "They beat my lawyer in the bar," is a line that Heather calmly says (after she has been chased by two opposing forces, witnessed the deaths of some of her friends and has seen the corpses of still others).
- After Heather is caught by Leatherface, we see her strung up by her arms, kneeling on the ground, gagged by duct tape, and, for no particular reason, sporting an immense amount of sideboob because her shirt has been cut open for no apparent reason other than the movie's shocking lack of tits.
- Well, there is a reason, actually, but it only makes sense as a vehicle for the plot twist: Heather has a mark on her chest that Leatherface sees and recognizes as the family's, so he doesn't kill her. This solidifies their cousinly bond and so when a man who has been chasing her for whatever reason that I forget but that didn't make much sense in the first place, I assure you, has Leatherface cornered, she kicks over his chainsaw to him and tells him, "Do your thing, cuz!"
- After the final confrontation, they return to the house and Leatherface sits in the kitchen with the slumped, hands-on-his-knees world-weariness of Willy Loman. We are supposed to relate to him now because someone called him a "retard" and he just is the way he is. We also watched him skin a man's face, cut a man's torso off, clip fingers from a hand into a bowl and hang someone up on a meat hook. But still, the movie begs for compassion because it is fucking pitiful.