Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to the Reilly Roundtable! I hope you had an awesome Halloween, watched some scary movies and ate your weight in Almond Joy.
Before I start, I’d like to congratulate one of your fearless Schmoes, Kristian Harloff. He took a wife this past weekend and I was lucky enough to celebrate with him. It was a wonderful, memorable ceremony and I am thrilled for the two of them. Congrats to you and Sadie… And may your first child be a masculine child.
On with the news… one announcement in particular caught my eye. Since it conveniently keeps with the theme of Halloween, and even though I am just a few days late, I feel a strong urge to comment. It has to do with one of my favorite horror movies, one that I would pop in almost every Halloween.
Isn’t it mega awesome to pop in a perfect horror movie with that special someone? Watch some dude get his head cut off then head out to a party where you drink too much and end up on somebody’s lawn? Ah, the horror genre… the perfect compliment to an all hallows eve celebration.
I mean no one puts in some rom-com to celebrate the day. SERENDIPITY doesn’t end with John Cusack taking a hatchet to Kate Beckinsale’s face and then drinking her blood, right? Oh, and by the by, I just registered SERENDIPITY 2: LUCK KILLS A LADY (3D), at the WGA so… fingers crossed.
What did you put into the ole’ blue ray player this past Halloween? A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET? HALLOWEEN (the original, not the after birthed version Rob Zombie made), FRIDAY THE 13TH? TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE? EVIL DEAD? THE EXORCIST? HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS?
The news today concerns an iconic slasher and his new movie. The premise caused my head to explode. Literally. And when I say my head exploded, I mean it burst into a million small pieces, a splatter of blood and brains caked all over my eggshell colored walls, I was whisked away to the hospital where a magical elf with special powers created a new head and attached it just in time for me to go to work.
They are making another TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. And it will be a sequel to the ORIGINAL movie Tobe Hooper directed. Set 35 years after the events of the original. Involving a cult.
See what I mean? Head. Exploding. Elves. Magic.
What the fuck does that mean? It’s just as ludicrous yet strangely intriguing as my head exploding metaphor.
Where does this movie sit in the cannon of MASSACRE? I mean, I thought all the other sequels like PART 2, LEATHERFACE, and the NEXT GENERATION… with Matthew McConaughey, natch…
I thought all these incarnations were cannon to the original and the remake (where Leatherface lost his arm) and its prequel were part of a new universe not connected to the original?
Can I ask, PLATINUM DUNES (makers of the rebooted MASSACRE), if you were intending a sequel to the remake (and I mean, what studio doesn’t want a sequel)… why did you cut off the arm to your main villain when said arm is instrumental in holding a chainsaw? Just wondering, hit me up with your answer.
But I digest; I want to talk about the ridiculous lengths Hollywood is going to now in order to cash in on a recognizable brand. I mean I get it, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a recognizable name and Leatherface is one of the most iconic killers in history. I admit I am intrigued by the concept but what I don’t like is the studio hasn’t even hired a screenwriter yet. Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate (SAW) purchased the rights, and that same team is developing the new story and film. And of course, they are developing the film in 3D.
I’m just really trying to follow all these remakes and wrap my head around what story is in what universe. To me, it just screams of desperation and sounds like they are trying to be something that it’s not. A sequel to the original!? Where do I place the remake and its prequel? I just don’t have that kind of brainpower to follow along anymore.
I immediately think of THE STRANGERS, the one horror movie in the last ten years that truly freaked the shit out of me. I remember coming home and being so inside my head, I tripped myself out when I heard a noise (which turned out to be my ice machine), so I barricaded myself in my bedroom with a shotgun and accidentally shot and killed my neighbor. Of course, I’m totally exaggerating; it wasn’t all that bad. By the end of my neighbor’s funeral I had finally calmed down.
I’m just clamoring for an original idea and wish they would leave some of my horror homies alone. I would love for Hollywood to turn out a descent story that might be the genesis for a new icon. I thought THE STRANGERS was the closest thing to a true horror franchise like FRIDAY, MASSACRE and HALLOWEEN.
THE STRANGERS had all the right elements – a great hook, clever, memorable masks for the killers, tension, gore, and dread… It was done by a guy with nary a credit to his name (Bryan Bertino, keep an eye out for him). He managed to create something creepy as fuck and it made 82 million worldwide with a budget of around 10 million. Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.
This new MASSACRE, not a pun, is needless. The idea of a cult being the ‘villain’ is interesting, but to tie it to the franchise seems forced and unoriginal. Riddle me this… If it is set 35 years after the original, what’s Leatherface up to now? In the original he was, what, twenty years old? Thirty? I couldn’t tell because he had a mask made of human skin over his face so it was hard to get a read on the guy… But let’s say he was twenty-five? So in this incarnation, Leatherface is sixty years old. He’s not going to be chasing down many horny teenagers with that slipped disc and arthritic knee.
MASSACRE and THE STRANGERS worked so well for me because the stories felt real. They got inside your head because you believed… these were stories that could actually happen!
By contrast, SAW lost me after the second movie. Why? Because every single kill and every single rigged trap or recorded tape played on convenience. It was so precise, in order for Jigsaw to kill everyone – EVERYTHING had to go his way. Jigsaw had had the most perfect run in serial killing history. And I just don’t buy it.
So you’re telling me the studio that brought us SAW is going to tell us a new story about THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and they’re doing it in 3D?
3D movies are the trend now. And audiences are buying into it by paying the money thinking they are getting some revolutionary new form of storytelling. Because they convert every movie now, it’s really starting to cheapen the process and take you out of the concept. For MASSACRE, what made the original work so well was how gritty and dark and fucked up the story was. How are you going to convey the same emotion in 3D?
3D is really made for fun outings where the material is tongue and cheek and enhances the premise. See: MY BLOODY VALENTINE. That movie did not take itself seriously, nor did PIRAHANA 3D. The 3D was used as a goof. I mean, there was a girl that ran around for four whole minutes… naked… And check out that lesbian underwater ballet in PIRAHANA. Poetry. This was the intention of the filmmakers and, in my opinion, the best use of 3D.
MASSACRE and STRANGERS, by design, is meant to creep inside that little place in your brain that believes the shit is real. The filmmakers have a steady hand, they shoot raw and dirty, the characters have real emotion and arcs. It isn’t cheapened with ‘3D’.
I’m calling you out LIONSGATE. Don’t be a turd. You have not given this idea much thought and, worst of all, you haven’t given hundreds of wonderful scripts out there a shot. By taking our Leatherface, slapping him with a cult and tossing in some 3D then baking at 350 degrees until golden brown does NOT a horror movie make.
As a true fan of the series (the original is by far one the most visually, fucked up masterpieces of the modern, slasher, genre) I am overprotective and angry when I see it treated poorly. Especially when the same team that brought us SAW is in the drivers seat.
By the way, bang up rating there on ROTTEN TOMATOES, SAW 3D – 10% rotten. A snippet on the site says: “Saw has shown a ferocious unwillingness to evolve.” Right on SAW 3D. Nailed it.
LIONSGATE, your unwillingness to evolve in the horror genre has never been so apparent by your paint by numbers, 3D interpretation of a classic. As a devout movie lover, I am really upset that you and the other studios, DIMENSION listen up, are not taking more chances on original content.
I know it’s the state of the industry to remake every single movie from 1975 on… lazy shits… but please God, let’s shoot for something else. Let’s try on some other stories for a change.
I am demanding better. I gave the HALLOWEEN remake a chance, sucked; I gave the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake a shot, boring; I paid money to see the A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake, dog shit… Every single horror movie remade hasn’t been an enjoyable experience. So, stop. Now. Just stop. Por favor.
Do you guys agree? Are there too many remakes and reboots and re-imaginings? Have you ever been to a Turkish prison?
Do you want a new TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE movie with a cult?
These are the tough questions. I only hope the studios will start listening. Feel free to discuss. I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
See you in line….