EV @ The Movies: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

On the way to see this movie, I got lost and ended up watching pond scum coagulate for two hours. So I may not have actually watched this remake of a classic horror film, but I can say this with confidence: it's a remake, and therefore falls far, far short of the original.

In the original film, some kids were driving around someplace in Texas and encountered a boy walking down the road, obviously distraught about something (later on, they found out the something was that there were massacres afoot). But in this remake, they probably changed the damn story all around, so that it begins in space with a family floating around with a robot and a dog. Hollywood has no shame.

But the glaring inaccuracies don't end there, my friends. Instead of investigating the strange happenings in the little Texas town, the family decides to invite the husband's boss -- played by Danny Devito -- over for dinner. But all kinds of crazy high jinks occur when the husband's wife burns the astro-roast, and the kids accidentally spill astro-ketchup on Devito's new astro-suit, causing his face to turn red as he yelled, "Jetsooooon!" This was probably the best part of the movie, and I have to admit that I did laugh for approximately 17 minutes at this. After that, however, I did not laugh any more.

One thing the movies do have in common is killing. In the original, it's done by a disfigured man wielding a giant god damned chainsaw. In the remake, it's done by an insane maid-robot bent on revenge. That's right, after years of obedient servitude, the family's maid decides that it's about time to get her just desserts. Her chest panel opens up, revealing a large chainsaw-like apparatus, and she begins attempting to kill the family and the increasingly-angry boss, who just came over for a good bite to eat, and did not expect to be assaulted by robots.

Most horror movies require the killer to split the group up in order to kill them more effectively, and the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was no exception to this. In this new remake for 2003, however, we have gone past the age of cliches, and so audiences are ready for something fresh. In light of the this, the director decided to have the maid kill everyone in the room without too much trouble, which makes logical sense because she is a robot, and therefore was able to overpower the humans with her servo-astro-motors, or whatever. The final person she killed was Danny Devito, who told Jetson in his dying breath that he had better have a good explanation for this! This actually was funny, but I did not laugh because I wasn't sure if it would be appropriate or not, seeing as how the rest of the family was dismembered everywhere.

The problem with this "quick-kill" approach, however, was that it left about an hour of the movie left. Luckily, the movie-makers had a solution: towards the end of the original film, everybody sat down for a nice dinner, just to kind of settle down after all the crazy attackings and whatnot. The remake pays homage to this by including the exact same ending. I don't mean that they re-shot it with different actors; I mean that they spliced the original film into this one and used that as the ending. It sounds very lazy, and it is. But since the original movie was so good and better than this remake, I was instantly cheered up upon seeing the old, real film up there on the screen. My new advice to Hollywood: why are you bothering with this stupid, changed, watered-down remakes? Just show the old movies up on the screen again, and we'll all be happy, even if the admission is $42 nowadays.

The movie wasn't over yet, though; the makers had a surprise ending up their sleeves. After the dinner scene was over, all of a sudden there was a shot of the maid-robot's head on the floor, and you were supposed to understand that she self-destructed while you were watching the old footage from the original movie. The reason for this is that she violated the robot code that no robot can ever kill a human. This is a law of physics, and I was pleased to see that the movie included it in the script. Not many movies these days are high-brow enough to write physics in.

So, although the movie really wasn't that bad, it was a remake, and so I sadly can't like it at all. What a piece of shit.

Overall rating: F-

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