Texas Chainsaw Massacre : The Beginning

Tag line : Witness The Birth Of Fear

Texas Chainsaw Massacre : The BeginningThis follow up to the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place prior to the events of the previous film. Set in 1969, 2 brothers, who are about to be drafted into the army to serve in Vietnam, are going on one last trip with their girlfriends. Unfortunately, whilst passing through a small Texas town, they cross paths with a group of unsavoury bikers, which brings out the local lawman, Sheriff Hoyt (R Lee Emry).

However, as the town is now largely abandoned, the rest of the locals having moved out following the closure of the towns meat packing plant, nobody really knows that "Hoyt" is not actually the Sheriff, but the murderous Charlie Hewitt, who killed the real Sheriff and assumed the role.

Having dealt with the bikers, Hoyt forces the group back to his home where they soon discover just how the Hewitt clan continue to get their meat, despite the collapse of the local cattle industry and why Hoyt's nephew Thomas is called "Leatherface".

Virtually the entire cast from the previous film reprise their roles for this, including Andrew Brynyarski as Leatherface and R Lee Emry as the bogus Sheriff. Overall, this is quite a good prequel, which fills in the back story showing how Leatherface was abandoned as a baby, owing to a rare skin infection, and adopted by the Hewitt family and how they ended up turning to murder and eventually cannibalism as a means to survive once the towns meat packing plant closed. However it does create a few more questions, like how come the slaughterhouse was functional again in the later film and how come the state police never rumbled who Hoyt really was.

These quibbles aside though, this is an extremely fun and gory horror film. If you liked the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, you should also enjoy this.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Every Legend Has a Beginning", "The Only Thing More Shocking than How it Ended, Is How it All Began".

  • The films budget was $16,000,000

  • The actress playing the young Luda May, Leatherface's adopted mother, was Alison Marich. Who is the daughter of actress Marietta Marich, who plays the adult Luda May in both films.

  • 17 scenes had to be shortened or cut at the insistence of the US ratings board. This same cut version was used for the international theatrical release. The unrated/uncut DVD releases of the film released both in the US and UK restore the gore scenes cut from the theatrical releases.

  • The scene where the group are strung up in the shed and hosed down was not in the original script. The film makers had to add it during shooting as a means to clean the blood off the characters as they didn't want to have to keep re-applying fake blood to them for the rest of the film.

  • New Line had to pay an additional $3million in order to keep the rights to the franchise as Dimension films had also been making offers to the original rights holders to produce their own sequel.

  • R Lee Emry had to leave the set part way through filming due to a death in the family. The film crew had to subsequently shoot around him and his scenes had to be completed at a later date.

  • The German cinema release was cut by a whopping 8mins. The subsequent DVD release restored most of the gore, but still missed out the chainsawing of Uncle Monty's legs and the death of Dean.

  • There were several slightly different endings shot for the film. The first alternate ending being the most substantially different as Chrissie is killed prior to driving off instead of afterwards, then there's an additional scene showing a bunch of wrecked cars with the sound of various telephone calls being made to the police, reporting missing persons. The second is the same as the theatrical version, but Chrissie is killed in the car with a knife instead of a chainsaw. The third is exactly the same as the theatrical version, but with subtitles over the last scene instead of John Larroquette's narration. These can be found on the US & UK special edition DVDs.

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