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[Trailer Tracks] Dissecting the ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’ Trailer

Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which ones to avoid. And if one looks closely, they often reveal more than intended about the film in question. In honor of this profound art, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, an examination of upcoming movie commercials: What they say, what they don’t say, and what they say on accident about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.

Today’s Entry:
Texas Chainsaw 3D (Dir. John Luessenhop)

Introduction

Everyone knows about Leatherface. He’s a mentally handicapped butcher who likes to cut things up with chainsaws and wear victims’ faces as masks. He’s back. Which is good because we haven’t seen him since House of 1000 Corpses.

The Set Up

Girl in bra! What else do you need?

This trailer doesn’t bother knocking our socks off with plot points, but the set up appears to revolve around a girl who inherits a house from a family member (“Granny”) she doesn’t know anything about. Initially we have only five potential victims — two boys and two girls and a fifth wheel. But more show up later during the trailer’s quick cuts. One of the girls has only half a shirt. That’s about it. You can maybe give the trailer some bonus points by inferring a purposeful use of “The Beast in Me” regarding the main girl’s family connection to the Sawyers. But that’s only if you’re feeling overly generous. I don’t recommend it.

The Problem

Obviously, Leatherface is the problem. Actually, I can’t even tell how many Sawyer family members this movie will involve. If I were guessing just from this trailer, Leatherface is the film’s only killer, and he lives behind some kind of hidden wall or something, happily butchering non-human meat by himself since the seventies. Probably while listening to Paul Simon.

The trailer makes it very unclear exactly what’s going on with this house. If this is supposed to be the same house from the first film, that raises concerns. For one, it’s way too clean on the inside. The big gate on the way in seems excessively showy for this family. And a pool table? Covered with a sheet? Impossible. If this is the Sawyer house, it needs to be covered in bones and those feather roach-clip things. This place looks like it was cleaned up and furnished by a turn of the century Martha Stewart (who happened to really enjoy playing pool). I barely even get the impression that we’re out on the country. Or in Texas. I do highly doubt this is the original house, but I don’t see how Leatherface could be associated with joint in any way at all.

Regardless, there’s a secret door one kid opens, which I guess leads to Sawyer trouble because it definitely leads to an ominous title card and chainsaw sounds. After that it’s all chainsaw roars cut up to sound like Skrillix, which is smart advertising as death by Skrillex is a horrific thing indeed.

The Solution

Well, the trailer mostly tells who’s going to live and die. With this few victims, we always know something’s up when a character’s not in a shot or when a tied up girl has a silent chainsaw placed on her shoulder.

A couple things keep this trailer intriguing. It looks like we’re going to get a prerequisite “Leatherface chases a girl around outside” scene, but some shots indicate that he’ll follow her into a county fair setting with rides and funnel cakes and everything. I don’t have my hopes up too high, but Leatherface out in the real world sounds like something worth checking out, while yet another remake of the first film (official or otherwise, nearly every entry in this series remakes the first one anyway) does not.

Actually, I know what’s going to happen. At the end of the film we discover the Leatherface killing everyone is actually a Leatherface Jr. going through training designed by Leatherface Sr. He’s making his father proud, too.

But then Remake Leatherface comes along and tries add stupid, unwanted parenting tips. Then House of 1,000 Corpses fake Leatherface shows up and does the same thing. Pretty soon all the Leatherfaces are fighting. Only Leatherface Jr. survives. Realizing his many fathers, uncles, second cousins are dead, he takes off his leather mask and leaves killing behind to fulfill his true dream: Broadway. This is why they took “Massacre” off the title.

Summation

Texas Chainsaw 3D is supposedly a direct sequel to the original, completely free of attachments to the remake. Nothing in this trailer gives off that vibe, however, since it looks like just another Platinum Dunes crapfest. Hopefully there’s a lot more Sawyer action in the story than we see here. I want to know what happened to him after he got off The Island.

And don’t think I’m not pissed that this direct sequel route arrogantly assumes Tobe Hooper’s actual sequel never happened. I can already tell this one’s nowhere near as great as Chop-top:



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