The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Unrated)

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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Jordana Brewster as Chrissie
Taylor Handley as Dean
Diora Baird as Bailey
Matthew Bomer as Eric
Lee Tergesen as Holden
R. Lee Ermey as Charlie Hewitt, Jr./Sheriff Hoyt
Andrew Bryniarski as Thomas Hewitt/Leatherface
Terrence Evans as Monty
Kathy Lamkin as Tea Lady
Marietta Marich as Luda Mae Hewitt
Cyia Batten as Alex
Lew Temple as Sheriff Winston Hoyt

Special Features:
“Down To The Bone” Behind-the-Scenes Documentary

Deleted/extended scenes

Audio commentary with director Jonathan Liebesman and producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form

Deleted scenes commentary with director Jonathan Liebesman and producers Brad Fuller and Andrew Form

Animated Menus

Theatrical trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX Surround
DTS 6.1 ES Discrete
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 89 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD synopsis:

“The year is 1969. On one last fling before leaving to serve in the Vietnam War, two brothers, Dean (Handley) and Eric (Bomer), embark on a road trip across Texas with their girlfriends, Chrissie (Brewster) and Bailey (Baird). After their jeep crashes on a deserted highway, the sadistic Sheriff Hoyt (Ermey) mysteriously arrives on the scene. Chrissie hides in the nearby brush as she helplessly watches the sheriff abduct her three friends. Taking them to his secluded house of horrors, Hoyt introduces his new captives to the deranged Hewitt family and their gruesome son, Thomas/Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski), who has a ravenous appetite for chainsaws and torture. Chrissie becomes an eyewitness to the gory carnage inflicted by Leatherface upon her friends and quickly realizes that she is their only hope of survival.”

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Unrated)” is unrated. The theatrical version was rated R for strong horror violence/gore, language and some sexual content.

Mini-Review:
This “Chainsaw Massacre” prequel was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was almost exactly the same as the 2003 remake. Beautiful college kids come through town, run afoul of the Hewitts, then are tortured sadistically one by one until they are all killed. The End. And the fact that it’s a prequel doesn’t help matters much. You know how it will end since all the villains appear in the other “Massacre” movie set a few years later. You know they aren’t killed, arrested, or anything else. That just leaves them killing all the kids as the only possible conclusion to the story. All you have left is watching the characters get tortured, mutilated, terrorized, and killed. That’s not entertainment to me.

All that being said, the film has a couple of unique moments. You learn the origin of Leatherface, why Sheriff Hoyt is crazy, and why the other guy lost his legs. It’s not much, but it is a little characterization. Another unique twist takes place when a biker seeking revenge happens upon the Hewitt household. I thought that was going to kick things up a notch, but the scene didn’t live up to its potential.

I also have to add that if you’re a fan of Leatherface, you might be disappointed. This movie belongs almost entirely to R. Lee Ermey as Charlie Hewitt, Jr. aka Sheriff Hoyt. He’s more colorful than Leatherface and he actually gets dialogue, so the spotlight is squarely on him.

I would really only recommend this movie to die-hard “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” fans and anyone that loves slasher flicks, whoever you sickos are. (Just kidding.) This movie won’t appeal to a wider audience.

There are a few bonus features included on the DVD. You’ll find 45 minutes worth of ‘making of’ featurettes. They include your standard cast and crew interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, special effects information, and more. Michael Bay is seen a lot, too. You’ll also find a commentary and a batch of deleted and extended scenes. They are all quite minor except for three alternate endings. In the first, the film closes with a montage of other victims and audio of family members calling the sheriff’s department looking for them. In the second one it’s the same as the theatrical ending, just with the text “so began the Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. The final alternate ending shows Jordana Brewster being gutted with a knife rather than her fate seen in the movie. It concludes with some narration by John Larroquette.

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