Monday, March 26, 2007

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: A Family Portrait

--Reviewed by Lindy Loo

Plotline: A documentary about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, containing several of the key actors in the movie.

Scariness factor: N/A

Gross-Out Factor: N/A

Complaints: Centuries ago, when I was living down at OU, I saw this documentary at the video-store. I never ended up renting it, and it forevermore slipped my mind. But the other day it popped into my head randomly, so I decided with some eagerness to Neflix it. It was interesting, but I was a bit disappointed to see that Marilyn Burns (the main character in the movie) and Tobe Hooper were conspicuously absent from the interviews. Given that the two of them are the main players with regard to the success of the movie, it seemed to me a bit pointless to have a documentary without both of them. I mean, seriously, how can you have a documentary about a movie WITHOUT INTERVIEWING THE DIRECTOR/CREATOR? That's the most interesting aspect of a making-of documentary! The other big disappointment of the documentary was the fact that (for god only knows what reason) they'd discuss a particular scene and what went into the filming of it AND THEN NEVER SHOW THE CLIP OF THE SCENE. Now, I've seen TCSM at least a half-dozen times, but even I can't remember the little particulars of specific scenes without a refresher.

High Points: It cracked me up to listen to the dude who plays the Hitchhiker yammer on and on as though he were an Oscar-winning actor and as notorious as, say, Al Pacino or something. I mean, it was interesting and cute to see him NOT as the Hitchhiker (especially since that character's so damn gross and creepy), but the man takes himself WAY too seriously (busting into impressions like he's the funniest man alive and all this stuff). And the brief and juicy tidbits about the actual filming experience (the heat, people throwing up, how certain scenes were staged, etc.) were really fascinating. I just wished Tobe Hooper had been there to comment. Oh, and it was fun seeing Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) in real-life as he's just sorta big and squishy and teddy-bearish. (And the documentary made me realize that my next-door neighbor reminds me of Jim Seidow--the Cook--if he were a bit bulkier. A little bit unnerving.)

Overall: Definitely interesting for those of you who are die-hard TCSM-fans, but don't go in expecting too much otherwise (like me) you'll be a bit disappointed.

Grade: B-

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At 4:42 PM, Blogger Stacie Ponder said...

Thanks for the heads up on this- I'd been meaning to check it out, but it looks like I can skip it.

You should Netflix the new 2-disc Super Awesome Ultimate Ultra Edition of TCM...or whatever it's called. There's commentary tracks by (most of the) cast and crew- including Burns and Hooper, and there's lots of documentaries as well, and they're both featured there, too.

Ed Neal still hasn't gotten over his Robinwilliamsitis, though.

At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha. That's a good way of putting it. He really is a ham.

Will have to check that out. (I really should just BUY the damn thing since I only own that movie on video, but we'll see.)


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