The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003 film)
|The Texas Chainsaw Massacre|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Marcus Nispel|
|Produced by||Michael Bay
|Screenplay by||Scott Kosar|
|Narrated by||John Larroquette|
R. Lee Ermey
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Editing by||Glen Scantlebury|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||98 minutes|
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 2003 American slasher film, and a remake of the 1974 horror film of the same name. The 2003 film, also serving as a reboot of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, was directed by Marcus Nispel and produced by Michael Bay. It was also co-produced by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper, co-creators of the original 1974 film.
This film is the first of many horror remakes to come from Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes production company which also remade The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film is considered to be a reboot of the franchise. Though met with negative reception from critics, the film was well received by fans, and grossed $107 million worldwide above its $9.5 million budget, making it a strong financial success. A sequel was planned, but was later made into a prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. The prequel was released in 2006 to negative reviews from critics.
On August 18, 1973, five teenagers, Erin (Jessica Biel), her boyfriend Kemper (Eric Balfour), Morgan (Jonathan Tucker), Andy (Mike Vogel), and Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), are on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert after returning from Mexico, where they were supplying themselves with drugs for the concert. As they drive through Texas, they spot a distraught hitchhiker (Lauren German), who eventually gets into their van. After they have tried to speak to the hitchhiker, who talks incoherently about "a bad man", she pulls a gun, a .357 Magnum, out of her vagina, which is covered in blood, and proceeds to shoot herself in the mouth.
After the startling shock, the group tries to contact the police, they then go to a store where a woman (Marietta Marich) tells them the sheriff is at the mill. Instead of the sheriff, they find a little boy named Jedidiah (David Dorfman) who tells them that the sheriff is at home drinking. Erin and Kemper go through the woods to find his house, leaving the other three at the mill with the boy. They come to a plantation house where Erin is allowed inside by the owner, an amputee named Monty, to phone for help. When Erin finishes, the old man asks her for help. Kemper goes inside to look for Erin and is attacked by the vicious-looking Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski), who hits him with a sledgehammer. When Leatherface takes Kemper's body to begin to make a new mask out of him, he discovers a small black box from Kemper. Opening it, he discovers a ring. Kemper was intending to propose to Erin.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey) arrives at the mill and disposes of the hitchhiker's body, wrapping her in plastic wrap and putting her in his trunk. As he drives away, he tells the youths to leave. Erin arrives and finds that Kemper is still missing. Andy and Erin go back to Monty's house, where Erin distracts him while Andy searches for Kemper. Monty realizes Andy is inside and summons Leatherface, who attacks Andy with his chainsaw. Erin escapes and heads towards the woods, but Leatherface slices Andy's leg off. Leatherface carries him to the basement and hangs him on a meat hook with his feet hanging over a piano, where he rubs salt on Andy's stump of a leg before wrapping it in butcher paper and tying it with human hair.
Erin makes it to the mill and tries to escape in the van, but the sheriff shows up and, after spotting marijuana on the dashboard, orders Erin, Morgan and Pepper to get out of the van. The sheriff gives Morgan the gun he took from the hitchhiker and tells Morgan to reenact how she killed herself. Morgan, scared and disturbed by the sheriff's demeanor, and under pressure by Erin and Pepper, attempts to shoot the sheriff only to find the gun is unloaded. Sheriff Hoyt handcuffs Morgan and drives him to the Hewitt house (a drive which includes a brutal beating), leaving the girls in the van. Erin tries to fix the truck, while Pepper holds a flashlight. Erin gets the truck running and begins to drive, but one of the wheels falls off. Erin and Pepper stay still in the truck, but Leatherface appears on the top of the truck and tries to attack them by chainsawing the roof.
After witnessing Pepper's murder by Leatherface, Erin, who sees that Leatherface is wearing Kemper's face over his own, runs to escape and hides in a nearby trailer with two women inside, who offer her tea and try to soothe her. The two women, an obese middle-aged woman known only as the 'Tea Lady' and a younger woman named Henrietta, who is presumably her daughter, act strangely. After they tell Erin they don't have a phone for her to call for help, a telephone in the trailer rings and Henrietta picks it up and tells someone on the other end "she's here". Erin discovers they have kidnapped a child when she sees that the baby with them is the same child in a photograph with the woman who committed suicide earlier. However, the tea is drugged and she passes out when she tries to leave the trailer.
Erin wakes up at the Hewitt house surrounded by the Hewitt family: Leatherface, his mother Luda May, Sheriff Hoyt, Uncle Monty, and the little boy Jedidiah. Luda May tells Erin that her excuse for her son Thomas' actions is that her son was tormented by teenagers and that she felt no one cared for her family besides themselves. Erin is taken to the basement, where she finds Andy. She tries to help him off of the meat hook but when he sees he will land on the piano keys and alert Leatherface, he begs her to kill him, which she does, though suffering severe emotional trauma.
Afterwards, she finds Morgan, who is still handcuffed. Jedidiah, who clearly does not agree with the actions of his family, leads them out of the house. Jedidiah rejects Erin's plea to come with them, rather staying there, and distracts Leatherface long enough for them to escape. Erin and Morgan find an abandoned shack in the woods and barricade themselves inside. Leatherface breaks in and discovers Erin, but Morgan attacks Leatherface, causing him to drop his chainsaw. Morgan grabs him and wrestles him, but Leatherface lifts Morgan upwards toward a chandelier, where Morgan becomes entangled by his handcuffs, and is left hanging and defenseless. Leatherface picks up his chainsaw, slicing up into Morgan's groin, killing him.
Erin runs out of the shack and escapes through the woods. Leatherface trips on a fence and cuts his leg while pursuing her. Erin finds a slaughterhouse and hides in a locker. Leatherface opens the locker across from hers and she attacks him with a meat cleaver, chopping off his right arm. Erin runs outside and flags down a trucker, whom she tries to convince to go away from the Hewitt's house. But he stops to find help at the eatery. Erin sees Luda May and watches as Sheriff Hoyt arrives and talks to the trucker. Erin sees Henrietta watching over the kidnapped baby in a highchair. When Henrietta walks outside to join Luda May and Sheriff Hoyt, who are talking to the truck driver, Erin sneaks the baby out of the eatery and places her in the sheriff's car and hot-wires it. Hoyt notices her and tries to stop her, but she runs him down and runs him over repeatedly until he is dead. Leatherface appears in the road with the chainsaw and tries to stop her, but he is too slow, and Erin manages to escape with the baby unharmed.
- Andrew Bryniarski as Thomas Hewitt / Leatherface, a serial killer who wears human flesh-made mask over his own face. He has a rare skin disorder that has made him disfigured and judged by others.
- Jessica Biel as Erin who, along with her boyfriend Kemper and her 3 friends, make an ill-fated trip to Texas which leaves her as the only survivor.
- R. Lee Ermey as Charlie Hewitt Jr. / Sheriff Hoyt, the brother of Thomas Hewitt / Leatherface and the only sheriff in the town left.
- Eric Balfour as Kemper: Erin's boyfriend who drives the van and the first of the survivors to die.
- Jonathan Tucker as Morgan: Erin and Kemper's stoner friend who accompanied them on their trip to Mexico, He is generally the nerd of the group and the fourth and final survivor to die.
- Erica Leerhsen as Pepper: a hitchhiker who the group met a few days prior to the events of the film and the second survivor of the group to die.
- Mike Vogel as Andy: Erin and Kemper's friend who accompanied them on their trip to Mexico and the third survivor to die.
- David Dorfman as Jedidiah Hewitt: A member of the Hewitt family. He is possibly an orphan from one of the Hewitt's victims over the years but it is not known.
- Marietta Marich as Luda Mae Hewitt
- Terrence Evans as Monty Hewitt
- Heather Kafka as Henrietta Hewitt
- Kathy Lamkin as Tea Lady Hewitt
- Lauren German as Teenage girl hitchiker: She managed to survive the wrath of the Hewitt family but she committed suicide from the psychological damage they caused her.
Connection to actual events
This film, like the 1974 original, as well as Psycho, was inspired by Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. Gein skinned human bodies and made up furniture out of it, but he acted alone and did not use a chainsaw. Most of his "victims" were already dead and he "only" personally murdered two people. The film's opening claims the events are factual, a use of the false document technique (filming of the first film was from July 15, 1973 to August 14, 1973, while the event took place on August 18, 1973).
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre received negative critical consensus. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes shows a rating of 36% for it with the consensus "An unnecessary remake that's more gory and less scary than the original." Metacritic, another review aggregator, calculates an average of 38%, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Roger Ebert gave the film a rare 0 stars out of 4, calling it 'A contemptible film: Vile, ugly and brutal. There is not a shred of reason to see it. Those who defend it will have to dance through mental hoops of their own devising, defining its meanness and despair as "style" or "vision" or "a commentary on our world."'  The film earned a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Remake or Sequel, but lost the award to Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in North America on October 17, 2003 in 3,018 theaters. It grossed $10,620,000 on its opening day and concluded its North America opening weekend with $28,094,014, ranking No. 1 at the box office. The film opened in various other countries and grossed $26,500,000, while the North American gross stands at $80,571,655, bringing the worldwide gross to $107,071,655. All based on a $9.5 million budget, the film was a commercial success.
The film was released on VHS and DVD March 30, 2004 through New Line Home Entertainment. Special features include seven TV spots and trailers and a music video for Suffocate by Motograter. A two-disc Platinum Series Edition was also released that same day, containing a collectible metal plaque cover, 3 filmmaker commentaries with producer Michael Bay, director Marcus Nispel and others, crime city photo cards, deleted scenes, an alternate opening and ending, Chainsaw Redux: In-Depth documentary, Gein: The Ghoul of Planifield documentary, cast screen tests, art gallery, 7 TV spots & trailers, Suffocate by "Motograter" Music video, and DVD-ROM Content including script-to-screen
A UMD version of the film was released on October 4, 2005 and on Blu-ray on September 29, 2010.
There were two soundtrack albums released by Bulletproof Records/La-La Land Records for the film; the first was meant for regular audiences featuring popular metal music and was released on November 4, 2003. The second was the film's original score as composed by Steve Jablonsky. This was released on October 21, 2003 and has a run time of 50:25.
In the beginning of the film, the protagonists are listening to "Lynyrd Skynyrd"'s "Sweet Home Alabama". This is a continuity error as the song wasn't released until June 1974, and the teens should not have a recording of it.
- "Immortally Insane" by Pantera
- "Below the Bottom" by Hatebreed
- "Pride" by Soil
- "Deliver Me" by Static-X
- "43" by Mushroomhead
- "Pig" by Seether
- "Down in Flames" by Nothingface
- "Self-Medicate" by 40 Below Summer
- "Suffocate" by Motograter
- "Destroyer of Senses" by Shadows Fall
- "Rational Gaze" by Meshuggah
- "Archetype (Remix)" by Fear Factory
- "Enshrined by Grace" by Morbid Angel
- "Listen" by Index Case
- "Stay in Shadow" by Finger Eleven
- "Ruin" by Lamb of God
- "As Real As It Gets" by Sworn Enemy
- "Five Months" by Coretez
- "Leatherface" (2:45)
- "He's a Bad Man" (4:02)
- "Erin and Kemper" (1:07)
- "Hewitt House" (1:09)
- "Driving with a Corpse" (1:24)
- "Kemper Gets Whacked/Jedidiah" (1:56)
- "Crawford Mill" (1:50)
- "Interrogation" (3:50)
- "Andy Loses a Leg" (1:41)
- "You're So Dead" (3:33)
- "Hook Me Up" (2:40)
- "My Boy" (3:15)
- "Morgans Wild Ride/Van Attack" (4:35)
- "Mercy Killing" (2:59)
- "Prairie House" (3:13)
- "Final Confrontation" (5:25)
- "Can't Go Back" (3:55)
- "Last Goodbye" (1:00)
- Fleming, Michael (October 8, 2009). "Twisted moves to 'Texas'". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved July 3, 2011.
- "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- Rachael Bell and Marilyn Bardsley. "Ed Gein: The Inspiration for Buffalo Bill and Psycho". truTV. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- Roger Ebert (17 October 2003). "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Release Retrieved on 2007-11-12
- Texas Chainsaw opening day gross Retrieved on 2007-11-12
- TCM gross
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Box Office Mojo
- "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Amazon. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
- "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)". The Soundtrack Info Project. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (score) (2003)". The Soundtrack Info Project. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at the Internet Movie Database
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Box Office Mojo
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Rotten Tomatoes