Starring Alexandra Daddario, Trey Songz, and Dan Yeager as Leatherface. Rated 18A. Now playing.
Everything is relative, which is why I'm not going to rip Texas Chainsaw 3D the new one that it may well deserve. After all, it is way more entertaining (i.e. sicker) than the last entry in the franchise, 2007's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. And it deserves a modicum of credit for actually making you despise a chainsaw-wielding maniac less than a bunch of lowlife redneck scum.
The best part of the film, by far, is the opening, which comprises nothing but scenes from Tobe Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the gritty and uncompromising terror classic of 1974. The new, gentler-named flick picks up right where Massacre left off, with a fair-minded sheriff (Thom Barry) arriving at a rundown farmhouse to arrest a member of the cannibalistic Sawyer clan for the killings. He's soon followed by a mob of pickup-driving, rifle-toting hicks, led by the super-sleazy Burt (Paul Rae), who later becomes mayor of the town.
"An eye for an eye, sheriff," Burt declares, "you can't get around the good book." And in biblical fashion the vigilantes raze the home to the ground, stealing a baby from its dying mother's burnt and blistered arms. "Lookie here!," spouts one inbred on finding a blackened chainsaw in the ruins, "I'm hangin' this bad boy over the bar!"
Flash forward until the baby is old enough to have morphed into a foxy Oklahoma babe named Heather (Alexandra Daddario), who gets a letter saying that her grandma has died and left her real estate in Texas. She and her bare midriff are soon headed down there in a van with some other meat-on-the-hoof, including playa Ryan (rapper Trey Songz) and skank Nikki (Tania Raymonde). "Okay, rack 'em up!" spouts Ryan on discovering a fancy pool-table in Heather's newly acquired mansion. "What'd you say about my rack?" replies Nikki on discovering just how much effort co-screenwriters Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, and Kirsten Elms put into the project.
The 3D effects in TC3D aren't a lot more memorable than the dialogue, although the ones showcasing Nikki's butt in tight orange shorts are fairly impressive. Gorehounds eventually get their money's worth via meathooks and an industrial meatgrinder, even though it takes a while for Leatherface to rev up the 'saw. The first killing actually involves a plain old hammer to the head. I call rip-off!