Those familiar with the Malevolent Dark’s work fully understand that the original Tobe Hooper classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, occupies a very special place on-top of a very high pedestal. To this day, many films still imitate aspects of that film. Yet, no film has come close to replicating the raw insanity and stark realism of the original. Once again, a brave troop of producers prepare to unleash a sequel upon the world. All we know at this point is that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 will be a direct sequel of the 1974 original.
What the World Needs Now is Another Retcon, Like I Need a Hole in the Head
For the most part, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise fumbles through endless continuities, reboots and retcons. Much like the Halloween 2018 bid to cast all of its ugly history aside, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 will ignore its legacy, both the good and the bad, to establish a new continuity. Let’s be honest, the series carries a ton of dead-weight, so the idea of shedding some dead-weight holds bit of wisdom.
Having said that, some things are sacred. Disregarding good sequels birthed by the original visionaries feels a bit disrespectful disrespectful. Tobe Hooper created a sequel in 1986. It’s a great movie. The director shoved a running chainsaw through Leatherface’s gut and blew him up with a grenade. Sorry for inconveniencing you. Quite frankly, it’s sacrilege.
The disingenuous part comes in with stated motivations. Danny McBride said that we wanted to bring the Halloween franchise back to its roots. He wanted to take us all back to why it was scary. I have news for McBride, the 1981 Halloween II is a better movie than anything that had been created since. At least Rob Zombie was straight up and rebooted the whole thing with a fresh coat of paint. He stood on the shoulders of John Carpenter to re-imagine the series rather than fix the past by ignoring canon.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 faces the exact same problem that that McBride faced. In previous sequels, the visionaries that created the monster had decided that it was time to destroy what they had created. In John Carpenter’s case, he delivered two gun shots to the eyeballs and flaming explosion to kill Michael Myers. Again, this ending for Michael Myers is certainly inconvenient for people wanting to capitalize on others work. Maybe it should serve as a signal. What’s done is done.
The goal of this rant, and it certainly is a rant, is not to cast aspersions on the producers of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021. In fact, Malevolent Dark’s hope is that Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 provides a long needed kick on the pants for the franchise. However, the situation warrants serious skepticism. The last time the series tried a retcon, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, the fiasco turned out to be utterly ridiculous in the worst ways.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 – The Upside
Fede Álvarez produces Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021. Most recognize Fede Álvarez as the director of Evil Dead 2013. Malevolent Dark gave Evil Dead 2013 a middling review. The movie suffers from substantial flaws, but Álvarez does display a measure of flamboyance in his reboot. He ultimately falls victim to a lifeless cast and a subservience to the machine. To use a twisted quote from the movie, “I can smell your filthy [Hollywood] soul”.
Let’s just say that Fede Álvarez’s aptitude is apparent, and therein lies hope for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021. Kim Henkel, the original author of the screenplay, also assists with production. Could this be a bastion of light, or a harbinger of doom? Lest we forget Henkel’s unforgivable debacle, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.
Early trouble seems to have crept into the early production. Andy and Ryan Tohill began directing the film through the first weeks of shooting, but were promptly let go when their wares did not meet the expectations of Fede Álvarez. Possibly this ‘trouble’ is a positive sign because Fede Álvarez won’t accept sub-par work. Fede Álvarez replaced the pair with cinematographer David Blue Garcia in the directors chair. Hopefully David Blue Garcia meets the lofty expectations of the teeming Texas Chainsaw fans.
An Intriguing Premise?
The Legendary films makes the following claim:
“The new film, a continuation of Tobe Hooper’s shocking 1974 seminal horror classic, marks the return of Leatherface, re-introducing one of the most iconic villains of the horror genre to a whole new generation.”
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2021 website offers the foreboding statement:
In 1974, the world witnessed one of the most bizarre crime in the annals of American History. In 2021, the face of madness returns.
So far, what the world knows of the returning madness is that the film is a direct sequel to the 1974 original. It takes place in real time, 47 years later than the horror that befell Sally Hardesty and her companions. This time, a woman and her invalid sister take a business trip to Texas. For them, an idyllic business trip to Texas became a nightmare. The events of that day would lead to the craziest 60 year old chainsaw wielding maniac in the annals of American history.
That plotline can be read one of two ways. Malevolent Dark prefers the way that inspires hope for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.
A Fun Little Concept Trailer
The following concept trailer is a fan film. It in no way represents the work of Legendary pictures and has no affiliation to Texas chainsaw Massacre 2021. Still, it’s a pretty fun concept trailer considering it’s cobbled together with stuff we have already seen. Check it out! Here is a shout out to Rafael Araujo who made the video.