Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.


There’s darkwave synth music over the end credits. Keep that Carpenter shit in Haddonfield.

Mild spoilers follow for Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) and Halloween Kills.

Can you believe that America has finally gone all-in on the Godzilla model of continuity?

Every franchise you’ve ever loved will have multiple branching timelines for you to choose from, regardless of whether or not the original creators had something to do with their sequels.

You know where I’m going with this…

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022.)


There’s a godawful trend in the horror community to clap enthusiastically like drooling maniacs at the mere addition of another franchise entry. The “We should be glad they’re still making these” mentality. This type of thinking isn’t too far away from the “You can’t point out any logical problems with this movie, because it’s based on a fantastic premise” mentality that acts as plot armor for things like Halloween Kills, where (if you’re reading this and haven’t seen Halloween Kills, spoiler alert and I don’t know how you’re here) the citizens of Haddonfield get out of their perfectly good trucks and cars after surrounding Michael to try and beat him to death with broomsticks and irons despite the fact that they were already wielding several thousand pounds of rolling metal death when he was centered in their high beams.

“But, they have to do that, because otherwise there wouldn’t be a movie!!!”

My point exactly.

Don’t expect me to play ball just because a callback to Lonnie fucking Elam gave you a semi.

Nonsense. And, not the type of nonsense I like to overlook.

The kind of nonsense I like to overlook includes Jason Voorhees being brought back to life via lightning bolt, Michael Myers driving a car, Freddy Krueger being able to possess his own skeleton (despite the fact that the people who were with said skeleton are awake, meaning Freddy is straight-up affecting inanimate objects in the real world) and Leatherface having a daughter (why didn’t anybody ever follow up on THAT idea?)

I’ll be honest, I was having a pretty good time with TCM ’22. Some yuppie zoomers trifling with Alice Krige (a welcome addition to any genre film, be it Ghost Story, Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers, Star Trek: First Contact, or Gretel and Hansel) earning their way to the proverbial slaughterhouse. Sure, Leatherface was acting more like a Myers a la Zombie or 2018 than the nervous gibbering man-child of the original, but, what the hell, can’t be a total killjoy, can I?

We get our fake Shemp Sally. Seemingly for the express purpose of a “shocking/edgy” kill. Fuckers.

It’s bad enough that Marilyn Burns’ tour de force performance in the original never led to the career she deserved because of the mere association with the infamous 1974 classic, but now they gotta bring in a fake Shemp to kill off so they can ostensibly say how ‘uncompromising’ or ‘brutal’ this entry is.

The good?

We get the wholesale yuppie/zoomer slaughter that Hooper deleted from TCM2 by way of a ridiculous bus massacre. For those of you who like to touch themselves over ‘Easter Eggs,’ there’s a shot of Leatherface inspired by the original promo art for TCM2. There’s a sort of callback to the end of Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III by way of Freddy vs. Jason. Sally, herself, as a Texas Ranger, is a reference to TCM2. Right down to muttering to herself about having no fear.


But, Mr. Steve, didn’t you like Ghostbusters: Afterlife?

Yes. Yes, I did. Most of those callbacks are related to the manifestation of Gozer the Gozerian and the harbingers of their coming. I think I already said this, but, I’m not gonna be mad when kids start jumping rope and Charles Bernstein’s theme prefigure the arrival of Freddy Krueger. If you had a problem with the fact that Gozer was the main villain again, that’s fine. I didn’t. I’d been wanting more of the Goz since 1984. I had more of a problem that Ray stopped smoking in Ghostbusters II.

Leatherface is super overpowered here, firmly in Jason or Myers territory, which undercuts his essence entirely. It’s not the first time, the Nispel continuity leans the same way, but what differentiates the Sawyers from their slasher brethren is their humanity. The Sawyers are driven to poverty via the invasion of industrialization. The mechanization of the slaughterhouses. The world is effectively leaving them behind. The bosses who grew fat from the sweat of their brow have replaced them, so the Sawyers, in turn, will feed on their sons, daughters, or whatever blood relation should cross their paths because the saw is family.

Speaking of which, we only get one new “family” member in this one, and then Leatherface is an orphan. The family dynamic is another key to making TCM special, and the challenge of creating new members seems to be too tall of an order these days.

Easier to keep Bubba limping along solo, now reduced to knock-off southern Jason.

Well, the movie looks good. This is another slick-looking modern horror film, similar to Fear Street 1994. Why are these TCM movies so goddamn conventionally well shot? One thing the first film ain’t is conventional.

It’s also the quietest TCM movie. TCM should be a symphony of dissonance. A cacophony of unease. Here, most of the racket is saved for the final act.

I remember long ago, Joe Bob Briggs railing against Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III because not only was it shot in California but, “it even looks like they shot it in California! There are hills in the background!”

There’s darkwave synth music over the end credits. Keep that Carpenter shit in Haddonfield.

Leatherface gets one of the following:
A. Country
B. The entire breadth of the IRS Records back catalog.
C. Metal.

That’s it. Them’s your choices.

Zero cannibalism in this flick. Not even, as writer and serial horror-trivia-winner Brian Collins would make the case for in Fango’s Terror Teletype, the ‘subtle’ hints of cannibalism in the previous films. (Although, BC did leave out that Grandpa is stated in the original as living on an all-blood diet and indulges in Sally’s. In TCM2, Chop Top instructs Bubba in the dressing of L.G., shouting “Peel that pig and slice him thick.” Bubba obliges with an electric knife. The imagery is pretty clear.)

The worst of the series. Ninth out of nine.

Do your thing, cuz.

And, you’re not winning by that much, Collins.


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