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It's the Booze Talkin: Is TV Texas Chainsaw Massacre's last chance?

The first time that my feeble young mind was allowed to watch THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, shockingly I wasn’t impressed. The Tobe Hooper classic didn’t affect me in the way that the other slasher flicks I had enjoyed did, and somehow the film felt a bit too odd and off-putting. Cut to several years later when I decided to revisit this tale of a twisted and f*cked up family, it suddenly connected. The entire experience was a visceral and frightening journey for this viewer. What changed? Perhaps it was a deeper understanding of the time in which it came out. Or maybe I was just more appreciative of the classics the older I got. I believe it is both of those things. And I also believe this horrifying and chaotic Texas nightmare remains one of the most important horror features ever made. But as is the case with most of the horror franchises that we love, warts and all, the quality of the sequels is a bit inconsistent to say the least.

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When it came to the THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, I was jolted by what ended up being a different type of movie. Thankfully, I was older when I finally caught this on video so my level of appreciating the genre was far more advanced. This whacked out sequel was something rare. It was a complete 180 degree shift from the brutal, almost documentary style filmmaking of the first. Leatherface and his deviant family nearly stole the show. However, it is impossible to fully take the spotlight off of the legendary Dennis Hopper and the wonderful Caroline Williams. Also directed by Tobe Hooper, this crazy flick is so good that is has become a classic all on its own. In fact, that opening kill of the morons in the car is maybe one of the greatest horror scenes of all time in my humble opinion.

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It wouldn’t take long for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE to continue offering numerous adventures for the Sawyer family. It’s not at all surprising that the following films didn’t always bring terror or scary thrills. To be fair, I’ve enjoyed most of the sequels on some level, including LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW III. I even had some fun with that ridiculous TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D flick starring Alexandria Daddario. Sure, it was kind of terrible, but it was entertainingly so. And even the Platinum Dunes remake had me by the balls in a big way. Out of all the horror remakes that Michael Bay churned out, this first flick with Jessica Biel kinda freaked me out and left a mark.

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When it comes to horror, moviemakers are very aware that fans love the heroes and villains they grew up on. That, and there is a bit of a safety net financially when it comes to cranking out sequels. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE is of course no exception. This past year producers even recruited the incredible Lili Taylor and Stephen Dorff for yet another TCM flick with LEATHERFACE. The latest didn’t quite excite fans nor critics, and it appeared that it may slow things down when it comes to continuing on with the iconic chainsaw wielding monster of a man and his bizarro family. So what would be the next step? Hey, if PSYCHO, WOLF CREEK and THE PURGE can do it, why not bring THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE to the small screen?

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Recently, my man Mike Sprague reported on what could be an interesting development. Word is, TCM is going to Legendary Pictures in hopes to continue with the franchise and create a television series for Leatherface and his cronies. My first reaction... I scoffed at the idea. How can you make this inconsistent franchise into a weekly series? Yet after thinking about this for a bit, it kind of makes sense. In general, this is the kind of tale that could be told from the prospective of the Sawyer family in an interesting way. I’m certainly not saying that I’ve completely changed my tune, but lately we have seen a few success stories when it comes to feature films brought to the small screen. For this franchise to retain a little praise, the idea of scaling down on this hometown horror, and keeping focus on a few key characters, may be exactly what this story needs.

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It’s very easy to dismiss a new idea. And frankly, even before I read the article, the headline “TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE TV SERIES COMING VIA LEGENDARY PICTURES?” brought an immediate red flag with a bit of a WTF. The problem with that is, first and foremost, that it hasn’t happened yet and it may never come to fruition. The second issue with an automatic dismissal is that we’ve seen too many interesting shows based on popular genre films. Bates Motel was an intriguing look inside the mind of Norman Bates and his mom. Hannibal whet a number of fans appetites with its take on the famed serial killer. And the small screen adventures of Mick Taylor have been just as compelling for this viewer as the the WOLF CREEK movies were from Greg McLean. So maybe a TCM series is the only way to truly revive the franchise in a unique and satisfying way.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but a series may be the last chance for the Texas Chainsaw franchise. Look, the many sequels have explored different elements, but for a family of cannibals, we may have finally lost our appetite. Most of us were hoping that last year's LEATHERFACE would get the buzz back, but it didn’t. And here we are at a time when many believe television is presenting better quality entertainment than the theatres, maybe it’s time to make a serious change. To be fair, I’m not saying that this would work, not by a long shot, but another movie focusing on this morbidly eccentric family doesn't seem all that enticing either. So if this is true, and we are going to be getting a small screen take on TCM, let’s just hope it’s not a massacre of the legend of Leatherface and his trusty chainsaw.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think TV is the right route for TEXAS CHAINSAW at this time?
Source: JoBlo.com

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