Monday, May 20, 2019

LEATHERFACE (2017)

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

I was (and still am) a huge fan of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's 2007 horror masterpiece INSIDE.  That movie is completely bad ass.  Vicious, unrelentingly brutal, mean, violent as fook, expertly paced, beautifully lit and photographed.  There's really nothing that I don't love about that movie.  It's fucking awesome!  So...when I heard that the duo behind INSIDE were put in charge of the newest TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE flick, I was over the moon.  All I could think about was the carnage and brutality of INSIDE moved over to the TCM universe.  Unfortunately, all of my best wishes were for nothing.  Lost in time, like tears in rain.

Right from the very beginning, I could feel my excitement fading and within 10 minutes I was totally bummed out.  Obviously not filmed in Texas (I later found out it was filmed in Bulgaria), LEATHERFACE tells the low budget and slow-moving BADLANDS influenced story of how Lil' Leatherface is placed in a mental institution at a young age (for an unproven murder).  Ten years later, Lil' Leatherface breaks out during a riot and goes on the lam with four other people.  By this point in the film I was starting to get irritated because there's three males in this group of delinquents and the audience has still yet to be told which one is the future Mr. Leatherface!  It's a needless gimmick that the filmmakers obviously found clever, but I thought it helped prove the weakness of the script.

Anyway, this group of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate clones wander all over Bulgaria, I mean Texas, arguing and yelling at each other almost non-stop.  Occasionally, they find time to kill a few people (and even have sex with a random corpse they found), but for the most part LEATHERFACE feels like a rambling, unfocused mess.  Naturally, during the last act, they somehow find their way to the Sawyer farm and that's when we see the real birth of the "Leatherface" character.  Hint: it's lame and dumb as fuck.

Slow pace, moderate violence, one horrid topless scene, disappointing ending, good acting, meh special effects, flashing lights, at least two actors from "Game of Thrones", dude getting launched out of an upstairs window in a wheelchair, multiple distracting references to the older TCM movies.

LEATHERFACE is in no means a bad film.  It's just not a good film either.  It's kind of nothing.  I would have liked it better if it had just been it's own story and not part of the TCM series.  That said, it's definitely a step up from TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.  Ladies and the drinks, ladies and the drinks!!!

Part 1 - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Part 2 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Part 3 - Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
Remake/sequel - Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
Reboot 1 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Reboot prequel - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
Reboot sequel to original - Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

ACROCATS! (2017)

"As I get older, time just slips by."

This was a mildly interesting little documentary.  When I rented this DVD (yes, I still go to a video store in 2019), I was hoping for an light-hearted and delightful film about cats jumping all over the place and doing wacky tricks.  Instead, the majority of ACROCATS! 57-minute runtime is about Samantha Martin, the person behind the show.  That's all well and good and it was definitely interesting (as well as depressing), but I would have been happier had there been more actual cat action.  The name of the movie is ACROCATS!, after all, with an exclamation point...not ON THE ROAD WITH THE CAT SHOW.

Lack of cat action aside, ACROCATS! is still worth watching.  Samantha seems like a genuinely nice person who really loves her cats.  Ummm...I can't really think of much more to say.  Quick runtime, good pace, way more serious than I was expecting, very little actual cat tricks, unexpected appearance by Pauly Shore (via old MTV footage), multiple conversations about lack of money that stressed me out, good camera work.

I am curious if the cats get any enjoyment out of doing the tricks or if they'd rather just be at home chillin'?