Taking place in an alternate universe where the events of 1986’s
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”(Which is the only Chainsaw film from
the original franchise to include a continuation on the story from
the original film including characters other than Leatherface)
never took place. That means that those characters(Just one really)
from the original will never go on to win extravagant Chili Cook Offs
and find their dwelling in an underground hell cavern. They instead
find themselves dead as dillinger in a solid(ironically “The Devil’s rejects” inspired) opening sequence featuring an angry mob of town’s folk generously offering their
services in the form of a hail of bullets. So basically, everybody dies including the famous aforementioned “Cook” character played this time by Bill Moseley! Wow. Not only is this an alternate universe version of “Texas Chainsaw 2” but it even has one of it’s stars. Bill Moseley played one of the greatest most eccentrically diabolical, deliciously insane supporting slashers in horror movie history. His name was “Chop Top” and he was an unstable Vietnam Vet with an intense love of music, family, and of scraping a red hot wire hanger against his gruesomely exposed head plate. When it wasn’t cleverly concealed by a suave, too cool for school “Sonny Bono” wig that is. So ‘what a clever twist on casting’ I thought as I continued on to witness the likes of “Gunnar Hansen” and the original “Grandpa” character and “Marilyn Burns”(featured a bit later in the film). They even recreated all of the original character make-up jobs from the first film, and brilliantly at that!
So the movie goes on and introduces a lost “Sawyer”(The Chainsaw family name) baby. Then flashing forward a number years,(Lets just say the film just barely escapes the grasp of major time logic problems) we find the baby, now a grown woman, discovering she is adopted and that she has inherited a spooky old Texas mansion from a grandmother(the Marilyn Burns role) she never new existed. So she drives down to her home town in a van(a staple in some of the best classic slashers)with a group of her friends(now we’re really
starting to worry) to claim the new property. I did hear before watching this film
that there would be a bit of a character twist towards the middle. It actually wound up showing it’s face closer to the last act of the film but show it’s guilty face it did. And I loved it! These movies have always been about family vs. the fickleness of strangers. The Sawyers slogan “The Saw is Family” is engraved into Leather’s chainsaw in part 3 and is a symbol of their unity. It is also used as a tool for warding off unwanted strangers. “Outsiders” who, given the chance, would take down the sawyers with their selfish and wicked worldly ways.
This theme has always been in place, but usually these films are played out from the perspective of the victims. They would clearly show the family members as insane killers who need to be put out of their misery. But not THIS film. In this movie, the victims are shown as insensitive a-holes out for one thing and one thing only. Themselves. This being closer to the portrayal of victims in the “Friday the 13th” series. Even the friends of the adopted sawyer baby
are portrayed as two faced back stabbers. And to make it all worse, their crimes are never even exposed! I found it amusing that the classic hitchhiker character in this film is not a member of the crazy family but just another greedy stranger looking to rip and run but instead meets a ripper who keeps him from running. So, Leatherface and his newly discovered cousin wind up reuniting, saving the day from pesky outsider scum and walking off bruised and battered to their mansion of
family bliss. She will be his new caretaker and he will be hers. A strong family bond just waiting to be f'ed with. Wow. What a clever, gutsy twist on the old. At the very least you can’t claim this film isn’t trying. In my opinion it tries and it wins. And this is coming from a loyal fan of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”(which is still my favorite chainsaw film by the way). The truth is, my heart is big enough to fit the both of them. But please, I only ask that we keep it to a two alternate universe maximum. Three might get a little too confusing.