No, it never happened!

Leatherface returns in this unsuccessful remake of the 1974 horror classic. The dirty look of the original is replaced with a pretty, polished sheen by director Marcus Nispel, who lacks the feel for scares that the original’s Tobe Hooper possessed. Jessica Biel is a decent scream queen, and R. Lee Ermey is alright as a crazed sheriff, but the cannibalistic creepos from the original are sorely missed (No grandpa sucking on fingers!). I teach a film class, and I spend a decent part of each semester explaining to some students that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre never happened. That movie opening voiceover in the original by John Larroquette (who makes a vocal return for the remake), claiming that the events in the story really happened, managed to trick quite a few people.

Special Features: The two-disc set is pretty packed, featuring documentaries that range from relatively poor to pretty interesting. Ed Gein: The Ghoul of Plainfield is an uninteresting look at the true-life psycho who inspired Tobe Hooper’s original, a man who made lampshades out of dead bodies. While this feature feels a bit rushed, others are more successful, including Chainsaw Redux, a decent making-of documentary that takes time to examine the entire Texas Chainsaw phenomena. Screen tests, deleted scenes and three feature-length commentaries make this a must for fans of the film. It’s revealed that the film’s original opening and ending were completely different, and Nispel’s first cut contained gore that the MPAA nixed.

Movie: C+

Special Features: B

DVD Geek Factor: 3