Tuesday, October 10, 2017

chicken run.

31 days of horror day 10 and between that and busily reviewing a slew of halfway decent 'Zom-Coms' for an upcoming book on the genre (alongside some 'proper job' drawing....wonders never cease) so had precious little time for anything.

Including washing which is a wee bit embarrassing if I'm honest.

Available to buy soon....please do cos I need new shoes!

But occasionally a film comes along which is so mind-numbingly arse that you just can't ignore it.

But enough about The Last Jedi.

Instead ladies and gentlemen I give you (no really take it)....

Leatherface (2017).
Dir: Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo.
Cast:  Stephen Dorff, Vanessa Grasse, Sam Strike, Lili Taylor, Finn Jones, James Bloor, Jessica Madsen, Sam Coleman and Julian Kosto.

Surely it should say the origin of Leatherface seeing as the origin of TCM is actually the film? Just saying.

Deep in the heart of Texas (played quite convincingly - surprisingly enough - by a small Bulgarian town) on the Sawyer homestead, mucky-faced mentalist matriarch Verna Sawyer (Lili - "The school fees are how much?" - Taylor) is busy organizing a birthday party for her youngest son/nephew/brother Jedidiah.

And what is the little tyke getting for his birthday?

Well the chance to slaughter a local hick they found wandering around the farm who it seems was attempting to steal a pig.

Presenting Jedidiah with a chainsaw the family cheer on the boy as he slowly (well he only has tiny legs) approaches the prone pig puller.

Being a sweet caring child tho' Jedidiah refuses, preferring to finish his cake leaving grandpa to finish the job with his trusty hammer.


Jump forward to 1955 where sweet young things Betty Hartman (the Converse-clad, button nosed pixie dream girl Grasse) and Ted - hey fanboys here's a reference for you - Hardesty (Kosto) are happily driving down a country road when they come across (not in that way even tho' he's on all fours with his peachy arse sticking in the air) little Jedidiah clad only in a pair of soiled undies and a cow head.

No really.

Betty, being a nice girl (and obvious victim fodder, no one that cute could possibly survive that long in a horror movie) follows the wee fella to a dilapidated old barn where the rest of the Sawyer family are in hiding ready to drop a tractor engine on her head.

Unfortunately for them her father is not only the mad as a bag of spanners local Sheriff but also played by the frankly marvelous Stephen ("She's bleeding me dry with this divorce settlement!" Dorff who reacts by angrily shouting at everyone before taking little Jedidiah into custody and carting him off to the Gorman House Youth Reform School for 'his own safety'.

It's like a slightly more violent episode of The Archers really.

"Milk it."

With the backstory out of the way it's time to start the movie good and proper as we (quantum) leap ten years into the future where the recently-hired nurse Elizabeth White (It Came From The Desert star Grasse) is spending her first day at work bonding with the patients.

As opposed to abusing them ala One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest because no cliché works quite like an old cliché.

And just to show how nice she really is she stands up for the misunderstood and incredibly broody Jackson (Strike) when he steps in to stop the hulking monosyllabic Bud (ex Doctor Who companion Coleman) getting into trouble for fighting with the buck-toothed badboy Ike (Bloor who scarily looks like a living breathing human/Daffy Duck hybrid and so by default is the scariest thing in the film).

Grasse modeling the incredibly authentic 1960s nurses uniform she wears in the film...or is it in your dads bed?

Things are about to take a turn for the worse tho' as no sooner has our heroine calmed everyone down when Verna turns up with an injunction to allow her to see her son.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on if you want to watch a horror movie or a courtroom drama) the creepy head of the hospital Doctor Shanga Lang (Adamson who's been in loads of stuff including your auntie and your younger sister. Twice) tells her to fuck off adding that she couldn't see him even if they wanted her to seeing as they've changed Jedidiah's name to something else because it wouldn't fit on the name labels in his vest and what do you know the file with his new name has fallen down the back of the sofa.

Taking matters into her own (very delicate) hands the mentalist mum inadvertently causes a riot whilst searching for her boy allowing Ike and his burned boobed girlfriend Clarice (mother of Reservoir Dogs star Micheal, Jessica Madsen) to kidnap Elizabeth - along with Bud and Jackson - and steal a car in an attempt to flee to Mexico.


As the group travel between rest stop diners and deserted caravans via various murder sprees, country roads and bloodbaths, Sheriff Hartman discovers that one of the group is actually Jedidiah so alongside his Deputy Nancy Sorells (Former Game of Thrones homosexualist, nephew of Doctor Who companion Jo Grant and Iron Fist himself Jones) heads off in hot pursuit.

Realizing that they've hit the halfway point with nary a hint of sleazy sex-based shenanigans our merry band of bonkers buddies take refuge in a rundown mobile home, abandoned save for the hanging putrefying corpse of its former owner, which not only supplies us with a cheap jump scare but gives Ike an excuse to whoop and giggles a lot whilst Clarice strips naked to reveal what a good job the make up department have done on her burn scars (and also show off the frankly magnificent fake nipples shes sporting) before the pair - unsurprisingly - engage in a necrophiliac threeway in an attempt to remind us just how down right bad they really are but only manages to make the viewer pine for the wonderful Beatrice Manowski in Nekromantik.

Tho' to be honest I never really need an excuse to do that.

Beatrice Manowski: Don't try this at home, again.

As the gruesome twosome sleep off their sexy hi-jinks Elizabeth makes a break for the woods only to be very quickly grabbed by a by now awake Ike who, after making some lewd suggestions decides to pick on Bud instead.

This not only saves Elizabeth from a brutal bumming but riles Bud up enough to stomp on Ike's head before falling asleep on his corpse.

Which is nice.

The next morning, Clarice notices that Ike is missing (she's observant like that) and heads off to find him leaving Jackson and Elizabeth to find Bud and wake him up before quickly running away.

Which is what I would love to do at this point if I'm honest, I mean I'm only sticking around to see if Lili Taylor turns up again - I've not been the same since I saw her in I Shot Andy Warhol well I'm only flesh and blood plus 'tween her and Dorff it's like a veritable reunion.

Taylor: Swift kick to the head.

It's not long tho' before crusty Clarice is apprehended by an ever more angry Hartman who in a fit of pique shoots her in the head as Bud, Jackson and Elizabeth watch from their hiding place inside a dead cow.



Crawling out of the poor beasts arse our plucky trio make their way toward the highway where Elizabeth attempts to get the attention of a passing policeman who - as they are known to do in The States - responds by shooting Bud in the head.

This sends an understandably jittery Jackson into a violent rage culminating in him shutting the poor policeman's head in the car door whilst pinching his nipples before stealing the by now very messy motor and flooring it.

But Hartman is in hot pursuit.


In a chase scene the like of which hasn't been seen since the episode of Father Ted with the milk float, Hartman soon catches up with the daring duo, opening fire on the car and shooting Jackson in the mouth (which lets be honest is better than him shite-ing in it) causing a rather nasty crash.

And a wee bit of chafing.

As time passes and the screen fades thru black Elizabeth suddenly wakes to find herself handcuffed to the backdoor of Hartman's car.

We've all been there.

The silence is broken by Sorells on the radio (as in the police radio - he's not crooning a song on pick of the pops or anything) and Elizabeth manages to grab the mic with her feet and call for help but unbeknown to our heroine Sorells is in the pay of Verna, heading out to her homestead to  reveal her - and Hartman's - whereabouts.

It appears that Jackson is, in fact, Jedidiah and the crazy copper has him trussed up in the same barn his daughter was killed in.

Pausing only to feed Sorells to some pigs she gathers her family and heads over to the barn for a final confrontation with Hartman.

FOLD ME? - must not be just the plot that's paper thin then.

With Elizabeth trussed up like a Christmas turkey (albeit a turkey with wonderfully milky white thighs you could ski down) and an injured Jackson lying in a pool of his own piss moaning like your mum at the works end of year do Hartman stands legs akimbo with a shotgun in his hand goading the family to attack.

Which they do and with there being five of them they soon overpower the Sheriff and take him back to their gouse for tea, crumpets and a wee bit of chainsaw chopping courtesy of the by now shot to fuck - and flappy faced - Jackson/ Jedidiah.

In the confusion Elizabeth breaks free of her bonds and legs it into the woods, Jedidiah and co. in hot pursuit.

You can see where this is going can't you?

"Put it in me!"

Tripping over a discarded bear-trap Elizabeth is soon at the mercy of the by now deranged Jedidiah, his face held together with a makeshift muzzle constructed from an old thong and an eggcup as he slowly approaches his prone pal his chainsaw wobbling in the air menacingly.

OK I'll be honest he looks a wee bit of a cock but at least he's trying.

"Hello...are yu the blind man?"

Will Elizabeth be able to appeal to her one-time friends softer side or will she inadvertently insult his mum causing him to behead her in a fit of pique?

And if this does happen will he fashion Elizabeth's face into a leathery mask and take to wearing it (and shitly applied lipstick) around the house?

Go on, guess.

The prequel to the Tremaine 'Trey Songz' Neverson starring sequel cum reboot that no-one ever asked for (Ok maybe one person did and yes I'm looking at you nan) Leatherface is a futile attempt to breathe new life into a horror franchise that's last halfway decent entry was released way back in 1986.

Ignoring the brilliant Part 2 (probably) as well as Parts 3 and 4 - and the various reboots and rejigs since - Leatherface takes us back to the birth of a horror icon (again) in the vain hope that someone (anyone?) is interested, ticking all the deep south clichés along the way before exploding into an ill-advised mess of wobbly mantits, bad teeth, cheap gore and a twist so obvious you'll be surprised that they didn't just add another twist on the end to make up for it.

Or at least an apology.

Directors Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (who obviously shot their horror wad when writing and directing the frankly marvelous Livide and the not too shady Inside) do their best with the limited budget available and whilst Bugaria does a passable impression of Texas and the cast try to add some sparkle to the hackneyed dialogue it's an uphill struggle that's neither shlocky enough or gruesome enough to be truly memorable.

Or even remotely enjoyable for any reason other than to marvel at the depths Lili Taylor and Stephen Dorff's careers have sunk to.

A friend of mine in it's defense said that "It's the best TCM movie not directed by Tobe Hooper."

Which sums it up perfectly.


Unless you get turned on by fake rubbery nipples and bad teeth.

No comments: