Let’s Visit Texas Part 4 (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Next Generation, 1994/1997)
Written and Directed by original Chainsaw co-writer Kim Henkel, this was meant to be the “real” sequel to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (it references the two previous sequels in it’s opened scrawl as “minor incidents”). And it was so good that it was shelved for a few years, like you do with wine. It went the festival circuit briefly a Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre briefly before being shelved. It reached readiness in 1997. What magical thing happened? Well, in 1996 Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger hit it big with a Time to Kill and Jerry Maguire. Oh, did I forget to mention that they were in this? Their talent agency tried to block the release. And I will say, it is pretty understandable why they would try and keep this one under wraps.
Set on prom night in Texas, Renee and her friends get in a car accident…they run into the Slaughter clan. Terrible things happen. Leatherface is now a sort of transvestite. The reason they are the Slaughter family instead of the Sawyers is unclear.
This film has the worst Leatherface mask…it looks like it was made by a junior high student. Leatherface seems to pointlessly chase Renee for like…fifteen minutes. This is what the They Live fight would have been like if it was terrible.
Some have tried to claim the film is a horror comedy. But it is pretty terrible at that…since it is not actually funny. One of the jokes is one of the evil clan ordering vegetarian. HI-larious. Admittedly, McConaughey does turn in a decent performance and seems to be having fun in his own little movie. Zellweger is okay, but she is playing a stock character with little room beyond running and screaming.
I will give them credit for one thing. The film puts the “camera screech” to an original use as it plays while prom photos are being shot.
Anyways…even the trailer is terrible.