Die-hard HMAD fans (let's pretend they exist) will recall that there have been TWO HMAD screenings of Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 at the New Beverly, which is fine because it's awesome. However, for as far back as we did it the first time, I've been wanting to do the 3rd film, which I actually prefer. However, a previous inquiry turned up nothing - it seemed New Line didn't have any prints (understandable as it was not a very big, and certainly not a very popular, theatrical release), and I'd be denied yet another of my dream screenings. It's actually the only one I haven't gotten to see theatrically; I saw the two Dunes and the 3D movie during their initial runs, and I saw TCM1 via a couple of repertory screenings (and, obviously, I hosted TCM2).
Well score one for persistence! We tried again, and unless they're just being dicks, a print of Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III has been found and will be shown in glorious 35mm this Saturday, April 5th at 11:59 pm! And, I'm guessing for many in the crowd, it'll be the first time they saw it on film, as the release was even smaller than (the unrated!) Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and was pretty much gone from theaters after two weeks, ranking as the lowest grossing of the six Chainsaw films. The advertising budget was also seemingly atrocious; I was only 10 at the time, but I remember being confused that on the day it opened it was given the "also playing" type listing in my newspaper's movie showtimes section, usually reserved for movies that had been playing for weeks or even months to make room for big ads for the films that were just opening.
Then again, maybe they just spent all of the dough on this incredible teaser, which I remember scared me the first time around:
Whatever the reason, the movie found most of its audience on video, and clearly didn't kill the series: three films have been made since. Yes, the MPAA did quite a number on the movie, rendering at least one kill scene incoherent, but the movie still works despite that, unlike some other late 80s franchise entries (cough, New Blood, cough). The cast is terrific: Joe Unger, Tom Everett, and a fresh faced Viggo Mortensen are entertaining enough to (almost) not miss Bill Moseley or Jim Siedow, and RA Mihailoff made for an imposing Leatherface. As for the heroes, you got the lovely Kate Hodge and the immortal Ken Foree (this was actually the first of his films I had ever seen and I was impressed at what a badass he was; it's like thinking Bill Murray is funny based on his cameo in Little Shop of Horrors and THEN discovering Ghostbusters or Stripes). And TCM2's Caroline Williams pops up somewhere in there for good measure. The family unit is solid and the black humor ("F-O-O-D") is spot on, and at a scant 81 minutes, the fast pace keeps things exciting throughout, unlike the occasionally laggy part 2.
All of which should make for a kickass screening. I'm doing my best to get a few of the above out for Q&A; director Jeff Burr (who was the first "horror" celeb I met when I moved to LA!) has relocated to Georgia and thus won't be around, but I've been in touch with him and he is stoked about the screening and might be sending some goodies for the pre-movie trivia! Keep your fingers crossed! As always, the screening is at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, located at 7165 Beverly Blvd, two blocks west of La Brea. Street parking is plentiful, and tickets are a mere 8 bucks cash or card at the door, or online via Brownpapertickets. We kick off at 11:59 on Saturday the 5th - be on time so you don't miss a second of Leatherface goodness!
And give props once again to Jacopo Tenani, who designed the sweet poster below! If you'd like to post about the screening on your own site/Tumblr/Facebook, feel free to use the image - just be sure to give him credit and maybe include the link to his site to see all of the other great art he's done for us over the past couple years!
See you there!
P.S. Yes, I know you think I'm "wrong" about there only being six movies. The one with McConaughey does not exist as far as I'm concerned.Tweet