Friday, November 7, 2014


Only now does it occur to me... that the "McConaugh-aissance" which we are currently enjoying might have begun a little sooner had more moviegoers seen TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION back in 1994.  
While recent projects like KILLER JOE, BERNIE, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, and TRUE DETECTIVE have revealed him to be in possession of Gary Busey-esque acting chops and boundless eccentricities, an early project like TCM: THE NEXT GENERATION really lays out how freakily committed he can be to a role, even (especially?) a terrible one.  
Essentially, he plays a member of Leatherface's twisted family who wears a bizarre, pneumatic leg made from vacuum tubing over a mechanic's coveralls (which sort of makes him look like a Ghostbuster).
The rest of the movie is dreadful– there's kind of a misguided transgender Leatherface thing happening that feels like a "Buffalo Bill" SILENCE OF THE LAMBS rip-off,
and when in doubt the film always goes to a single, predictable place, and that single, predictable place is "shouting crazy people."  McConaughey realizes this, and tackles it with a level of commitment that is astonishing.
Oh yeah, did I mention that half of the movie is Oscar-winner McConaughey tormenting Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger?
Just walk away, Renée

McConaughey proceeds to swill beer like a madman,
tell us that this "this ain't Saturday morning cartoons!" and instruct his victims that killing them "ain't no fuckin' biggie" in lines that my gut tells me are improvised, Busey-style, 

thwack himself in the face while screaming like a mental patient,
and howl "GET THAT BITCH" to the night sky like it's his job, which, I suppose, it is.
"WOOOOOOOOOO!"  –Matthew McConaughey

Finally, the film ends with a spooky hospital cameo by original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE star Marilyn Burns, who is credited as "Anonymous."

If you had any involvement with this, you'd probably spring for anonymity, too, though Marilyn acquits herself admirably.

In basic conclusion, this is a terrible movie, unworthy of the glorious first two installments of the series, and somehow it manages to be even worse than LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III.  But there's some magnificently devoted McConaughey madness in here, too, which is maybe worth checking out... for the morbidly curious.

–Sean Gill



Unknown said...

Yeah, I suppose it goes without saying that this movie only gets remotely interesting whenever McConnaughy is on-screen, but, as you point out, you have to admire his full-blooded commitment to the role where others would've phoned it in. Not McConnaughy!

Wow, this is a bad movie, though.

Sean Gill said...


Yeah, definitely. It's like seeing the prehistoric version of KILLER JOE. Except also, as you say, this is a baddddd movie.