Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 (1990)
The new Leatherface does a stop-littering commercial: "Don't Mess With Texas"
"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 1/26/90
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas
I've got to calm down here. I don't know if I'll be able to do this review or not. I'm trying to get ahold of myself.
Maybe I can go on now.
"Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" has a few . . . how should I put this? . . . a few problems:
1) The movie doesn't make a lick of sense.
2) A guy gets chainsawed through the skull and then comes back at the end of the movie, with only slight injuries. They don't even do this in Friday the 13th movies. (Normally I wouldn't mention "Friday the 13th" and "Saw" in the same breath, but I'm afraid they've brought it down to that level.)
3) The movie's over so fast that everbody that was watching it started honking their horns when the credits rolled. None of us could believe it. "That's it?" I've had X-rays that used more film than this movie.
4) THEY MADE IT IN CALIFORNIA!
5) It LOOKS like they made it in California. They've got HILLS in the background.
6) Leatherface's new cannibal family includes his Mama and a little girl cannibal with a fetus doll--promising developments--but they don't ever DO anything.
7) You never see Leatherface actually doing any carving.
8) They make a big deal about how this whiny yuppie guy is gonna be trussed up and carved alive by the little girl, but instead they just go on to the next scene, as though the cannibal family FORGOT to have dinner that day.
9) Kate Hodge, the new actress trying to replace the greatest screamer in film history, Marilyn Burns, runs over an armadillo in the road and STOPS TO SEE IF IT'S OKAY. Obviously, these people have NEVER been to Texas.
Now. I know what the producer and the director and everybody is gonna say. They're gonna say that it USED to be a good movie, but then the Motion Picture Censor Board got on their case and gave it an X rating, and they had to take a chainsaw to the movie, and what came out was different. And it's true, the Jack Valenti Boys hammered away at this baby, evidently demanding stuff be taken out that they ALLOWED in the first movie in 1974.
I don't exactly understand what's happening here, but I know that, during the past two years, these bozos in El Lay have decided to crack down on horror movies. They want movies about NICE cannibals. Cannibals that carve up tourists in LOVING ways. This is the same kinky group that decided "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" should get an X rating for "disturbing moral tone."
But what I'm getting at is that the owners of this movie had a choice. They could say "We don't give a flying frijole what the MPAA Censor Board says, and so we're putting out the movie without any rating on it." Or they could weenie out, cut it into a million pieces, and release it with an R.
They weenied out on us.
They suckered us for five bucks.
They profaned the name of the most revered horror movie in film history.
And what makes it worse is that the director, Jeff Burr, evidently knew what he was doing. There are a few scenes in this flick that are as goldang scary as anything I've ever seen.
The Communists just got him.
They might have to put me in intensive care for awhile. I don't know if I can bear to think of this thing floating around out there, turning the chainsaw we all know and love into a steak knife.
Nine dead bodies.
One motor vehicle chase.
Putrefied human heads.
Bone-drill to the leg.
One human fireball.
Dead-lizard window decorations.
Giant filigreed chainsaw.
Gratuitous Playboy mutilation.
Double-blooded ax Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Viggo Mortensen, as Tex the handsome, well-mannered cannibal, for saying "There's roadkill all over Texas--natural order of things";
Tom Everett, as the weirdo sex-fiend cannibal, for throwing body parts into a swamp and saying "Is it soup yet?";
Ken Foree, as Benny the war-games survivalist, for saying "Yeah, militant lumberjacks--I see em all the time";
Kate Hodge, for getting her hands nailed to a chair and summoning up the screams to prove it;
Joe Unger, as Tinker the modern cannibal, for saying "Technology is our friend" and "I'll be in hell for breakfast";
R.A. Mihailoff, as Leatherface, for sharing his Sony Walkman with his victims;
and David J. Schow, for a script so great Jack Valenti couldn't stand it, featuring exchanges like this one:
"Why don't you leave us alone!"
"We were hungry."
"Ever heard of pizza?"
Two and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.
JOE BOB'S ADVICE TO THE HOPELESS
Communist Alert! The Champaign Auto Theatre in Urbana, O., has a giant hole in the screen, the concession stand is rotting, and Chakeres Theaters has finally put it up for sale. Tom Rogers fought a losing battle to save it, and reminds us that, without eternal vigilance, it can happen here. To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get his world famous newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221. Joe Bob's Fax line is always open: 214-368-2310.
Dear Joe Bob,
I work with this guy, I'll call him Ben (because that's his name).
He's single, 30 years old and totally preoccupied with sex. Sex he's had, going to have, never had, animal sex, homosexual sex, etc. He can bring any conversation around to this one topic.
I'm sick of hearing about it and I'm finding it very difficult to graciously get out of these conversations.
Please help me. He reads your column every week and I know he would recognize himself if you printed my letter.
Had it in Dallas
You know what they say about the guys that TALK about sex all the time?
It makes sex better.
Dear Joe Bob,
Brad Thomas, Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Parole Commission, is a radical left-wing liberal trying to transform himself into a philosophical conservative. I am a right-wing fascist hoping to find liberal enlightenment. We both think your movie reviews are funny.
Kurt E. Ahrendt
Assistant General Counsel
Florida Parole Commission
That's funny, I pattern all my movie reviews after the Christian Democratic Party of northern Italy.
Dear Mr. Briggs:
Please send a copy of
Johnston, F.A., & Johnston, S.A. (1986). Differences between human figure drawings of child molesters and control groups. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 42, 638-647.
Somebody in the Carbondale Post Office is very very sick. Please admit him or her for therapy immediately.
Dear Joe Bob,
Being a devout fan of yours, it is my sad duty to report that the communists have a new approach. No longer content to close the drive-ins, they are now closing the walk-in theaters as well, which makes it impossible to even hope to see a decent drive-in flick. The former cinemas in Grove and Vinita, Oklahoma, are mute testimony to this fact. Local video stores won't carry drive-in movies unless they star someone who can't speak English properly like Sly Rocky Rambo Stallone! To make matters even worse, the town I live in does not have cable TV so I can't even watch the bare-breast channels late at night! What is a God-fearing drive-in fan supposed to do? Seeing how you are the true demigod of drive-ins, I was wondering if you had ever considered starting a "drive-in video tape club". It would work just like regular video clubs only it would offer the finest in drive-in entertainment as well as your books and other priceless treasures. Unless you or someone else starts such a club, I will never be able to see such classics as Basket Case and Mutants on the Bounty. Please help us underprivileged perverts!
They closed the movies in WELCH, too? I guess all that leaves is the musical live-sex-act concert hall, huh?
Dear Joe Bob:
I live in Norwalk, the county seat for Huron County, which is smack dab in between Cleveland and Toledo. It's a rural area, but there is one thing that is very popular here that I have grown to love. We have Saturday night pig tosses (the human type, not the porcine type). What happens is you select the pig of your choice, pick 'em up and toss 'em as far as you can into a mud pit close by. Sometimes it takes two to three people for one pig, but it does make you feel good just to see it (even if you don't do it). The pigs are not always as cooperative as they could be, and they will kick, bite and cuss at you. I tried to get my current fiance's ex-wife to come up as a guest pig, but she wasn't havin' any of it. Too bad, too, 'cause she's the biggest pig that I know of.
The Drive In Will Never Die,
Brenda K. Bisutti
You two lovepi . . . er, lovebirds are obviously destined for a long life together, since you share such a nurturing hobby.
© 1990 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved
For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at www.Joe Bob Briggs.com
"Texas Chainsaw Massacre" availability on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him.