Saturday, September 1, 2012

Evil Wears Many Faces

Coming of age during the glory days of horror franchises in the '80s made me soft-hearted towards shitty horror sequels so I'm already predisposed to giving the latest installment in the Chainsaw saga (due January '13) a fair shake but that said, the above poster piques my interest in the new Chainsaw an extra notch.

I don't know what kind of approach I expected the marketing for this movie to take but this is definitely grislier than I expected so thumbs-up for that. Back when the '03 remake was released, the poster was a real ho-hum affair. Remember?

I guess they were trying to stay classy, what with remaking a classic, but when you're working with one of the most brilliantly exploitative titles in the history of horror, why not incorporate that spirit of exploitation in your advertizing? After all, it worked for the original:

To be fair, we're talking entirely different times. And hey, the remake's poster was still arguably better than the poster for TCM 2, which - for reasons I don't think have ever been explained - spoofed The Breakfast Club.

But anyhow, back to this new poster...

It's ironic that the most graphically gruesome Chainsaw poster yet is for the first film in the franchise to have no Massacre in the title but dropping "Massacre" is no more offensive than squeezing another buck out of Hooper's masterpiece in the first place so I'll let it slide.

My reaction to this poster is pretty simple - I like how straight-up nasty it is. It reminds me of the kind of garish VHS box art that would've demanded that I take a movie home back in the day. It revels in surface level grossness rather than promising to explore true terror (we'll see how the film itself is) but my inner adolescent will always have room for crassly marketed horror.

As genre franchises go, Texas Chainsaw Massacre doesn't have the best track record but it's no Howling or Return of the Living Dead either. It's true that post-Hooper, there's never been a great TCM movie but when you're talking horror sequels, "great" seldom enters into the equation. Sometimes the closest you get to that is with the marketing material.

That's not ideal, but you've got to take great where you can get it.


Timmy Crabcakes said...

I wonder if they dropped the 'Massacre' because of fears it might resonate off of recent mass shootings... news folks I've seen using the 'Midnight Movie Massacre' line for the Aurora nastiness.

The remake isn't on the list of things I'm anxious to watch again, but I've been surprised lately by sequels that seem less interested in just rehashing what came before... so I'll give it a cautious chance.

Anonymous said...

Great point Knobgobbler. I wonder about that as well.

Mummbles said...

Poster does look decent, no plans at all to see it (especially in 3D, isnt that gimmick over with yet?). I love that Chainsaw 2 copied the Breakfast Club poster, why!?

Jeff Allard said...

Yeah, that could well be the reasoning behind that decision. Who knows? In the end, there may be no real rhyme or reason for it.

Jeff Allard said...

Mummbles, why TCM 2's poster took its cues from The Breakfast Club may be an answer we'll never know. As for 3D, don't expect it to go away - probably ever. There's a whole generation now who are accustomed to seeing films in 3D and don't regard it as a gimmick but simply another way of watching movies.

sm_hayes90 said...

I've only ever seen the original TCM and the 2 recent films, I always avoided number 2, 3 and 4 based simply on their posters. Part 2 is ridiculous, and number 4, featuring a picture of Leatherface in heels and stockings, is just disturbing, and not in the good way like this newest poster is. It's weird too that they would go with such a goofy route after the first movie is one of the most brutal watches in horror history. I might watch number 2 sometime though, just for the hell of it.
I have very low expectations for these dragged out horror franchises. I usually just hope that I can say, "it was worth the watch."