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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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|ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.|
(2003), R -- Leatherface was more "human" and less offensive than Sheriff Hoyt.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): New Line Cinema, Next Entertainment Inc., Platinum Dunes, Radar Pictures Inc., Sound Satisfaction
Distribution (US): Focus Features, New Line Cinema
Director(s): Marcus Nispel
Producer(s): Jeff Allard, Michael Bay, Matthew Cohan, Joe Dishner, Ted Field, Mike Fleiss, Andrew Form, Bradley Fuller, Guy Stodel
Screenplay: Scott Kosar; Tobe Hooper, Kim Henkel (1974)
Cinematography/Camera: Daniel Pearl
Music: Wayne Bell, Tobe Hooper, Steve Jablonsky, Mel Wesson
Film Editing: Glen Scantlebury
Casting: Lisa Fields
Production Design: Greg Blair
Art Direction: Scott Gallagher
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), it is claimed that on August 18, 1973 five young adults set out for a concert in Dallas, Texas and traveled the back roads to get there. Near Hewitt, Texas they narrowly missed hitting a teenage girl (Lauren German) wandering in the middle of the road. She is in walking shock. As the troupe sought assistance for the girl, silent and nearly comatose, she slowly started to speak and told a tale of horror and murder.
The lead character, at least the one with the most screen time and the one who is chased the most by chainsaw-wielding Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski) is Erin (Jessica Biel). Erin is traveling with her three-year live-in boyfriend [1Cor. 7:2], Kemper (Eric Balfour) and it is obvious how familiar they are by their antics in the van. Their "get-a-room" familiarity as the modern teens say with complete disregard for sexual purity, is at times disgusting [2 Tim. 3:1], I am surprised that Biel would perform such a display. She did do a really fine behavior display when she tossed out the window a marijuana joint she was handed. She even chastised Kemper for going to Mexico to get a punt filled with dope. Along for the ride are dope-saturated Morgan (Jonathan Tucker) [Eph. 5:18], Andy (Mike Vogel) and his girlfriend (for now), Pepper (Erica Leerhsen). All appear to be college age but nothing is said whether they are college students or high schoolers.
This story, a "remake" of the 1974 horror original, is supposedly based on a true story. I've lived in Texas for fifteen years and can neither confirm nor deny the story. It is not spoken of or bought up in day-to-day conversation. Hewitt, Texas is less than ten miles South of Waco, Texas (pronounced way'-ko), the location of the melee with David Koresh whose name is Vernon Wayne Howell and his Branch Davidian cult. Waco is about 95 miles South of Dallas.
On August 20, 1973 the concert-bound troupe began their journey into the Land of Leatherface. En route to finding help for the teenage girl, the young lady pulled a revolver from ... to prevent being as vulgar as the movie, let's just say she produced a revolver and put the bloody barrel of it in her mouth then blew her brains all over the back of the van. The bullet exited through the back window of the van, leaving a ring of the girl's blood on the edges of the 6 inch exit hole in the glass. The cameraman was quick to give us all a view of the exit hole through the hole in the girl's head. I'll ignore the glaring errors in ballistic mechanics. The troupe went into a level of shock themselves. Scriptwriters were also quick to jump on the gore wagon by having Morgan say the girl's brains looked sort of like lasagna. Which they don't. Why do you think human brains are called gray-matter.
Finding a run-down convenience store, Kemper asked to contact the local Sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermy). The store clerk, the epitome of the stereotype of the backwoods middle-aged woman, said the Sheriff was on his way to an old mill and that they would have to meet him there, the dead girl in the van notwithstanding. At the mill, the troupe found a young "ratboy" named Jedidiah (David Dorfman) who was seriously malnourished and in dire need of developmental attention. In fact, Jedidiah was in need of any kind of attention! Jedidiah was able to direct Erin and Kemper to an old mansion where they met Old Monty (Terrence Evans) after intruding into his mansion. This is the location of the chainsaw operator, Leatherface who wore the faces of his victims to hide his own hideousness. From there the story goes into the standard slasher flick genre.
After sawing off Kemper's left lag at the knee, hanging him on a meat hook and chasing Erin off to who knows where, Leatherface found the other three of the five kids with the help of more of the seemingly genetically-deficient cannibalistic residents.. Two women occupied a dilapidated travel home with what would, on the surface, seem to be the four or five year old daughter of one of them, but Erin proclaimed the little girl was not the daughter of either of them. How that was determined I cannot tell you, but that did give rise to the suspicions of a perverted "family." Suggestion is that these people raised kids for food, but that is entirely subjective Maybe such suggestion is reminscent of the diner scene from the 1974 Chansaw I was just told about where the main course came from the "guests", that indeed the main course was the guests.
As murderous as he was, Leatherface was more "human" and less offensive than Sheriff Hoyt. The Hoyt character was filled with brutality and sadism. [Prov. 4:14; Prov. 21:15] More screen time was spent on Hoyt tormenting and brutalizing the troupe than on Leatherface doing his thing. As an example of the brutality in this film, Erin ran over the Sheriff with his car then backed up over him to run over him again. [Rom. 12:19] And we see all the mechanics of the crushing of a human body. Another example is she who is ostensibly the mother of Jedidiah told him "You'd best stay out there with those dogs 'till you learn the rules."
I could spend another hour or so spoiling the plot even further, but what's the point? This is another slasher/horror film. Nothing more. Nothing less. Though I have not seen the original version, I may analyze it just to show the degradation of even R-rated film content but only if funds hold out. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is indeed an "R" film with all the flashings of an R-rated film. Thirty-two uses of the most foul of the foul words with 38 uses of the other words of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 3:8]. God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive saturated scene after scene. [Deut. 5:11] The inappropriate touching, making out with inappropriate touch and other matters of sexual immorality [Gal. 5:19] were paled in comparison to the gore and violence of this film. Let the listing in the Findings/Scoring section represent the content of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Single Christian Network
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|