ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Z – Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Next Generation (1995) Movie Review

This is going under Z because of star Renee Zellweger.

Director: Kim Henkel

Writer: Kim Henkel (Screenplay) Kem Henkel, Tobe Hooper (Characters)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks, Tonie Perensky, Joe Stevens, Lisa Marie Newmyer, John Harrison

Plot: A group of teenagers get into a car crash in the Texas woods on prom night, and then wander into an old farmhouse that is home to Leatherface (Robert Jacks) and his insane family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Tagline – He’s back. You’re dead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Bad

Story: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation starts as prom night between Jenny (Zellweger), Heather (Newmyer), Sean (Harrison) and Barry (Cone) goes wrong, leading them to head down a road, having an accident, searching for help with Vilmer (McConaughey) taking one back to the farmhouse, while the rest stumble upon the farmhouse, where Leatherface (Jacks) is living.

The friends have become the latest victims to the psychotic cannibalistic family, where they need to try their best to survive or face becoming the latest dinner in the family.

Thoughts on Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

Characters – Jenny is the shy member of the group, she always considered to be an outsider with the popular kids at school and is the only one that will do the rational things during the film, she understands how to get out of the problems, without being judgemental like the others. Vilmer is the leader of the family, he is out of his mind and is willing to hurt his own family to get the point across, he knows how to push everything to the limits. Leatherface does swing the chainsaw like we know, though he does seem to be the most human of the family, understand things might be wrong. Darla works in the local town, that will help the family with their connections.

PerformancesRenee Zellweger in one of her first roles here, does a good job as the final girl character without ever looking out of place. Matthew McConaughey is fun to watch as the villainous leader of the group, he is out of his mind with his character in this film. The rest of the cast are solid enough without needing to do much in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group of prom aged students that end up becoming the latest targets of the cannibalistic family and must fight to survive. With this turning more into a slasher suddenly, we get the disposable characters in the friends, with the one final girl that is put through the most and has the biggest fight to survive from the family, it tries to build on the ideas in the previous films where the family is closer together with connection elsewhere, but ends up being too over the top for its own good. It can be watch to see just how bad it gets without needing to switch off though.

Comedy/HorrorThis is one film that could easily be a comedy because of how over the top everything is with McConaughey making you laugh more than he should, the horror doesn’t seem very effective in this film because of the comedic side of everything.

SettingsThe film does create the singular location for the family, which does look a dirty and you would imagine, the woods around though do make us feel like we are closer to society than the family would ever want to be.

Special EffectsThe effects aren’t the strongest, though being low budget you can let certain things off, because of camera angles certain scenes don’t work as well.

Scene of the Movie – Vilmer having the gun pointed at him.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too comedic for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a bad horror film you can have a good time watching, it seems to just keep getting worse and you can’t look away.

Overall: Good bad Film.

Franchise Weekend – Bad Boys (1995) Movie Review

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson (Screenplay) George Gallo (Story)

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Lisa Boyle, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano, Tea Leoni, Tcheky Karyo

Plot: Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.

Tagline – Whatcha gonna do?

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wildly Entertaining

Story: Bad Boys starts as Fouchet (Karyo) and his crew pull of a heist that sees them rob the police lock up of all the seized drugs, Captain Howard (Pantoliano) turns to the two men that got the drugs in the first place Marcus (Lawrence) and Mike (Smith) to get them back before Internal Affairs look to put the blame on the force themselves.

After a second shooting, witness Julie Mott (Leoni) escapes turning to Mike for help, which sees her putting her life in the hands of the two cops, knowing she can’t trust anybody else, even though the men have to swap lives.

Thoughts on Bad Boys

Characters – Mike and Marcus are excellent cops they always get their suspects and are given the biggest case in the force, off duty, Marcus is married with kids, struggling to keep his marriage alive, while Mike has money, making him a womaniser who has women all around town waiting for his call. Even though the two must swap lives, they get to have fun living and understanding the complaints they are both suffering through. Julie is a witness to the thieve and murderer job that killer her friend, she doesn’t know who to trust except Mike, who isn’t around when they need to do the pickup, so she ends up meeting Marcus pretending to be Mike. Fouchet is the criminal that has arrange the heist, he has a perfect plan which only the problems being the people he has selected to help him, where he could have gotten away with everything smoothly if it wasn’t for their mistakes, he will do anything to clean up the mess left behind him.

PerformancesWill Smith and Martin Lawrence are perfectly cast in the leading roles, they play into Will Smith’s smooth style and Martin Lawrence constant panic filled comedy. Tea Leoni works well as the witness, while Tcheky Karyo as the villain is generic, but does fill the typical 90’s style of villain well.

StoryThe story here follows two Miami Cops that must protect a witness who can help them take down one of the biggest crimes against the police after the drugs from their lock up are stolen. When it came to the 90’s we knew how the action stories would unfold, we have one villain that does seem deadly that makes things very personal and the cops being conflicted at times, but needing to work together to solve the case. We do have elements of comedy in the story, with the whole life swapping, which does make things different to watch, taking away from certain moments of action too, which does keep everything feeling nice a fresh.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film is held back, which is surprising for a Michael Bay film, we save most of the action until the later parts of the film, being full Bay, though it does work, the comedy comes from the partnership between the two cops and the lives they must swap to get the job done, all in a crime heavy world.

SettingsThe film uses the Miami setting to show us the fast paced lifestyles, the drugs culture around the nightclub scene and the different lives the two cops live.

Scene of the Movie – Final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not as much action as I thought we would have.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly entertaining action comedy with two of the best leading performances in the genre, we have everything the 90’s would have given us showing the early signs of Michael Bay as an action director too.

Overall: Entertaining.

Mallrats (1995) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams

Plot: Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.

Tagline – It’s mall or nothing

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Comedy

Story: Mallrats starts when TS (London) gets dumped by his girlfriend Brandi (Forlani), while his best friend Brodie (Lee) also gets dumped by Rene (Doherty), to get over the loss the two head to the mall to hang out, only to learn that Brandi’s father Svenning (Rooker) is hosting his dating gameshow in the mall, with Brandi as a contestant, leading the pair to look to sabotage the event.

As the day unfolds Brodie and TS do what they can to get their girlfriends back, learning what they need to focus on in life, while seeing their perfect lives going away from them.

Thoughts on Mallrats

Characters – TS is about to propose to his girlfriend only to get involved in argument breaking up with her, he turns to his best friend to help him through the day, as he plans to get her back, looking through his life, trying to figure out what went wrong. Brodie is the best friend that talks too much, he also gets dumped by his girlfriend and takes it differently to TS, he plans to just hang out at the mall, like most days, where he knows everybody, being more of a slacker than anything else. Rene is Brodie’s ex-girlfriend that just wanted him to get serious and has given him too many chances without getting any success in change from him. Brandi breaks up with TS after his joke ends up with a tragic ending, forcing her to go on the show and thinking Brodie needs to focus on something else in life.

PerformancesJeremy London is great in his role, but it is Jason Lee that easily steals this movie with his perfect comedy timing. Shannen Doherty and Claire Forlani are both strong when they get a chance on centre stage, with the performances from the supporting roles all being great too.

StoryThe story here follows two men that get dumped and spend the day planning on trying to get them back, learning about their mistakes to move forward in life, all from their favourite mall. This story does work very well and does show that sometimes you do need to just look at your life and reassess mistakes you might have been making in a relationship, it is told in a way that shows how well the two friends get on and how they know everybody there too. We get plenty of events which lead up to the conclusion of the story, showing that each member of the cast we meet is important to the final story.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy here comes from the events of the day, more comes from Brodie and the supporting cast who will get plenty of laughs. The romance focuses on how two young men need to learn what is important in life for them both.

SettingsThe film is set in one shopping mall, it shows how it can bring people together and how a day in a life can happen with so much going on.

Scene of the Movie – The gameshow.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could see more from the women’s point of view.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best comedies from the 90s, it has perfect timing for the most part and shows how life can be about a series of events in one day, making life bigger than you could imagine.

Overall: Laugh Out Loud Funny.