Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
By: J.R. McNamara on September 14, 2005  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Columbia Tristar (Australia). Region 2 & 4 PAL. 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0, French DD 2.0, German DD 2.0, Italian DD 2.0, Spanish DD 2.0. English, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Bulgarian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Turkish Subtitles. 82 minutes
The Movie
Director: Kim Henkel
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks, Tonie Perensky, Joe Stevens, Lisa Marie Newmyer
Screenplay: Kim Henkel
Country: USA
AKA: The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre
I am not a big fan of the series Star Trek, but I do remember when the first season of The Next Generation came out. It took all the elements that made Star Trek popular and extended them further, both with special effects, the acting and the storytelling. Well, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation a.k.a. The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the exact opposite of that. It takes all the good points of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II, and Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III and throws them all out and what is left is what appears to be an unofficial remake and yet also a sequel of the first. Directed and written by Kim Henkel, who co-created the original TCM with Tobe Hooper, it would seem he forgot exactly what made the first one so good, and tried to make it more of an insulting brainless stereotypical eighties slasher, which by 1994, when this was produced, we had finished with.

The film starts, as did the original, with a voiceover. It is a retelling, albeit brief, of the mysterious cannibalistic family's appearances throughout the years, which reflects the events of the previous three films. This time, four teenagers (one of whom is played by Renee Zellweger) leave their prom and get lost when they make a wrong turn. The group end up involved in a car accident which leads them to meet an evil murderous 'family' led by the villainous, bionic-legged Vilmer (Matthew McConaughy). Eventually the kids are picked off, until only one remains, who spends her time being tortured, escaping, running through the woods and being recaptured…and Leatherface (Robert Jacks) has been reduced to a screaming, cross-dressing wuss. The ultimate ending also adds confusion to a stupid movie.

By the time this film came out, even horror fans were getting sick of the crap that had been shoved down their throats since 1989, and had moved onto the violence of films like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. There were a few promising lights in horror in the early nineties, but this was not one of them!! God only knows how Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger got another gig after this travesty. The best thing about this film is the length: TCM: The Next Generation is cut in Australia from the 95 minutes uncut version to thankfully only 84 minutes.
Unfortunately the widescreen picture is perfect, and the entire story can be seen clearly.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Surround in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, but if these languages don't suffice there is subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Hindi, Turkish, Danish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese and Hebrew, so there is no escape no matter what language you speak.
Extra Features
This disc contains just the Theatrical Trailer and text filmographies of the key players and crew.
The Verdict
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation has been released in Australia as part of Columbia Tristar's 'Mad Price, under $10' line of DVDs and at a tenner, you are still being robbed. If you find yourself standing in a shop holding this DVD, drop it like it's hot, run out the door and seek medical advice IMMEDIATELY!!! This movie would have been a below average slasher, but as an entry into the TCM saga, it is deplorable.
Movie Score
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