The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Grind
By: Tristan Jones on August 8, 2006  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Publisher: Avatar Comics
Writers: Brian Pulido
Art: Daniel HDR
Issues: 3
What is it with Brian Pulido? Or maybe it's Avatar's Editor in Chief I should be directing this to. Every time I open one of these comics from New Line's House of Horror, I get two or three pages in and sigh. Why? Because once you're done with the introductions, you know exactly what's coming, and the care factor for the majority of the book is reduced to zilch.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre comic books began as the ones with the most promise. The opening one-shot (reviewed here) wasn't spectacular, but it offered far more potential for a better product down the road than either the Friday the 13th or the Nightmare on Elm Street specials. This is why it pains me to see this potential wasted by a writer who clearly loves his horror movies, but can't seem to write his characters past the superficial and sadly predictable level he mires them in.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Grind gives us more of the same by dropping a busload of Christian choir girls in Thomas County, Texas. Despite being able to announce how proudly Christian they are, they're more of the same characters you couldn't give two shits about because: A) They're all written exactly the same way (one-dimensional bitches Pulido seems to pile into these books) and B) You know they're dead as soon as you lay eyes on them. You are also given the loner, hard-rock protagonist who nobody seems to like but will ultimately find the approval of others by overcoming present adversity, and, if you've read the oneshots, is bound to meet some unfortunate fate come the finale. It's as predictable as an 80's sequel, with Pulido managing to slip in everything he puts into the other books, excessive violence (and it really feels totally gratuitous a lot of the time), sexual situations that aren't necessary in the slightest (placed where they are at least), unlikeable characters, and unsatisfying endings.

The writing is, as you can probably see, simply not very good. It's unimaginative and unoriginal, and while I haven't read Lady Death or any of Pulido's other creations, I have very little desire to based one what I've read here and in the other franchise books. Obviously for Lady Death to have been around as long as she has and have her own animated production, there must be some merit to the character, but it could come largely down to the other writers who have worked on the character since Pulido's initial run.

For a three-part story, The Grind feels somewhat shorter than it should, and takes about the same amount of time to read as the oneshot specials. The Grind probably could have actually been condensed down to one book - two at the most - as they are expensive books to pick up and when you're getting yet another variation on the same stories that came before it, it's probably not worth the twenty or so dollars it's going to cost you to collect this series.

These books are clearly very popular amongst the fans, as every time I go to my local comic shop they're always sold out, even when new shipments come in, but the only reason I can see for people to enjoy these books would be that it's simply a Texas Chainsaw product - not exactly something you're likely to find as easy as something tied to a Spiderman or Star Wars movie. I suppose fans of any repetitious film franchise can stomach recycled stories and variations thereof a lot better than the average comic book fan, but having come from a comic book background, I know it's a medium that writers and artists should be using to explore the worlds better than this. Hopefully DC's Wildstorm can give us something a little more satisfactory than Avatar's fairly mediocre run.
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