Atari 2600 Game
Produced by: Wizard Video
Model Number: 008
Rarity: 7 Very Rare
Year of Release: 1983
Programmer: Ed Salvo

Grab your joystick and become "Leatherface," the homicidal, chainsaw wielding maniac of your nightmares! A group of hapless tourists have trespassed on your property. One by one, they've been hunted down and eliminated. Now, only a handful remain! So, oil up your chainsaw and find as many victims as you can before your fuel runs out!

This game is a very important game because it is one of the first video games to be seen as promoting violence. Protests were held against the producer, Wizard Video, and most retailers refused to carry the game altogether. This was a precursor to all of the blame that people would lay upon video games years later for all sorts of social ills.

This game (unlike most other games based on horror films), puts you in the position of the murderer. You run around and try and kill as many people as possible with your chainsaw. You begin the game with three tanks of fuel for your chainsaw, and extra fuel is awarded for every 5000 points scored. Your chainsaw idles at all times, but that only uses small amounts of fuel. Pressing the red button causes your chainsaw blade to begin spinning rapidly, so you can mow down your victims. Don't press the button until you are right on top of someone, as pressing the button uses fuel rapidly.

The game pretty much consists of chopping up the same yellow woman over and over again, while avoiding the obstacles that litter the playing field. The woman that you are hunting has the annoying ability to teleport from directly in front of you to directly behind you. This means that you often have to turn around a few times so you can actually catch her. This is kind of strange, as it is usually the killer that has the ability to magically appear directly behind the victim, at least it seems to be that way in most horror films.

This title suffers from poor collision detection when it comes to the obstacles. Most of them seem to be several pixels larger than what is shown on screen. This is a big deal because Atari 2600 pixels are huge. Try to avoid all the obstacles by as much space as possible, to keep from being slowed down.

This game isn't particularly fun. But it is extremely valuable due to its notoriety. Expect to pay over $200 for a copy of this, without the box or manual.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) - Weasello Rating: {>>>>} (AAAAAAAAAHHHH!)
Please note that this review is laden with spoilers.

As you may have noticed, reading my past writeups, that I'm quite the horror movie fan. This wasn't always the case; Predator scared me to tears at a young age and it wasn't until I met my Wifey that I really got into this genre of movies.

Over time, my wifey and I have become immune to most horrors - laughing at the screen and poking fun at the stupid victims.

This movie was different.

Neither of us can put our fingers on it - but this was, for some reason, one of the scariest movies we have ever seen. We almost left the theatre halfway through the film, and my hand still hurts from all the tight fists (and holding hands with my girl). Of course, I come back here to E2 and people are discussing pork in the chatbox, which only makes things creepier. Anyhow, YMMV, and here's the facts.

Plot Outline: I'll keep the plot short and vague as to not give *too* much away. Five teens spent a week in Mexico, partly on vacation - and partly to purchase two hundred pounds of Marijuana, a thoroughly under-explored plot. On the way back home through Texas, they see a young woman looking all disheveled trudging along the highway in a near-comatose state.

Taking pity, the teens load her up into the van to take her off to find some help - whereupon the girl panics, draws a gun, and blows her brains all over the back of the van.

Searching for help and a way to get rid of the smelly body, the teens pull into a small hick town with some very strange locals. The teens were instructed to go to an old mill and meet the sherriff there - who proceeds to quickly not show up, and begin the murder spree.

Scream run and scream, kill scream gore, run scream die.

Die die scream run, pain injure save run run sacrifice scream die.

Then, with all of her friends dead, the girl makes it safely to the highway and flags down a truck. She's nearly comatose from the horrors she has just seen, and needs help climbing in. The girl then starts freaking out - reminiscent of the girl at the beginning of the film - and she proceeds to kidnap some baby or something then run over a cop several times. Yeah.

In any case, the plot isn't really important.

The Critics Say: As you may have read before (for example, in the writup on this same topic by Mitzi), there was a very strong subtext in the original movie, with all sorts of political shenanigans going on. It was heralded for being more than just a plain-ol' Slasher flick. Here's what a critic had to say:
"(The Director's) modern take ramps up the gore, eliminates the subtext and delivers a run-of-the-mill modern slasher movie ..."

Then, of course, there's the opinion that there wasn't really any subtext in the original movie, and it's all coincedental evidence.
"Go you skeptics and be shocked all over again. This remake does not take a thing away from the original. It's a movie worthy of the name, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

Some people were bored and not-too-scared,
"It's so caught up in concept and layout that it frequently forgets to push the jolt buttons."

-- Gene Seymour, NEWSDAY
And some people were scared out of their boots.
"... people who don’t like scary movies are really going to hate this one."

-- Kevin A. Ranson, MOVIECRYPT.COM
The reviews were pretty good to start with, and most of the early-reporting critics said the movie was great. However, as the legions of critics around the globe continue reporting, the ratings go lower and lower. That hasn't stopped it from being the #1 movie at the box office on the weekend of October 18, 2003, raking in a respectable $21.3 Million.

My Opinion: Though I may be in the minority here, this film is really freaky. It wasn't like most other slasher flicks; but then again, half the critics out there say it's another cut-n-paste slasherfest. So take this review with a grain of salt.

The scariest thing is that

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S SO SCARY ABOUT IT. Sure, the scene where the cop forces the whimpering kid to almost-blow-his-brains-out, was incredibly creepy. And the film was studded with that boogeyman jump-out-at-you-and-scream jolt scares. There was, however, something about the movie that just made it incredibly creepy.

There was excellent acting around in the second half of the film, but some people argue that screaming your head off in terror is the easiest to act. However, when we get past the gratuitous Jessica Biel boob-and-ass camera angles, she starts to whimper in pain with tears running down her cheeks and snot rolling into her nose rather convincingly.

The plot moved along slowly in the first half hour, but after that it was pretty much non-stop thrills. There was also a few unnecessarily gory shots, but being a guy they were OK with me; my wifey doesn't agree. On a whole, there was almost no blood, guts, or even on-screen violence; they leave most of the pain up to your imagination.

I give this 4 out of 4 stars for accomplishing it's mission of scaring me. I would deduct points because of it's lack of depth, but it did such a good job of scaring me it makes up for it.

Related Movies: Interesting Notes:
  • Gunnar Hansen, the man who played Leatherface in the original movie, was asked to play the trucker at the end of the film.
  • If you weren't already aware, this 2003 film is a remake of a classic 1974 film of the same name. The movies are so similar that writing credits still go to Tobe Hooper, author and director of the original script.
  • In an even scarier twist, I saw a full solid block of 15 minutes of ads before the movie started. I was about to scream in agony when what appeared to be a skin conditioner commercial came on; fortunately, it was just the neat-o trailer for the new Resident Evil movie.
Lead roles: Directed by: Marcus Nispel

Writing credits: Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel (1974 screenplay)

Tagline: Inspired by a true story
Sources: The oh-so-wonderful IMDB, my head, and a writeup by Mitzi.

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