Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

Produced, Written & Directed by: Kim Henkel


Renee Zellweger .... Jenny
Matthew MacConaughey .... Vilmer Slaughter
Tonie Perensky .... Darla
Joe Stevens .... W.E. Slaughter
Robert Jacks .... Leatherface Slaughter
Lisa Marie Lewmyer .... Heather
Tyler Cone .... Barry

Release Date: Limited Theatrical: October 7, 1994; Quick Theatrical: August 29, 1997

*Images courtesy at: www.thefleshfarm.com




Four teenagers drive away after the night at their prom as two of them named Heather (Lisa Marie Lewmyer) and Barry (Tyler Cone) are having a heated argument in which they end up driving in a backwooded area along with crashing into another vehicle.
They look for help and find a house that's boarded up while the other two named Jenny looks around for a tow truck as well as Sean (John Harrison) staying behind to keep an eye on an unconcious driver who crashed into them. The towtruck arrives driven by a maniac named Vilmer Slaughter (Matthew MacConaughey)
who kills this passed out teen as well as Sean too.
Meanwhile, Barry and Heather have a deadly encounter with Leatherface (Robert Jacks) and W.E. (Joe Stevens) at the house and then Leatherface nearly kills Jenny but is kidnapped by one of the family members named Darla (Toni Perensky) in which it's a night filled with madness for her.


The film starts out with a small narration explaining something that happened in 1973 but this was rushed and not well focused as if they wanted to get on with the film and being lazy about everything in which it sets out at a prom in which the whole settings looked quite cheesy. There's of course the boyfriend Barry cheating on his girlfriend Heather and getting caught in the act. Then they drive off along with two dweeby couples Jenny and Sean as there's tons of crappy one liners throughout the car ride but yet there's a nice cheesy setting in the backwoods with the car driving through a road with construction warning signs which adds a nice touch to the story. However there's a moment when a car crashes into another one in which this was supposed to make you jump in suspense but this fails to do so big time.
Then later on in the story Jenny starts to wander around in the silent wooded area trying to look for help but seems to act like a total dork in which I wonder if she was supposed to be this way or is it just plain bad scripting. I'd say it's a combination of both. There's a breeze blowing by and something lands on her head in which this was supposed to be another jumping moment which falls flat once more.
While Sean is left to keep an eye on stuff there's some nice horror touches when the tow truck driver arrives by the name of Vilmer Slaughter in which what he does leaves a good impression that he's not your average everyday guy especially when we see that one of his legs are mechanical as well as about to do something wicked to an unconcious driver in the other car that crashed with his. The dark comedy blended in with this was cheesy but not in a bad way as it seemed to work okay. However the story could've remained dark so it would entertain the horror fans alot better.
There's a moment when Vilmer tries to chase after Sean in his truck but this didn't look intense at all while we watch this and way too amateurishly written and hokey to watch. But yet there's a moment when he runs him over constantly which isn't a pleasant thought at all.
In another scene both Barry and Heather reach the house in which it is set up to look creepy and it does a little bit as it's night which seems to reflect well but again it almost looks like a fake looking house too. It's still fun to see this scene even if the story was sinking big time. Them there's Leatherface sneaking up behind Heather while she sits on the porch of the house while Barry tries to look around in which there's alot of slapstick here and I knew that this was not going to be an intense horror like the first one but this seemed impressive to watch with this moment. Then Leatherface grabs her and tries to stuff her in a freezer and next on a meathook trying way too hard to borrow from the original but this looked way too obvious while watching the movie.
There are some creepy moments when Vilmer forces Jenny to see what's behind his towtruck which I won't spoil it for you but it sure looked gloomy in which that was at least well done. Also she demands him to leave her alone when she tries to escape from him and then he asks her if she's really sure about that in which this does give you the impression that Leatherface will later on move in for the kill since things are quiet as well as a setting with a barrier made of trees around her. The Leatherface incident does happen and it seems like that it will look terrifying but then it all looks too comedic and hokey which you can tell that wasn't the intention here.
Then Jenny goes to a trailer type business house to try and escape explaining towards a lustful looking woman named Darla on what was out there showing no intense or freaked out behavior as well as a ton of bad writing here. This was so lame and stupid.
Of course Jenny is kidnapped but put in the back trunk of Darla's vehicle but before going home to the house she stops by to order some Pizza's. Yes folks you heard right. No cannibalism in this film and along the way there's more cornball writing with the surroundings here.
Next up after Jenny is kidnapped into their home Darla discusses to her on murderous situations like JFK and that her demented family did this. The writing for all of this was very laughable and not to be taken seriously at all.
Plus there's incidents with a mobster type entering the home discussing some real entertainment on a killing in which I wonder if Henkel tried to blend in some Godfather moments here. It seemed to look a bit impressive but like the rest not to be taken seriously.
Oh then there's the dinner table revealing some people that are alive or dead in which this didn't look gruesome at all and so phony. However it can seem chessily entertaining too. There's even Grandpa who almost looks dead but this time he can walk and not be in a wheelchair. Still seems pretty lame and doesn't explain him too much here.
It was impressively funny a little bit when Jenny gets tough taking no crap and demanding towards others including Leatherface as at times it looked fun to watch this.
Leatherface of course looked totally wimpy with everything that he did and he's more so in drag compared to any of the other TCM movies that we see him when he decides to look female like.
However there is one disturbing moment in the film is when Vilmer crushes a victim's head with his mechanical leg who is suffering after being hung on a hook. This can be hard to watch knowing that he will crush her to death.
There's a nice touch close to the ending with Jenny in a hospital and a strange figure appears carrying an orderly in which its two of the original cast members from TCM.
Bottom line is that it looked like the co-writer Henkel from the original TCM was trying to spoof it with this one but is really uncreative if he is in which the humor falls flat and things look out of place. There's only a couple of scene's where Leatherface uses his chainsaw and looks unthreatening while we watch him do all of this. The story goes nowhere and there was no reason behind as to why this family goes on a killing spree. I saw this during it's quick theatrical release in 1997 which was at a very small venue and afterwards someone yelled "How many feel they've been ripped off???" He had a good point here.

The acting is pretty bad with the odd acceptions. Renee Zellweger (Jenny) doesn't make a good impression in one of her first acting roles as she was so wooden it wasn't even funny. She seriously needed to take acting lessons. She doesn't react well to the horror surrounding her with her screaming and frightening reactions. Yet she does well with her insecurities as well as acting nerdy like so she wasn't bad with everything that she did. But needed quite a bit of improvement in which she was very low on energy. There's a moment with her whining and sobbing in which she herself is a bit passable doing this but barely. She really lacked big time when she acts choked explaining a tetrrifying situation on what she saw. This was so bad it wasn't even funny. She's even unconvincing getting heated up while pointing a shotgun. She seemed like she was out of breath while she's screaming at a dinner table as this looked terribly done. Yet she performs not too badly when she gets demanding towards others at a dinner table showing good anger in which she does well with the humor involved. Then we see her running away in a field which she is low on energy freaking out.
Matthew MacConaughey (Vilmer Slaughter) however seemed to do the trick adding his sarcasm and evil wit perfectly along with his great obnoxious attitude too. In his first appearance seems to have a nice approach speaking crazily towards another cast member. He also does well laughing insanely while driving in his vehicle. He shows alot of great energy whenever he had a violent attitude showing a fairly good intense like attitude and does well getting manipulative and forceful. He was perfect by acting violent towards others in the house of the maniacs as this was strongly done. This was one of his first acting gigs too but was in Dazed & Confused beforehand in which I wonder why he'd accept his role in this trashy film since he was at a good start.
Tonie Perensky (Darla) had the nice stunning looks making her seem a little too healthy to be one of the family of maniacs. She does do a good job with how she shows off her personality and dark humor too. She also knew on how to speak very kindly along with acting outgoing too bringing it all together. There's a good moment when she is talking to the lead actress as well as getting demanding and nasty towards her as well as showing good energy attacking her. Also she has great intense and energetic reactions when someone steps on her neck. She wasn't the greatest actress of all time but can seem to do the trick with her character in this film and can be remembered the most here.
Joe Stevens (W.E. Slaughter) shows a nice firm and sneering type of behavior and did his best to portray a redneck type of maniac. There's a situation when he speaks coldly pointing a gun at someone which looked pretty good. He basically studied his role not too badly having a terrirotrial backwoods type of behavior as well as doing fairly good acting hyperactive too. Shows great energy acting like a total shit disturber.
Robert Jacks (Leatherface Slaughter) is so god awful in which he really didn't study his part at all. He seemed to perform more like Bozo the Clown in what he did and was not convincingly menacing at all. In fact he didn't really know on how to control his chainsaw whenever he used it. Plus he wasn't at all convincing when he grabs someone and hauling them. There's the odd good energy here when he does this including on him throwing someone in a freezer and and trying to slam the door shut. He looks good however by raising high with his chainsaw towards the lead actress but then it falls flat with a chasing scene in the pond as he looked sloppy running and didn't have a good grip on his chainsaw in which you can tell. All of this looked incredibly wooden. He is once again sloppy in his blocking while running with a chainsaw in a field plus it gets even sloppier when he spins it around with it as if he was forced to do this. He seemed to copy what Gunnar Hansen did in the original but not focusing on what he should do.
Lisa Marie Lewmyer (Heather) was totally annoying with her whiney like behavior and comes across as a total amateur acting like a wannabe actress instead of doing her job as an actress period. She can't even scream well or act in pain with the situations surrounding her but yet she does do well in a scene crawling on the ground acting weak in pain but that's the only pointer I will give her.
Tyler Cone (Barry) had the nice football jock guy next door looks as well as coming across as sort of masculine. He seemed to do not too badly but needed improvments and can succeed eventually as he was convincing as a sarcastic type of idiot. There's a good moment when he tries to reason with someone pointing a gun at him in which his reactions seem very natural. But the downside is that he seemed to lack at times with his energy in whatever he did.

Tonie Perensky flashes her breasts through a window

A back is bloodied after being hung on a hook
Someone cuts himself

There's the odd low sounds to this film in which it tries too hard to sounds scary but instead it sounds slightly cheesy. There are good high pitched keyboard sound effects for when someone is attacked as well as the odd low violin sounds too. Plus there's a nice heavy metal songtrack score too which seems to fit in even if the story sucked with the aggressive vocals and powerful guitar playing.

[first lines]
Narrator: August 18, 1973. News of a bizarre, chainsaw wielding family - reports which were to ignite the world's imagination - began to filter out of central Texas. Regrettably not one of the family members was ever apprehended and for more than ten years nothing further was heard. Then, over the next several years at least two minor, yet apparently related incidents, were reported. Then again nothing. For five long years silence...

Heather: Barry, I saw you, you were kissing her.
Barry: Once, I kissed her once! God, it's like I can't talk to my friends anymore, I can't believe how posessive you are.
Heather: Oh right, I guess that's why you were feeling her up?
Barry: Look, guys need sex. It's bad for you if you get all worked up and then not get it, you can get "prostrate" cancer. Is that what you want?

Heather: Because I told you, I'm a bitch.

[as Vilmer examines the car wreck victim]
Sean: Is he gonna be okay?
Vilmer: The boy's dead.
Sean: No he's not. He's just passed out.
Vilmer: I said he's dead.
Sean: But he was just talking, like talking in his sleep.
Vilmer: Is that right? Well...
[snaps the victim's neck]
Vilmer: he's dead now.

Sean: [scared] What are you gonna do?
Vilmer: [walking closer to Sean] Well, first, I'm gonna kill you. It ain't no fuckin biggie.
[Sean runs]
Vilmer: Of course, it's different for every individual.

Darla: Hey! We see you you old fart!

Bud's Pizza Attendant: Uh, Miss, I think there's something in your trunk...
Darla: Oh that's just somebody I got tied up back there.

W.E.: Look what your brother did to this door!

Vilmer: What are you gonna do? Shoot me?
Jenny: Yeah... if you try somethin.
Vilmer: [slicing his chest with a razor] What if I do this?

Jenny: Now... I'm gonna leave... and nobody is gonna stop me...
[Leatherface stands up from the dinner table and starts screaming]
Jenny: [shouts] You sit the fuck down and shut up!
[Leatherface does as he's told]

Vilmer: [Runs outside after Leatherface] Get her Leather! Get her Leather! We've got some more fun today!
[Finds a remote that works]
Vilmer: Vilmer! Get that bitch!