The Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror franchise began with a clever means of political satire and exploitation. A low-budget independent film, the original 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, was shot entirely in Texas and utilized budding actors. Director, producer, and co-writer Tobe Hooper made a slasher ripe with clashes between counterculture and conservative viewpoints. He also marketed the movie as based on true events to reach a wider audience, with its iconic, unhinged, cannibal killer Leatherface being loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein. Another notable fact is the movie’s lack of onscreen violence. This was due to budgetary constraints, the rating system, and the search for a willing distributor, but limitations gave rise to unspeakable horrors in the back of viewers’ frightened minds. The franchise has evolved in remarkable and unbelievable ways, finding its next victims under a Texan sun, still on the run from its face-wearing, chainsaw-slashing murderer.
The unceremonious deus ex machina in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation is also the most convenient, if not the craziest kill in the series. Leatherface takes the backseat (familial abuse is a killer, too) while Matthew McConaughey as Vilmer, a tow truck driver, becomes the main antagonist. A subplot borrowed from Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, the band of sadistic killers aren’t family, but lackeys working for the Illuminati. They scare civilians (half) to death in order to achieve an out-of-body experience, but all they got was a propellor blade to the face. Lucky plane got to fly away from this mess. At least the movie came in for a crash landing.