“Snowflakes Don’t Last Long In The Texas Heat:” ‘TEXAS CHAINSAW MASCARA’ – Review

Bill Zebub’s crowdfunded dream is now a reality with the release of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASCARA (2022)!

Synopsis

New Yorkers visit the Texas depicted in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Their car breaks down. A young girl offers them her home as a refuge. Upon arrival, their northern prejudices clash with the southerners.

Here’s a look at the trailer!

Insanely prolific filmmaker Bill Zebub has fans that, for the most part, fall into one of two camps. The guys who wander up to his vendor table at a given convention (or click on his website) and say “Cool! Another flick with naked chicks and metal!,” and the guys who pick up one of his titles and think, “I wonder what facet of modern society he’s skewering with this one?”. And, for all of his quirks, the esteemed Mr. Zebub seems to acrobatically navigate that line without showing any real contempt for either audience.

Texas Chainsaw Mascara opens with some “city slickers” careening around rural Texas looking for the shooting locations of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without much luck. The gorgeous Danielle (Dani Bliss), and her friends: Bill (Aaron Marquez), Andrew (Andrew L. Thomas), and Mike (Cheyenne Mobbs) are soon stranded after car trouble, and “rescued” by Heather (Heather Beck). When they are escorted back to her nearby farm, (Bill stays with the car, in true horror film fashion) things start going sideways when the group begins insulting everything about the rural family and their mannerisms.

Soon we’re introduced to the family: Piggy (Marc Pearce), Susan (Maya Waters), and the wheelchair-bound (in a bit of a Franklin twist) Zombie (writer/director Zebub). In their dilapidated barn, complete with a stage and stripper pole, we soon find out that the family’s way of life consists of varying degrees of humiliation, and weird chainsaw coming-of-age rituals.

Texas Chainsaw Mascara

Featuring some really cool cinematography, juxtaposed with some truly wooden acting (with the exception of Bliss and Beck, who play wonderfully off of each other), Texas Chainsaw Mascara isn’t a parody or spoof (as the box clearly states).  This is definitely in the satire/social commentary vein, as is the norm for a Bill Zebub production. The cast and crew take on subjects like veganism, religious debates, “Bro culture,” class warfare, tribalism, gender roles, tourism, gentrification, military families, selective outrage, and rednecks in a very un-subtle way. Bill Zebub: George Romero he ain’t!

Along the way, we’re also supplied with the usual tropes in a Zebub film — slow, grinding metal music, actresses in varying stages of undress, some decent gore FX, hilarious axe murders courtesy of Rusty (Rusty Wikked) and a smirking sense of self-awareness. While there’s probably not enough to satisfy the aforementioned “Tits and metal” crowd, there’s enough thought-provoking dialogue and laugh-inducing moments to make the film entertaining. And if long, moonlit, reflective, axe-wielding walks on the beach are your thing, there’s something for you too!

Okay, maybe he does show a little contempt for his audience…

The Blu-ray features a really sharp HD transfer that looks surprisingly great. It also features a new cut of one of Zebub’s previous films, “Dirtbags” as an added bonus.

Texas Chainsaw Mascara is available from most online retailers now.

About Tom Gleba

A life long fan of horror and ridiculous metal, I've spent my life: watching horror films, writing about them, occasionally making them, collecting them on physical media, and struggling to find meaning in Fulci's "Manhattan Baby"...

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