Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
The Bunny Perspective!
Hosted by: Phil Buni
Media reviews and analysis by a pot smoking, puppet bunny. Do you like weird-but-great underground films? Hate Glee, Gigli, and other Hollywood garbage? The Bunny Perspective offers a blend of humorously angry negative reviews, and honest praise of underground movies and TV. We talk about films, TV, anime, and animation. We are the Cult of the Bunny, and you too can be a Cultist. #CultoftheBunny
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Cheap-Arse Film Review
Hosted by: Liam Barrett
It's the Cheap-Arse Film Review, where a young(ish) man finds out if it's possible to live the life of a cinephile super-nerd on the strictest budget possible. Inspired by growing up in the wilds of Essex, England (that's only partially a joke, by the way) and the current harsh economic times, Liam only reviews DVD that can be purchased for £1.00p or less!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The DVD Shelf
Hosted by: David Rose
Life is short, so skip the bad movies and let your host David Rose reveal, review, and recommend the ones you should have on your own DVD shelf. The DVD Shelf is a film-lover's safe haven to bask in the warm glow of cult favorites, over-looked cinematic gems, rediscovered classics, and downright fun flicks on both DVD and Blu-ray.
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Solkir
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
Joshua the Anarchist
Hosted by: Joshua Bell
Charged with the crime of liking Batman & Robin, Joshua the Anarchist has been declared insane and committed to Arkham Asylum. Locked away in a padded cell, he'll endure movie after movie as doctors attempt to "treat" him. He may not have gone in a madman, but he soon will be.
Minority Report Reviews
Hosted by: Tom Marriott
Minority Report Reviews is where often slated or just plain forgotten films and TV shows come for an ego boost. Focusing primarily on unloved sequels, your host Tom Marriott takes questions from the general public to showcase the positives in these films. Love it or hate it, this is the show where you can have your say and see a guilty pleasure defended by the host with the most... strange tastes.
Movie Dorkness
Hosted by: Sofie Liv
It's the show formerly known as Red Suitcase Adventues! Join Sofie Liv, a nice Dane (who may not be as negative as everyone else!) as she dissects pop culture phenomena to explore both the good and bad in popular films.
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Mystery Madness
Hosted by: Full of Questions
Mysteries are awesome! And who's better suited to examine the wonderful, the terrible, and the adequate of the movie mystery genre than a teenager with nerdy glasses and substandard editing software? ...Many people, probably, but enjoy the show anyway!
PGSM Summaries
Hosted by: Nycea
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (PGSM for short) is a hilarious live-action retelling of the Sailor Moon story. On this show, your host Nycea summarizes and riffs on this gloriously bad series—one episode at a time.
The Porn Critic
Hosted by: Porn Critic
Comedy reviews of the worst and most bizarre adult films available, by a character called the Porn Critic, who tends to focus on the acting bits rather than the actual sex! Who knew continuity errors and bad dialogue could lead to chronic flaccidity?
Reel vs. Reel
Hosted by: Animated Heroine
Animation isn't just for kids; it's also for adults who never learned how to grow up. In Reel vs. Reel, the Animated Heroine looks at two similar animated films to see which one comes out on top and why. Her love for good animated films is only matched by her cynicism towards the bad ones.
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
the agony booth
Movie Review
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

So here’s a shocker for ya: It ain’t that bad.

Yeah, alright, calm down. It ain’t that good either. It’s been that kinda month, honestly. Generally, January is thought of as the all-around worst month for movies, since no studio puts out anything they are particularly proud of in the month after the holidays when everyone’s broke. Sometimes that makes things interesting, something too offbeat to be marketable will come out and surprise us all, or at least something interestingly bad. But most years, it’s just dull. Lots of middle of the road stuff with nothing much worth talking about. Gangster Squad, Broken City, The Last Stand... I tell ya, there’s nothing worse for a critic than an unremarkable movie.

Right, sorry, got off on a tangent there. Mind if we go on another one?

The evolution of the slasher genre fascinates me, becomes it seems to mostly revolve around trying to come to grips with its own utter lack of growth and creative success. When you think about it, you may notice that there are far more good movies that mock, deconstruct, invert, or put a comedic spin on slashers than there are actual good slashers. I mean, how many straightforward slasher films can you name that were genuinely, no-qualifiers great? A handful at most? There’s Psycho, assuming you really stretch the definition, there’s the original Halloween... and that’s all I can think of. Sure, there are a few more that are okay, but none that really deserve to called “great”. Let’s face it, no one goes to a slasher movie to be scared. They go for the trashiness, the sleaze, the gore. It’s a genre that just never rose to anything. It’s pure B-movie guilty pleasure, that’s its peak.

As a result, the genre tends to be at its best when it just embraces those limitations and stops taking itself seriously. If it can’t scare us, it can at least make us laugh. For my money, the Friday the 13th series, arguably the face of the genre, didn’t get good until Part VI: Jason Lives*, when they struck just the right tone: humorous enough to be enjoyable without being a complete farce.

But aside from abandoning all hope of actually being scary again and just being really graphic Bugs Bunny cartoons, there’s a more recent change in the way slasher films are being approached that I’ve noticed. Slasher filmmakers have known for a long time that for the most part, nobody gives a shit about their protagonists—it’s all about the slashers. The rest of the characters are just corpses waiting to happen at best, and annoyances waiting to be punished in spectacular fashion at worst. Sure, there’s the occasional would-be victim that manages to be memorable, but for the most part, audiences go into a slasher movie actually rooting for the killer almost by default. After all, he’s the one who’ll be providing the actual entertainment.

Slasher movies figured this out pretty quickly. Over time, they began to actively encourage this mindset, making the characters more deliberately unlikable, and ramping up the gore and body counts. Before long, the unspoken role of a slasher villain was harbinger of retribution, punishing people for their various misdeeds. Not an idea unique to slashers, to be fair. Horror stories have revolved around characters receiving horrific fates for their sins since long before film was invented. Though in slashers, those sins were usually “being annoying” and “having a sex life”.

Which brings us finally to Texas Chainsaw 3D, a film which should be notable because, if nothing else, it’s the first time I’ve seen someone take the idea of the audience rooting for the killer to its logical extreme. There’s no way to make this point without spoilers, but in my defense the film is very upfront from the beginning that the real monsters of the story aren’t the cannibalistic Sawyer clan and their chainsaw-wielding juggernaut; it’s the ignorant, reactionary townsfolk who formed a lynch mob to burn them alive without trial. They actually manage to frame the story so that the cannibals are the lesser of two evils**. Once again, the “who’s the real monster?” moral is in no way new to horror, it’s just new to slashers.

For the sake of full disclosure, I admit that to date I’ve seen a grand total of two TexChainMass*** movies: the 1974 original and this. But in comparing him to his slasher contemporaries, it’s my assessment that Leatherface can’t really be handled the same as the average blade-wielding mute giant. You can’t play him the way you would Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, because frankly, he by himself is not very intimidating. Even in his first appearance he cuts a rather comical figure. Clumsy, oafish, always grunting, his mask ill-fitting. This is not a criticism of the original, mind you, because all of that was very intentional. The horror in the first film came out of the revelation that Leatherface is just the tip of the iceberg, a sad, pitiful pawn of the Sawyer family, cowardly and abused. He’s not the unstoppable, deadly force... he’s Gollum.

Before I saw the original TexChainMass, people who described it to me would often use words like “realistic” and “subtle”. Those people are very bad liars. No film about a cannibal who wears a human face and chases people with a chainsaw can be described as “subtle”, regardless of the opening text claiming that the film is based on actual events (a massive exaggeration), or the somewhat documentary-style feel to the cinematography (which I imagine was because of the budget more than anything else). The film is very extreme with a somewhat campy edge to it, and took itself far less seriously than audiences seem too.

My point is that trying to make Leatherface actually scary is a losing battle. You can either make him a joke like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 did (I’m told), or you play up the sympathetic angle of him as the childlike victim, abused and manipulated into being essentially the Sawyers’ attack dog. The latter is the route the original took, but here, they’ve taken it a step further. Now it’s not the Sawyers that are the real monsters that won’t leave poor Leatherface alone, it’s everyone else. Leatherface is the loyal defender of the misunderstood Sawyer family. It’s a surprisingly new fresh take on the character, and one that I think has some potential.

That’s not to say this is the best possible realization of the concept. The film revolves around Heather, played by Alexandra Daddario of the Soul-Piercing Meg Foster Eyes. Her whole character arc is about discovering she’s a Sawyer, which apparently means she a born killer. All well & good, except said arc remains motionless for most of the movie then suddenly goes from 0-60 in 0.3 seconds in the third act. Contrary to what the “Doom caused Columbine” crowd will tell you, people with a slightly morbid taste in artwork are not serial killers waiting to happen. It’s about as forced a behavior change as you can get.


God damn, I feel like I could go swimming in those things.

But overall, it’s a pretty decent slasher film. It offers at least a few good practical gore scenes (some pretty bad CGI in there too, but we can ignore it), plays to its audience well, and if nothing else, getting the franchise away from Platinum Dunes can only be a good thing. I honestly believe this is a better direction for the series, and I’m curious to see where they go with it. Just so you know though, the best scene by far isn’t until after the credits, so stick around.

*Seriously, let’s not pretend the first one was anything more than derivative and uninspired from now on, shall we? It was just a lazy Halloween wannabe with some Psycho and Carrie thrown in. The Jason movies were just never very good, not even at the beginning.

**That may sound odd, but honestly it’s easier to get audiences to hate a character if their crime is more tangible to the average person. What I mean is, most of us have never in our lives been directly impacted by a serial killer or a cannibal. Some of us have, and we’ve all heard about such real-world events, but normally the kinds of things a slasher villain does, while horrific, are too extreme to resemble anything most people have experienced in their lives. It coats the actions of the Sawyers and Leatherface in a comforting layer of unreality. However, everyone has had to deal with assholes in their life. Assholes are everywhere. So it’s actually pretty easy to get someone to sympathize with the serial killer if the other guy is just an asshole, because being an asshole is a more tangible thing to audiences than serial killing.

***For such a long title, we’ve never really come up with a good abbreviation, huh? We could use the initials, but Turner Classic Movies might sue.

Latest Comments

Popular Right Now

 
Posted Oct 17, 2014 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
 
Posted Oct 17, 2014 by Michael A. Novelli
 
 
Posted Oct 17, 2014 by Fear Fan
 
Posted Oct 20, 2014 by Film Renegado
 
Posted Oct 19, 2014 by Joey Tedesco
 
 
 
Posted Oct 13, 2014 by Cecil Trachenburg
 
 
Posted Oct 7, 2014 by Thomas Stockel
 
Posted Sep 25, 2014 by Nycea
 
Posted Oct 9, 2014 by Roland Thompson
 
 
Posted Sep 30, 2014 by Ivan K
 
Posted Oct 4, 2014 by Horror Guru
Sitemap
About the Site:
Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:
Our Partners:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.