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Movie Maniacs
by Shocka

Fear the remake the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre: I once had hope for the upcoming blockbuster, but hope is no more - one of the big names behind this remake is also behind this year's "classic" (snicker) Bad Boys 2, and now all hope is lost. There is no way that director/producer/moron Michael Bay can faithfully recreate Tobe Hooper's original classic, nor could he hope to build on it. For one, Tobe Hooper had a minimal budget but lots of skill, whereas Michael Bay has completely the opposite, as well as a total lack of talent, maturity and refinement.

Anyway, ignoring this, the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the greatest horror films of all time, depicting the savage murders of several teenagers who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, faced with a family of sick cannibals who kill not just for pleasure, but also for lunch.

Gunnar Hansen played the disgusting Leatherface, the murderous chef of the family who prepared the cuts of human for the family, wearing the skin of his victims made into a mask. What's disturbing about the movie isn't just the documentary, no-holds-barred approach to the onscreen action, but the way humans are treated by the family. To Leatherface, people are like cows, beaten over the head with sledgehammers and them cut up, kept in freezers... it's a nasty little affair.

Possibly the coolest figure ever in McFarlane Toy's Movie Maniacs line is the Leatherface character, a near-perfect realization of what the MM line is all about. Leatherface features a perfect sculpt of the killer, splattered with blood and wielding a big chainsaw, even including body parts. It's a wonderful little figure held back only by some articulation issues, but remains one of my favourite toys ever.

Standing 7" tall, Leatherface is wonderfully sculpted in his suit and tie, covered by his blood-splattered apron, his hands and face also gleefully splashed with red. The sick skin-mask over his face is sculpted just as well as the rest of the figure, with sick details to capture the dead-look, and especially cool paint apps. The PG version of Leatherface is less bloody but lovely all the same - this is a lovely, accurate figure.

Even the look on Leatherface's face is priceless - he looks so happy to be grinding away at a victim, and why wouldn't he be? He's one of the most influential cinematic horrorshows, and was mostly a creation of Gunnar Hansen himself - he was the one who decided that Leatherface should be mentally retarded, and visited a school for the impared to study how they move and talk. Leatherface's ragged teeth, sculpted here perfectly, were actually a prosthesis designed by Gunnar's dentist.

He includes one of the most enormous chainsaws ever, far bigger than the one in the movie, but it's a moot point. Size matters, and this is a great big chainsaw. Sadly, Leatherface himself has a problem holding it due to the wacky articulation. Despite having shoulder and elbow articulation, he can't quite hold the chainsaw properly, a problematic flaw. Fortunately, too much articulation would have hindered the great sculpt, so it's a trade-off - with some posing, you can get Leatherface wielding that chainsaw, either above his head in a great insane pose, or leaning it against the ground, in a post-murder pose.

Other accessories include two body parts; a severed arm and a decapitated head, both wonderful in terms of sculpt and paint. I really do mean wonderful - looking into the gaping wound in the neck, you can see his vertebrae, some arteries and veins, all sorts of things; it's beautiful. And even funnier, since Four Horseman Chris Dahlberg sculpted this toy, and it's his head in the bucket! The blood splatter and dead eyes and broken glasses are all worth the price of purchase alone - I'm hanging out for McFarlane Toys to release a Bag 'o' Body Parts! Also included in Leatherface's bag of tricks is a bloody bucket for storing your body parts, and a small sledgehammer for those hard-to-kill humans wandering around on family property.

As with all of the Movie Maniacs, Leatherface includes a marquee. This one is my personal favourite - it includes a replica of the original awesome poster, depicting the meat-hook/boyfriend chainsaw scene that caused cinema-goers to walk out on the trailer, and the abhorrent "Who will survive, and what will be left of them?" tagline. It's wonderful and perfectly suited to the whole disgusting figure.

Overall, Leatherface is awesome, a must-own figure. This is easily the best of the early Movie Maniac series, and is a wonderful bloody mess. You owe it to yourself to have this abomination on the shelf.

If only someone could kill Michael Bay.

-- 10/17/03

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