The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is a 2006 American slasher film and a prequel to 2003's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The sixth installment of the Texas Chainsaw franchise was directed by Jonathan Liebesman and co-produced by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper (co-creators of the original 1974 film). The film went into release in North America on October 6, 2006. The film's story takes place four years before the timeline of the 2003 film. It stars Jordana Brewster, Diora Baird, Taylor Handley, Matt Bomer and R. Lee Ermey.
In 1939, a woman dies while giving birth in a slaughterhouse, and the manager disposes of the baby by leaving him in a dumpster outside. A young woman, Luda Mae Hewitt (Marietta Marich), finds the child while searching for food. She takes him back to the Hewitt residence, names him Thomas, and decides to raise him as her own son.
Thirty years later, Thomas (now known as Leatherface) (Andrew Bryniarski) works in the same factory in which his real mother died, working for the same man that left him in the dumpster. He is informed that the plant has been shut down by the health department but refuses to leave, until the boss forces his assistant to make him leave. Later that day, Leatherface returns and brutally kills his boss in a fit of rage. Before leaving, Leatherface finds a chainsaw, which he takes with him. Luda Mae's son, Charlie Hewitt (R. Lee Ermey), learns from the town's Sheriff (Lew Temple) what Leatherface has done and accompanies him to arrest him. When they find Leatherface, Charlie kills the Sheriff and assumes his identity. He takes his body back home, and butchers him for stew meat. He informs the rest of the family that they will not leave the poverty stricken town, and that with "good people like the sheriff" they'll never go hungry again.
Two brothers, Eric (Matthew Bomer) and Dean (Taylor Handley), are driving across the country with their girlfriends, Chrissie (Jordana Brewster) and Bailey (Diora Baird), to enlist in the Vietnam War. They stop at an eatery where they encounter a group of bikers, and leave followed by a female biker named Alex. Dean reveals that he's decided not to enlist and burns his draft card, right before Alex draws a shotgun and orders the group to pull over. A chase ensues and the car crashes; Chrissie is thrown from the Jeep and lands in a field out of sight. Sheriff Hoyt arrives at the scene shortly after and immediately shoots Alex.
Sheriff Hoyt finds Dean's burnt draft card and demands to know who it belongs to. To save his brother, Eric claims that it's his. After making them put Alex's body in his car, Hoyt forces the group in as well, and calls for Uncle Monty to tow the wreckage, which Chrissie is hiding in. Hoyt drives them to the Hewitt house and calls for Leatherface to get rid of Alex's body. Meanwhile, Hoyt hangs Eric and Dean up by their arms from rafters in a barn, and ties Bailey under a kitchen table inside the house. Monty brings the wrecked car back to the house, and Chrissie sees her friends tied up from afar. She runs back to the highway to get help and flags down Holden (Lee Tergesen), Alex's boyfriend, who follows Chrissie back to the house to find her.
At the Hewitt's, Hoyt wraps Eric's face with cellophane, slowly suffocating him for trying to dodge the draft. Dean begs him to stop and finally admits that the draft card was his. Hoyt allows Eric to breathe and releases Dean, promising to let them go free if he can do ten push-ups. He does so, but Hoyt beats him with a baton, leaving him incapacitated. When Hoyt leaves, Eric breaks free from his restraints and gets Dean to safety before sneaking into the house to free Bailey. However, Dean is caught in a bear trap while Hoyt knocks Eric unconscious with a shotgun. Bailey takes Monty's truck and drives down the road, but Leatherface stabs her in the shoulder with a meat hook and pulls her out before dragging her back into the house. He then carries Eric to the basement, where he sees Alex's mutilated body hanging from the ceiling.
At nightfall, Holden and Chrissie arrive at the house but part ways to search for their friends separately. Chrissie finds Dean who informs her Eric and Bailey are still inside the house. Holden encounters Monty and shoots him in the knee before taking Hoyt hostage, and ordering him to take him to "the girl". Meanwhile, Leatherface removes the skin from Eric's arms. Chrissie hears his screams and locates the door to the basement. Hoyt takes Holden to Bailey, incorrectly thinking she is the girl he's looking for. He then calls Leatherface for help and Chrissie enters the basement unnoticed. Holden prepares to shoot Hoyt but Leatherface arrives and kills Holden with his chainsaw by cutting him in half. Chrissie finds Eric and tries to free him but cannot remove his restraints, and hides under the table when Leatherface returns. Leatherface inspects Eric's face before impailing him with his chainsaw. He then skins Eric's face and wears it as a mask.
Hoyt calls Leatherface upstairs and tells him to cut off Monty's legs, since the bullet cannot be removed. Chrissie is about to leave when she hears Bailey's screams and decides to go back and save her. She finds her upstairs and attempts to untie her, but Hoyt catches her and brings her downstairs for dinner, along with Bailey, and an unconscious Dean. Leatherface soon slits Bailey's throat with a pair of scissors after revealing that all of her teeth have been extracted. He then grabs Chrissie and tries to carry her to the basement, but she stabs him in the back with a screwdriver and escapes by jumping out of a window. Leatherface pursues her with his chainsaw.
Meanwhile, Dean regains consciousness and repeatedly smashes Hoyt's head into the porch, before heading off to find Chrissie. Chrissie hides in the slaughter house, and after noticing that Leatherface has found her, she grabs a knife and hides in a tank of pigs blood. She cuts Leatherface's face with the knife when he finds her but before she can escape, he throws her to the ground. As he is about to kill her, Dean arrives and stops him, but Leatherface kills Dean with his chainsaw. Chrissie makes her way to a nearby car and drives off. She sees a state trooper who has pulled someone over in the distance, but as Chrissie pulls over, Leatherface suddenly appears in the back seat and impales her with his chainsaw, causing her to loose control anf run over both the trooper and the man he pulled. Leatherface then exits the car and walks along the road back towards the Hewitt house.
- Jordana Brewster as Chrissie
- Taylor Handley as Dean A. Hill
- Diora Baird as Bailey
- Matt Bomer as Eric Hill
- R. Lee Ermey as Charlie Hewitt Jr. / Sheriff Hoyt
- Andrew Bryniarski as Thomas Hewitt / Leatherface
- Terrence Evans as "Monty" Hewitt
- Kathy Lamkin as Tea Lady Hewitt
- Marietta Marich as Luda Mae Hewitt
- Allison Marich as Young Luda Mae
- Leslie Calkins as Sloane
- Tim De Zarn as Owner of the slaughterhouse
- Marcus H. Nelson as Jed
- Lew Temple as Sheriff Winston
- Cyia Batten as Alex
- Lee Tergesen as Holden
- John Larroquette as Narrator (uncredited)
Box office Edit
In the US, the film opened on $18,508,228, averaging $6,563 at 2,820 sites and ranked #2, behind The Departed. Overall in the US, the film had a final grossing of $39,517,763. As of 2009 the film had a worldwide gross of US$51,764,406.
Upon release the film was heavily panned. On "Rotten Tomatoes" as of 2013 it holds a 12% "rotten" rating, with consensus stating: "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning is full of blood and gore, but not enough scares or a coherent story to make for a successful horror film." Peter Travers from Rolling Stone awarded the film half a star out of four stars, calling the film "putridly written, directed and acted", also criticizing the film's obvious plot turns. Nathan Lee from The New York Times panned the film calling it "an invitation to hard-core sadism". The film was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Awards in 2006 in the category "Worst Prequel or Sequel".