I am well aware that I am in the extreme minority in actually liking the fourth Texas Chainsaw Massacre flick. The Next Generation is usually regarded as a cinematic atrocity. While I think they absolutely screwed the actual Leatherface character up, the rest of the family, especially Matthew McConaughey’s character, are awesome. The movie is a bizarre little slice of “what the hell is going on” that delivers the goods. It’s a lot lik
e Rob Zombie’s Halloween flicks in that it would have been good on its own without shoehorning in elements of a franchise that don’t really fit. In fact, it was shelved for a while until McConaughey and Renee Zellweger became stars. It just so happens that these two share a great little scene together where her stupidity buys her a whole lot of anguish.
Jenny (Zellweger) and her friend Heather are in the clutches of the lunatic redneck Slaughter family. At one point she is in the kitchen with all four family members. Heather is unconscious on the floor. She finds a shotgun and points it at everybody. Vilmer (McConaughey) pulls two shells out of his pocket, taunts her that the gun might be unloaded, and throws them on the floor at her feet. Let me repeat that as it will become important in a moment. The freakin’ shells are lying at her feet and the gun may or may not be loaded. Not an enviable position to be in, is it? Her fortunes turn when Vilmer gets pissed off at Darla, throws her down, and starts choking her out with his remote controlled mechanical leg. Leatherface is screaming in dismay at the violence (I told you they screwed his character up but good), W.E. is watching in amusement, but guess what no one is doing?
See that? No one is watching Jenny. She has a possibly unloaded double barrel shotgun, two shells at her feet, and an opportunity to load the weapon while her captors are distracted. What does she do with thus stroke of luck? Load the gun, shoot her tormentors in the back, and get her and her friend to safety, right? Nope. She just stands there and tries to wake her friend up. She doesn’t make a move for the ammunition. She doesn’t even check to see if the gun is loaded for crying out loud! She had the perfect opening to end the whole ordeal right there, and she blew it. That was your moment. Carpe Boomstick you stupid bitch! In fact, they turn around and suddenly remember she’s in the room when she starts yelling and brandishing the gun again…and she STILL doesn’t know if it’s loaded or not. Are you kidding me? So, how did that work out for you?
Turns out barrel one wasn’t loaded, which gave him time to snatch the gun from you, and now you’re in one of the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre dinner table scenes. These never end well. The girl always survives them, but like Sally in part 1, Stretch in part 2, or Michelle in part 3, Jenny is in a world of suck, goes through plenty of pain and suffering, and is scarred for life. We’re not talking group therapy and Prozac here, we’re talking quiet room and straight white vest. Just think, all of that unpleasantness with the family, the illuminati, your dead friends; all of it could have been prevented if you had seized the moment when it was gift wrapped and handed to you. Congratulations Jenny, you are today’s winner by virtue of your refusal to take advantage of an opportunity to make sure the weapon you were threatening people with was even loaded at all. Way to go dumbass!