It’s now the end of the first week of the new year, but January is usually the time of when Hollywood dumps its worst movies on us because they couldn’t figure when else to release them. As a result there are only three movies opening in Los Angeles this weekend, but audiences may want to seek them out anyway.
Like many horror movies, this one was not screened in advance for the critics but that never stops fans of the genre from seeing them on opening weekend. There have been many sequels, prequels and remakes to Tobe Hooper’s infamous horror classic from 1974, but “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” is said to be a follow up to it.
The story has the townspeople of Newt, Texas torching the Sawyer family’s farm house for their role in aiding Jeb Sawyer (a.k.a. Leatherface) in his horrific murder spree. After that, the whole family is presumed dead except for an infant girl named Heather who is placed with an adoptive family. Twenty years later, Heather (Alexandra Daddario) is informed by a lawyer that her long lost grandmother has left her an inheritance, and she travels to Texas with her some of her friends to collect on it. Guess who they run into…
Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures (the company responsible for the “Saw” films) have now taken over the “Texas Chainsaw” franchise from Platinum Dunes which released the vapid remake and its needless prequel a few years ago. In addition, this new movie also stars actors from the previous films as well. Marilyn Burns, who played Sally Hardesty in the original film, plays Verna in this one and it marks her first role in a movie in 28 years. Bill Moseley, who played Chop Top Sawyer in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” portrays Drayton Sawyer, the same character played by the late Jim Siedow in the original. Also the original Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, has a cameo in this film as well.
Hooper himself has been quoted as saying “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D” is “incredible” and that it is a “perfectly terrifying follow-up to the original.” Here’s hoping that the fans will be in agreement with him on that.
Written and directed by Michael Connors, “Allegiance” stars Seth Gabel as Danny Sefton, a Lieutenant for the National Guard who receives a questionable transfer allowing him to stay stateside while the rest of his unit prepares to deploy for Iraq. But soon after that happens, one of the soldiers attempts to go AWOL which forces Danny to choose between his loyalties to that soldier, his unit and his bride to be.
“Allegiance” was an official selection of the Hollywood Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and the Seattle International Film Festival in 2012. Starring alongside Gabel in the movie are Shad "Bow Wow" Moss, Aidan Quinn, Malik Yoba, and Pablo Schreiber. Brandon Harris of Filmmaker Magazine described it as “intelligently written and genuinely felt,” and Matt Frederick of Austinist said “the only difficult part of watching this film might come from not knowing exactly who you’re rooting for.”
“Allegiance” will be showing at the Chinese Theatres located at Hollywood and Highland.
This documentary directed by Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet is about three teenagers who live in a small desert town in Southern California. This town has long since become dominated by foreclosed homes, underpasses, empty swimming pools and skate parks, and these kids try to find constructive things to do in the town even though it doesn’t offer much of anything. From there we see how the friendships blossom as the three of them discover exactly what it means to be young in this day and age.
“Only The Young” is being distributed by the independent film distribution company Oscilloscope, and its website describes the documentary as being “delicate, ethereal filmmaking” and the three teenagers at its center as “innocent yet rebellious subjects who collectively embody the very essence of adolescence.” It won the Sterling Silver Award at the AFI/Discovery Channel Silverdocs Film Festival and the Emerging Cinematic Vision Award at the Camden International Festival.
“Only The Young” will be playing at the Downtown Independent in Los Angeles.