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'Chainsaw' prequel is a cut below

Poor Leatherface.

He never quite made it into the top tier of slasher-movie killers ( Jason, Freddy, and Michael ), so it doesn't come as a surprise when we see him angrily hack up beef in the local slaughterhouse. And especially not when we see him driving a chainsaw clean through the pretty boy he's always wanted to be.

The new prequel, ``The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning," isn't really a slasher movie at all. It's a mess, with too much to say, and an odd genre in which to preach . Strange pro-war sentiments are prevalent throughout. It's 1969 and the world is divided by the conflict in Vietnam. So are two brothers, Dean and Eric. Dean (Taylor Handley) wants to dodge the draft and head to Mexico with his girlfriend, while Eric (Matthew Bomer) is proud to go back to fight overseas as his girlfriend shrugs .

Eric's girlfriend is played by Jordana Brewster, the film's biggest name. She's so static that when she runs through a glass window during a climactic scene, it seems way out of character.

While intended to be a prequel to the remake, this is basically a remake of the remake. Director Jonathan Liebesman relies too much on cringe-inducing gore. Those who stomached Eli Roth's ``Hostel" have already watched unnecessary surgery performed without anesthesia. Even ``Nip/Tuck" has shown ickier facial removals.

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