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‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’: Ranking The Opening Narrations

Robby Steven

‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ franchise has been an iconic entry into the horror community for nearly 50 years. The original film broke ground in 1974 and set in motion a series of films that were never able to follow that first entry. Despite this, many of the TCM movies have been entertaining, even if they don’t follow a consistent timeline. One of the more ironic staples of the franchise is the opening narration, which began by John Larroquette. All but three TCM films begin with the opening narration that lays the groundwork for the story to kick off. Here are the six opening narrations in the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ franchise ranked.

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’: Opening Narrations Ranked

6) ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ (1995)-
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation’ has firmly established itself as the black sheep of the series. Even if it doesn’t fall at the button of someone’s personal ranking, it still stands out like a sore thumb. While the film itself is bonkers, the opening narration is bland. The traditional Star Wars-style crawl is replaced by flat text posted on the screen that paints a dry presentation.

5) ‘Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3’ (1986)-
‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3’ is arguably the most underappreciated film in the franchise. After the second film took the franchise in a more comedic direction, part 3 was a return to its more series and horror roots. The opening of ‘Leatherface’ details what has taken place since the original film. We learn that the only surviving member of the family was named W.E. Sawyer who died in a gas chamber in 1981. In response to Sally Hardesty’s testimony, “Leatherface” was likely just an alternate personality of Sawyer’s. That observation proves to be incorrect, leading to the events of the film.

A Change in Tone

4) ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ (1990)-
The first sequel to Tobe Hooper’s classic turned heads when it was released in 1986 due to its noticeable shift in tone. Gone was the realistic and raw feeling of the first film, which was replaced by over-the-top comedy played more for laughs than scares. The opening narration is more dramatic than those before and after, playing to the theme of the film itself.

3) ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (2022)-
The 2022 legacy direct sequel to the original film has received mixed reviews from fans and critics, but its opening narration deserves praise. John Larroquette returns to voice the narration that is revealed to be a commercial for a true-crime special. The DVD narration details TCM as if it was a real event in canon to the film. Intercut are clips from residents and the police who witnessed the carnage played to uncomfortable background music. The camera pans out as we find the TV playing in a gas station that sells merchandise to earn income from the town’s history. Archival footage mixed with newly shot scenes is weaved together, therefore, resulting in one of the best openings in the franchise.

Classics Never Die

2) ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ (1974)-
The opening narration of the original TCM is simple but effective, much like the film itself. John Larroquette sets the tone from the first line, painting a somber image of what will soon be witnessed. There is nothing fancy about the narration, but it doesn’t take away from its effectiveness. While not the most creative, it still packs a punch that holds up nearly 50 years later.

‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’: Setting the Tone

1) ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)-
The trailer for the 2003 remake of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ dropped and caught the attention of the horror community. When the film reel rolled, it once again commanded attention. John Larroquette narrates his second of three films in the franchise and finds a way to stand out in the best possible way. The remake ditches the opening crawl and is substituted by grainy crime footage of an attack.

The narration begins as almost a word-for-word copy of the original but switches midway through to go in its own direction. We learn that the footage played is of a crime-scene walkthrough of the Hewitt residence that ends with a quick glimpse of Leatherface attacking the police officers. The narration is unsettling and realistic and makes those watching uneasy about what is soon to come.

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