OF PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS - “Texas Lethal Injection Massacre”

(02/14/2006)

By Tony Russell

Movie Review: Texas Lethal Injection Massacre

This Grade B horror show has become a cult classic. Gore and corpses abound as a seemingly endless parade of inmates are strapped to gurneys and meet their fate. The movie seems to have no purpose other than to disgust the viewer with a series of pointless executions, each shown in gruesome detail. As Roger Ebert wrote about the film’s obvious prototype, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, “No motivation, no background, no speculation on causes is evident anywhere in the film. It's simply an exercise in terror.”

But perhaps the point was to advance the career of the male lead, who was catapulted to stardom by the film. The star is a young George Bush, playing governor of Texas in a role later reprised, with less success, by Rick Perry in TLIM 2.

Bush’s performance lacks heart and nuance. We see him go through the motions of reviewing each capital case, but his thoughts appear to be elsewhere. It’s almost as if he finds reading the anguished case histories of many of the prisoners both laborious and boring. The film aborts the drama inherent in a series of Death Row appeals, once we catch on that nobody ever receives clemency. And yet, in its own appalling way, the movie is disturbingly effective. Its oddball genius is that Bush’s seeming detachment from the mayhem he supervises renders it almost normal. ... continued at   readtonyrussell.blogspot.com


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