Everything about Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation points to it not only being a huge underground success, but achieving some mainstream notoriety as well, just as its grandpappy did twenty years previous. The original writer comes back to helm the flick in his directorial debut, and the casting folks manage to land a few stars who look like they're on their way up. And my, did they strike a goldmine: two of the movie's stars are Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey. I mean, this has every necessary Hallmark of underground reverence. here was great potential here (unlike the other films, Leatherface's house this time is located close to a decent-sized commercial area) to have some real fun with the concept, but instead Henkel and company went with the same straight horror-comedy mix that the whole series works with. (Only the recent remake of the original takes itself at all seriously, which is not necessarily a bad thing.) The comedy is as mean-spirited and ugly as it is in the first film, which some people are going to hate and some will take as a welcome return to form (one figures Henkel was probably responsible for most of the original film's gallows humor). As usual, there's a lot going on that makes no real sense within the story (McConaughey's Rube Goldberg-esque prosthetic leg, the insane CIA agent played by a chilling John Gale, etc.), but again, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some of the acting is sharply self satirical and darkly humorous wacky,strange weird, sometimes you expect that from a B-grade horror flick. But it succeeds at what it attempts, in a gruesome, low-budget sort of way, and doesn't deserve anywhere near the amount of revilement it has received.