Macabre…ish Horror Review: The Sawyer Massacre



The Sawyer Massacre, 2022/ 1 hr 34 min



Eight years before the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre takes place…


• June 30, 1965


Some friends, Gene (Bryley Michael Bell), Brant (Jordan Fortiz) and Jimmy (Jordan O’Neal) go out to Brant’s family’s cabin, it is rough, rustic and in the middle of nowhere. Jimmy is mourning and his buddies hope to make him feel better before he heads to Canada for the Summer.


They are not quite alone, there are neighbors, Lorraine (Alicia Jade) and Alison (Nika Louw) who are also on vacation. Plus there is a gas station down the road that sells barbecue. It’s a family business.


When some outsiders stop in hoping for something to eat, they are lured to the family farm by Rex (William Instone) with the promise of food. It quickly goes bad when Rex takes them to a shack and starts acting weird instead of feeding them. Then he leaves them standing there.


When the pair go to the nearby house, Bob (Josh Skurnik) hears someone moaning, upon further inspection he finds a slaughter house in the basement. Human body parts are scattered around and hanging from the rafters in various stages of processing. Bob doesn’t return and Kathleen (Olivia Andrade) goes in to find him and ends up on a meat hook.


The next to go to the store and find themselves at the farm are new friends, Jimmy, Brant, Gene, Lorraine and Alison. Today is a busy day for the store, lots of traffic, some campers, a neighbor and they all end up on the farm.


Inside the house, Gene and his friends look around and find blood on the walls and before they leave they find Grandpa (Les Best) who quickly alerts Leatherface (Scotty Parkin) to their presence.  And Brant, who wants to be a model, is relieved of his face while his friends hang from the rafters, waiting their turn.


Outside, Lorraine, Alison and two other families, are totally unaware of what’s happening, and talking to a neighbor who is warning them about rumors about the place.


Inside, Gene and Jimmy manage to escape but in an attempt to save everyone else, it somehow makes it worse. But Jimmy and Alison escape temporarily and Alison finds out that she’s wanted for more than barbecue.


Seated around the family table with Grandpa while his philosophizes about life and madness. Gene is allowed to die slowly while Alison is promised to Leatherface who clearly likes her. Jimmy is in and out of consciousness.


They’ll get lucky one more time, they better make it count.



This Texas Chainsaw Massacre prequel directed by Steve Merlo is pretty good. Leatherface is a disgusting specimen as expected, they found some good scream queens in the actors who play Alison and Lorraine. This movie seems like it shows more than it actually does and many of the kills are very reminiscent of the times.


I did think the cinematography was a little off, if it was even 70s cinematography it would have been better aesthetically, grittier. The pacing is pretty good but I lost track of the characters after a while. All in all, I still really enjoyed this movie. Find it on youtube!

Listen to the podcast interview we had with Steve when the film was in still in production. Follow for the post production episode, coming soon! Or click here and choose your preferred podcast platform.