It’s a battle bloody enough to make Leatherface squeamish. As this column reported in March, the creators of The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre have been trying for more than a year to get Columbia/TriStar Home Video to release the film, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger and is the third sequel to the 1974 horror classic. Now the matter is going to court.
SO FAR, 1997 HAS BEEN AN extraordinary year for outing Mexico’s narco-political secrets.
Call in the lawyers. Check the prenuptial agreement. Cancel the credit cards and put everything in writing.The political honeymoon for George W. Bush is definitely, irrevocably, terminally over.
TOM HENDERSON PULLS HIS PICKUP TRUCK off texas Highway 79 north of Byers, a small North Texas town near the Red River. He parks alongside a grassy bluff south of the long bridge over the river by a green sign that reads “State Line.” Since the south bank of the Red is supposedly the border between Texas and Oklahoma, you’d expect to see sandbars and muddy waters just ahead. But thanks to the forces of nature—aided by years of court rulings and lawsuits—the border is now half a mile south of the river in tall grass and woods.
THE HALLS SEEMED EMPTY AS MY HEART. I walked past some old wooden doors that looked like they’d been closed for a hundred years, some pebbled glass, and about seven spittoons. Before I knew it I was sitting in a big office in front of a big desk behind which sat a big woman. Everything was big in Texas, I thought. Even the small towns.
“The old lady who died last night,” I said. “The one with her lips sewn shut. That one definitely goes down as murder, right?”
I NEVER DID GET TO TALK TO CHERYL HOPWOOD. On the day that I was supposed to meet her in Washington D.C., she had to go to a hospital for some tests. I then arranged to speak with her by phone, but her lawyers at the Center for Individual Rights (“Bringing lawsuits for a better America,” says the recorded messages that greets callers) canceled our interview because no one was available to listen in on the conversation.
ANDY COLLINS HAS REVEALED HIMSELF for what he really is—a self-serving promoter [“The Great Texas Prison Mess,” May 1996]. In an attempt to deflect attention from his malfeasance, Mr. Collins implies that the public concern about crime and the incarceration of convicted felons was a hoax orchestrated by the criminal justice establishment.
IN 1990 A UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS at Austin finance professor named Stephen Magee made headlines when he tried to put a dollar figure on the damage that lawyers and lawsuits inflict on the U.S. economy. He eventually estimated $320 billion a year—$1 million for each of the 320,000 American lawyers that he determined to be superfluous. Clever rogues that they are, lawyers were quick to respond: Magee received letters from attorneys wanting to know where they could surrender their law licenses in exchange for the million bucks.
“IT WAS THE STUPIDEST THING THE STATE of Texas has ever done,” Andy Collins said about his crowning achievement, his oversight of the greatest expansion of prison beds in the history of the free world. “The public was absolutely hoodwinked into thinking that the only way the crime problem could ever be solved was prosecution and incarceration. We should’ve been interceding at an earlier age, dealing with these kids before they ever became crooks. But instead, we’re just taking juveniles and feeding them directly into the system.
Johnny and Edgar Winter, the Beaumont-raised blues legends, think there’s nothing comical about the comic book series Jonah Hex: Riders of the Worm and Such, and they’ve filed suit in Los Angeles against the series’s publisher, DC Comics.