Monday, August 24, 2015

580. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Directed by Tobe Hooper

I absolutely worship slasher films.  I have no idea why.  I always know exactly what is going to happen.  They almost never scare me.  Maybe it is because I have fond memories of them.  I used to get together with my friends in high school and watch a horror film every Saturday night.  Now I mostly watch them with my siblings.  No matter how bad the movie is, we usually have fun laughing about it.  I always bring the candy and pretend it is for everyone.  It is a great tradition.

Anyway, I have seen at least a hundred slasher movies, usually by searching for the very worst Netflix has to offer.  I suppose this is the first slasher film there is, unless you count Peeping Tom or Psycho.  But this film truly created the formula that almost every horror director has ritually copied.  A group of teenagers travel to the middle of nowhere for some obscure reason and slowly get picked off one by one by a masked killer.  Sluts in the front, please.

I am pretty sure I can handle any amount of violence on screen, unless it is sexual.  This film really tested that theory about myself.  There were scenes in this film that were just plain disgusting even to me, a seasoned viewer.  I usually like my slasher movie kills to be a bit more clean and fast.  I am much more interested in the tension than watching someone being impaled by a meat hook.

I can't honestly say I enjoyed this film, but I do appreciate its place on The List and the influence it had on one of my favorite sub genres.  Still, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great slasher.  That honor would go to Scream.  Or Cabin in the Woods.  Or forty others I can think of right now. Got a pen?

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

The actor who played Leatherface could always run faster than Marilyn Burns, so in several scenes you will see him doing random things to slow himself down.

Edwin Neal said filming this movie was more miserable than his time in Vietnam.


  1. Time to test an theory I have about replying to posts... That, although agreeing about a film is nice, it makes for not all that interesting replies.
    Oh Yuch do i dislike films like this. We have discussed this before .. I also like horror as vague genre... but it is films like this, that, in my opinion, are what people mean when they say they hate horror.
    Sorry Amanda, I really struggle to see the attraction of blood and gore and depictions of inventive grusome maiming - and having the film encourage the audience to relish it.
    This was much more of a bore and a struggle to get through than any Tarkovsky ... but with the addition of feeling sordid and grotty for having done so.
    Oh yes .. an important film that should be in the book, and, I guess, needed seeing .. but...

    1. I agree with you that this is a particularly gruesome, and actually rather unenjoyable, film. I guess I just feel like we have seen so much worse (Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer, Pink Flamingoes, the Saw movies) that I wasn't as grossed out as I should have been.

  2. Fair comment and comparison Amanda. Regretably I too have seen those three .. and some others- that are worse. My objection to Texas Chain saw was that it made this stuff well known, and decidedly 'cool' to watch. It's the image of a crowd of drunk,baying blokes sitting round the TV cheering, whooping & hollering in delight at this shit that I find so disturbing.

  3. Yes I know what you mean! Have you seen Cabin in the Woods? It does a really good job of satirizing the horror audience.