The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

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Who will survive and what will be left of them?
“The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
- Opening Monologue, read by John Larroquette

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an American slasher film.  It was directed by Tobe Hooper, written by Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper, and produced by Kim Henkel, Tobe Hooper, Jay Parsley, and Richard Saenz.  It starred Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, and John Dugan.  

Why It Rocks

  1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre is responsible for helping to lay the groundwork for the slasher genre, even before Halloween.  
  2. It made the hitchhiker and abandoned houses popular cliches in slasher films.  
  3. The cinematography has an old, grainy look which gives it an ominous feel. 
  4. Despite its name, there aren't any chainsaw kills.  In fact, there's very little blood in general.  This movie relies on suspense and tension to scare its viewers rather than graphic gore. This is a very different approach to the horror genre.  
  5. Good acting.  
  6. The iconic camera sound.
  7. Great soundtrack.  
  8. Excellent casting.
  9. The dinner scene is likely one of if not the most terrifying scene in any horror movie. Especially with the main character Sally screaming of agony. Fun fact, those screams are actually real screams as actor Marilyn Burns implied that the dinner scene drove her insane and terrified her.

Bad Qualities

  • The film was banned in several countries including, Brazil, France, Germany, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Singapore due to its violent content.
  • None of the sequels (and the 2003 remake) have been able to have the same thunder as the original.

Trivia

  • Similar to Psycho , this movie was loosely based on the real life serial killer Ed Gein.  However, while Psycho focused more on Ed Gein's fascination with his mother, this movie focused more on Ed Gein's cannibalism and the fact that he liked to wear the skin of his deceased mother.

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