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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

  Tags: 70's, cannibals, chainsaw, classic film, Gunner Hansen, horror icon, leatherface, tcm, texas chainsaw massacre, Tobe Hooper

Your rating: None Average: 8.4 (42 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
9

tcm.jpg
Rating #: 
9/10
Director: 
Tobe Hooper
Runtime: 
83 minutes
Cast: 
Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow


Ah yes, I love this movie. This is one of my favorite films. I remember seeing it when I was younger and really liking it and just watching it over and over through the years. I never get tired of this flick, and I love showing it to friends of mine who've never seen it; Suckers. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the UK Special Edition DVD that came out over the summer. It kicks the US DVD release in the nuts; Loaded with extras, including the 70-minute documentary; excellent stuff. Not to mention the cover is a lot better than the dumbass slab of hamburger meat that's on the new DVD release.

A lot of people wonder why I don't review movies like F13 and the Nightmare films and my answer is always the same - what horror fan hasn't already seen those films? Which is another reason why I never reviewed TCM, but since a lot of young horror fans now-a-days wanna see the remake and don't realize that the original even exists and has been for almost 30 years, I figured I'd put this review up.

So let’s talk about the story. It's basically about 5 youths who go across country to visit an old abandoned family home. While on the way they pick up a odd-looking hitchhiker, who ends up cutting up one of the people (hate it when that happens) and freaking everyone out. They ditch the weirdo and continue on their way. Once they reach their destination they talk about the memories they had when they were younger and eventually split up for one reason or another. Naturally they end up crossing paths with Leatherface, who just happens to live close by to the old home, and its R.I.P. young people.

The story isn't the greatest, but for its time it was fairly original and you don't obviously see a flick like this for its story. I've stated many times in previous reviews that I love flicks like these. I dunno why, but I'm really into those movies where people go on a road trip and meet up with a crazy ass family and stuff; makes me wanna go on a road trip myself. Back when I first saw this movie I actually believed the supposed "true" disclaimer that appears before the film starts. It goes on to say that the events in the film are true and blah, blah. I forgot why they added that, but I know that it obviously isn't true. The only thing true is the fact that it's inspired by serial killer Ed Gein, who dug up his mother and various other women and even wore decayed human skin.

This movie didn't do very well when it first came out, but over time it gained a cult status and eventually became one of the most popular horror films in history; even making the Leatherface character into a horror icon. So why do people like myself like the movie so much? Aside from it being a "cult" film and personally digging the road trip-theme, I like the movie because of its rawness and brutality. It's such an edgy film and has no gore at all except for a death scene at the end, and barely any blood. It's funny how director Tobe Hooper originally wanted a PG-rating for the film, but back then there was no PG-13 rating, so a lot of edgy films were PG-rated. Either way, I'm glad that never happened.

The directing is excellent, with its interesting camera angles and freaky shots of Leatherface coming out from the bushes in the middle of the night and close-ups of a screaming Sally while sitting at the dinner table. I can see why people walked out of the movie when it was shown in theatres back then. Wusses. So despite this movie being one of my favorites, I still decided to give it a 9-rating and not a 10, because a movie has to be perfect or damn near to get a 10 in my opinion. This movie is close, but not quite enough.

The remake is coming out in a few weeks and I'm planning on seeing it. I'm positive it won’t top the original flick, but I'm sure it'll be decent. If you're lookin' to get your hands on the UK Special Edition DVD you can do so at Xploited Cinema. Here are some interesting little facts about the film I decided to throw in...

The budget was only $140,000.

The original title was going to be Headcheese, but was changed in the last minute. Horrible title anyway.

A lot of the cuts on Sally were real, because she actually cut herself on the branches while running away from Leatherface, so a lot of the blood on her was actually hers. Also when they cut her finger during the dinner scene, they really do cut it, because they couldn't get the fake blood working.

The human skeleton hanging towards the end of the movie was real, because it was cheaper than getting a fake one.

One of my favorite horror films. This is a violent and edgy cult film that leaves you thinking about it weeks after viewing it. Highly recommended for any horror fan.

Posted on July 2, 2009 - 11:38pm | FrighT MasteR

 

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