Back of Box:
This is the bizarre and tragically gruesome account of what happened to five young friends one summer afternoon in rural Texas.
After hearing reports of grave robbing, the group sets out to check on a family grave. Soon after, one-by-one they wander
into the murderous clutches of Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen).
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a frightening classic that possesses
an undying power to terrorize audiences again and again. It's ability to truly horrify is so strong that when the movie
first opened, some people actually walked out in a state of shock.
Plot: It starts off with
a basic van load of teens, but turns into one of the most inventive and unrelentless scenarios. The plot to this film
set many standards for the slashers of today. Also, it is highly ranked among the slasher greats for bringing everything
to the table, or BBQ, if you will, including touches of exploitation and cannibalism. It's also twisted enough to scare
today, even in our, now desensitized, society. It's gritty and undeniably shocking.
Acting: For the '70s I
must say I adored the cast. Everyone that was killed made an excellent victim, but I must say I give it up for Paul
A. Partain for his portrayal of one of the most annoyingly fun characters ever, Franklin. Marilyn Burns does the tortured
heroine to a tee, such hysteria. Of course one cannot forget to mention the great performances by our villains;
Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen), the Hitchhiker (Edwin Neil), and the Old Man (Jim Siedow).
Gore: Body Count (5)
Oddly enough, other than an accidentally inflicted chainsaw wound to our main villain and a particularly shocking chainsaw
attack, there is no gore and virtually no blood in this film. You'd think for a movie with massacre in the
title this fact would hurt the film. To the contrary, it does the exact opposite. Think about it. Meat hooks,
hammers, and chainsaws, three weapons that, when used, we don't need to see it to see it. We can create images
in our minds more disturbing than what they could've shown us. That's how it went down for me, anyway.
Suspense: Let's face it
this whole film is terror and suspense. The chase scenes are made more intense, in that, Leatherface actually runs,
opposed to the much over used "power walk." There are also a few stand out scenes for me. The hitchhiker scene
never fails to scare the crap out of me. Of course, the dinner scene never fails either, the only difference?
The dinner scene is way closer to God.
Directing: Tobe Hooper
does something real with this one. I mean it. His use of a more documentary style shoves the terror right in your
face. Rough, raw, chaotic shots add to the reality, the real horror. Brilliant!
Tech: The lighting plays
it very well. Nice amber hues give that desert, deserted look and light blue lighting works well for the creepier shots.
The music adds in very nicely to the overall feel. The sound takes the horror to the next level, and gives us the
loudest scream ever recorded during the dinner scene.
Other: I really liked the
masks of skin Leatherface dons throughout the film. I also must say the setting works very well, gives it that
hopeless atmosphere. The scenery must also be commented on, the skeleton couch, hanging skulls,
the head light, all sick, twisted visions. Almost like a nightmare.
Final Word: A pioneer, a true inspiration to
the horror genre. Without it, I highly doubt the horror genre would be the same. It set a standard in terror that,
to this day, has yet to be matched. It's disturbing, it's shocking, it's a masterpiece.