The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


I’ve avoided this movie like the plague. It’s been sitting there, in it’s shinny metal case, looking at me for weeks since I bought it. I’ve been afraid to watch it. Not because it’s scary, I’ve seen all the others, so I know what to expect. Hell , I’ve even seen documentary’s on it. No, I avoided it because I’m afraid it won’t live up to what I expect of it. The movies pretty much a damn legend in and of it’s self. and if it doesn’t hold up, what am I going to think about it.

From the opening text that scrolls the screen, I started to feel better about it already. We go from there to what I’d say is some of the best looking corpses I’ve seen in years. They looked quite real for a decomposed body. So in less then five minutes, my fear started to subside.

For a film made in ’74, it looks quite good. I like the granny look to the film, reminds me of the exploitation films I would watch, when I was far too young to of course. Any horror fan starts younger then they should, I think it’s part of the fandom.

So we all know what it’s about, five kids traveling through Texas, get pulled into what can only be described as a living hell. Starting first with the hitchhiker. Of course, any fan of horror knows the rules, don’t pick up hitchhikers. The one they pick up is quite the character, showing pictures of the slaughterhouse, cutting himself, light a fire in the van, and later cutting one of the kids.

After stopping at a gas station that has no gas, they decide to head to the old house of one of their grandparents. Strangely they find some bones in it, but not much is thought on this. A couple of them head off to go swimming, and come across a house near by, they decide to stop at to see if they can borrow some gas.

And then the fun starts.

It starts with a hammer blow to the head, and the twitching body that falls to the floor. One of my all time favorite kills in cinema. I’ve seen it thousands of times, it being one of the few scenes I knew of before watching. Another hammer blow to finish it.  Delivered to us for the first time we ever see Leatherface.

By this day and age, everyone knows Leatherface. I only wish I could of been alive back when this was new, I would loved to have seen these classics for the first time in the theater or at a drive in. The fear people talk about when they viewed it is almost completely lost on my generation. And there hasn’t been a horror movie released in the last decade that people have talked about being afraid of for years.

We got our little tour of the house, filled with bones,  and flesh, and all things nasty you don’t want to be surrounded by. Followed by impaling on a hook, and chopping up a body with a chainsaw.  At this point I know that I love this movie.

On a side note, I really wish Marilyn Burns, playing the Final Girl Sally, acted in more movies. She had an ass to kill for. Even if her acting was sub par, that ass made her the best part.

Why is it everyone just walks into a house they don’t know, like it isn’t a problem.  You have no right to go into their house and looking through their freezers. So don’t act like such a bitch when you find one with a body in it. So three down, and two left, Sally, our final girl, and The Guy In The Wheelchair, who doesn’t stop whining at everything for the entire movie it seems, go looking for the others, and come across the house.

Before they even make it to the house, we just surprised by Leatherface, with the beautiful chainsaw he sets deep into the Wheelchair kid. As with most of the deaths and gore in the movie, it’ off screen, using that tried and true, the mind can make worse images then any camera can catch.

We’re then shown our middle of the night chase scene, in which it’s pretty hard to tell whats going on, but she’s screaming, and the chainsaws buzzing, so we get the just of it. The biggest mistake of the movie happens here. Sally runs to the house for help. Not such a good idea. The chase leads away from the house, and back to the gas station….some how.  Who, to anyone that’s seen the sequel will know right away, he’s in on it.

We get back to the house, the hitchhiker turns out to be Leatherface’s brother, the gas station guy turns out to be in control of the family, beating and ordering them around. We finally make it to the other scene I knew, and by far the best scene of the movie. Supper.

I’m not going to talk much about the supper scene, cause nothing I can say will give it justice.  So let’s skip to the end. As we all know Sally makes it out, gets away on a truck, leaving Leatherface to swing his chainsaw in anger.

And that’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Did it live up to my hopes? Some what, It’s good, I like the cinematography, I think it looks beautiful, the effects look good. The screaming gets old fast, and the lack of gore on screen doesn’t have the same effects these days as it work before. But it was good. I’m glad I finally watched it.

Score- 79%
Gore – 4/10

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