The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Review

The Texas Chain saw Massacre is a 1974 horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. The film is constantly regarded as one of the most revolutionary films of the genre, changing the way horror films are produced and to be honest, I somewhat agree, I can’t really think of a film handled like this before 1974 but can name quite a few that came out after.

Probably one of the boldest horror films ever made. Even from the title, a sense of pure dirt and grit is felt. Forces you to picture splattered blood on a wall already filthy from the dry mud of the scorching Texas soil, and a rusty chainsaw spinning in rhythm with your pounding heart. The film is accompanied with a sense of realism, with most of it filmed handheld. Awkward angles. Grainy film. There is no holding back. Deaths are pushed to the utter extreme, quick, while staying grounded. Portraying humanity at its edge and its most inhumane.

Spoilers

The film opens with a text crawl explaining the situation of how this is a true story (it’s not) and we are to watch the event unfold in this picture. Then we cut to some strange shots of the-the sun? then some eerie shots of body parts or something and some squeaking and creaky noise of a bulb on those old fashioned film cameras, the noise which is now synonymous with this picture. Then a shot of a decayed corpse in a weird pose, as if it was a statue.

A simple tale of five twenty-somethings. One wheelchair bound, named Franklin, and is brothers with the main girl, Sally, two other dudes, Kurt and something else, and another girl, I’ve forgotten the name, out on a weekend drive in Texas. They meet a strange James Franco looking hitchhiker who starts getting a bit too crazy with Franklin’s pocketknife and cuts his own palm and Franklin’s arm, takes a picture of Franklin and burns it in a little heap of gunpowder. Needless to say, the gang was a bit spooked. After running out of petrol because they drove all the way to a petrol station that had no petrol, and was owned by a certain someone who may or may not be important later on, they decide to stop by an old abandoned slaughterhouse that Franklin’s grandad owns. Kurt and his girlfriend decide to stroll off by themselves and before you know it, they are at the mercy of Leatherface, a bloodthirsty killer dressed as a butcher and wears a mask made from the skin of what I assume would be his victims. When I mean “at the mercy”, I only mean for a short while, the dude receives a, not so swift, death and gets hit on the head with a mallet and just starts spazzing on the floor covered in blood, only to be dragged away as a sliding metal door scrapes shut ominously to send our poor friend to the next stage of his grizzly fate. Goodbye Kurt, have a nice day. As for the girl, well let’s just say that her fate is also the introduction of the famous hook scene. It’s just all too wonderful. Picked up like a new-born baby, then BAM, impaled by a hook and left to hung, just hoping the barbeque doesn’t help drag you down and tear that skin some more.

Man, do I love me some violence.

Later, Sally, Franklin, and Mr (insert name) are waiting, arguing about what they should do as their buddies don’t seem to be returning from their trip. Then the big man himself, the other guy with the glasses and the afro, I think, I can’t remember if he did have one, decides to go and look for those hooligans. But Sally is reluctant on that idea cos they’re in love, and que the lovey dovey bull faeces.

“Don’t go”

“I gotta babe, they took the gummy bears”

“We have more in the van, please don’t go”

“Those are gummy worms, come on, you know that’s not the same. Jeez!”

“You don’t have to be a dick about it”

Franklin now “guys we also have some nuts and gummy cola bottles… and also some normal Coke. But in cans though”

70s man “shut up fatty”

Sally “hey, don’t call my brother fat”

Four eyes “sorry babe, but he is fat”

“no, I’m not”

Sally “I mean, he’s not technically, really, you are really, I’m just trying to say, maybe if you look at a certain angle, no that doesn’t work, he’s not wrong Franklin”

Franklin “great! Now I’m gonna shoot myself”

Man “good”

Sally “do you really have to go?”

“You don’t understand, they could’ve gone halfway through the bag by now, this is a national crisis!”

“You’re so heroic”

“I know, I’ve got the abs of a Greek god and the pectorals of David Hasselhoff in the Spongebob Movie, all hairy and shameless”

“I love you”

Franklin “that’s disgusting man, I’m gonna vomit”

Man again “You shut your goddamn mouth or Imma stick a grenade down your throat”

Sally “Be safe”

“Your brother’s a dollop”

No that didn’t happen. The thing is, it gets boring writing these reviews, sometimes you forget that you started something to have fun with it, then sooner or later, it turns into a chore that you don’t get around to doing over two months later. So, lemme have fun with this.

Anyways, the man does go and look for the other two, though he soon dies, can’t remember how. Then Sally and Franklin go looking for him. Then out of nowhere, Leatherface grinds through Franklin’s tum tum with his chainsaw. It’s like he unlocked the chainsaw as if it was a video game. He got enough points killing the other three with the mallet, the weapon you start with, to unlock it. Then Sally ran off screaming, a bit annoying, but then again, she is being chased by a maniacal man in a butcher outfit and a skin mask with a chainsaw who killed her brother and might have very well killed her other mates, so you really can’t blame her. She then finds herself on rougher terrain, like an absolute idiot, tripping n’ shit, no she wasn’t high, she was really tripping on stuff. I don’t even know how many times she tripped. Maybe a horror film can be more scary with competent people because then it will show that even normal people couldn’t survive these situations.

She then finds herself back at the petrol station, oh wait, I mean “gas station”. How is it gas if it’s a liquid? It’s as if they put petrol in a car and saw the emissions from the exhaust and went “look, gas!”. Maybe it’s related to them calling petrol gasoline. So, the man in the petrol station is there and seems to help her out but it’s only when he comes with a rope and wears a creepy face does Sally get the whole picture. She then grabs a knife or something, but the man prevails with a broom, “wut?”. So, then he shoves her into his pickup truck “cos this is ‘Merica godammit!” and drives till psycho bloke with the polaroid from the beginning shows up on the middle of the street doing his sad little psycho dance, flapping about. It’s revealed that the old man is his dad and when they go back to Leatherface’s place, apparently, he’s his dad too. It’s a cute little cannibalistic family. Yeah, they’re cannibals by the way.

It’s here where we see the grandad for the first time. At first, he seems like a dead corpse lying around because, y’know, creepy horror stuff. But actually, this thing is alive. Oh my god, it’s so nasty. They cut Sally’s finger and make the thing suck on it. It’s all ugh, and oh Jeeeeesus I’m gonna vomit. It is the single most greatest thing I’ve seen all year. 10 out of 10, highly recommend. The make up was very convincing by the way.

Sally is knocked out somehow and then wakes up tied to a chair. Her arms are tied to severed arms tied to the chair arms, nice touch. It’s soon to be her turn to end up like the food on the dinner table and the family starts reminiscing on how grandad was really good at killing people so they give him the mallet and, being the old frail, disgusting, thing that he is, he can’t. I think the crazy polaroid guy takes over and dents her head. She then thinks it’s a great idea to just send herself through the window and run away. Limping it to the closest road. Leatherface chases after with his brother. Brother gets run over by a truck. And then something strange happens. The truck driver gets out and then gets back in and let’s Sally in, but doesn’t start driving, just gets out the other way and runs off without his truck, all the while trying to get away from Leatherface. Then Sally just like running around now. Anyways, another car comes and quickly let’s Sally in, Leatherface tears his leg somehow, Sally gets away. Then Leatherface gives a little dance for us to watch. That’s funny though, because I could’ve sworn the opening text crawl said something about none of them surviving.

Okay, so I just explained the plot, now for the actual review. This was pretty fun. The beginning was slow and only picked up halfway, but the killing was still fun. The cinematography is supposed to be iconic, which it is, but the film does show its age which is completely unrelated. The acting, I can’t really say anything about the acting, except for Leatherface and his family, they were really good. This film didn’t use that much music, more just eerie noises and stuff.

I appreciate the impact it had on horror and the contribution it was to film.

Movie didn’t scare me. I was trying to scare myself for some reason. I watched this film in the middle of the night trying to get nightmares, quarantines really boring. I actually watched The Shining the night after in the middle of the night as well, in the dark, I still didn’t get scared. Maybe because I was watching them as films and not horror movies, that’s what made me scared when I was little-er. The Shining is still a fantastic film though, I definitely recommend it. The last time I was really freaked out watching a film was last year, when I watched the original The Night of the Living Dead. Something about that movie. Maybe it’s because it felt like a film from the 50s (came out in 1968 though) and movies from then were more, I don’t want to say innocent but it’s definitely around that area. Maybe it’s because of regulations or that such a bold film wasn’t marketable. The film even started out a bit friendly. But the film is unrelenting, it just shows something more shocking than the last, usually that’d be exhausting but everything adding up in the film, like the lonely, hopeless atmosphere with that black and white horror cheese, just made it spook me. The Night of the Living Dead will always be my favourite horror film, not my favourite zombie film though. That goes to Shaun of the Dead.

Great film. Dead grandad who is really alive sucking on blood is the best thing god put on this planet, good night.

1 comment / Add your comment below

  1. Yikes so I just read your latest review on Texas CSM… Omg I’m going to have nightmares just reading about it. I absolutely hate horror and I’m a big chicken!

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