“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a vile piece of sick crap…It is a film with literally nothing to recommend it: nothing but a hysterically paced slapdash, imbecile concoctions of cannibalism, voodoo, astrology, sundry hippie-esque cults, and unrelenting sadistic violence as extreme and hideous as a complete lack of imagination can possibly make it”. –Stephen Koch, Harper’s, November 1976
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Deep Dark Thoughts
So you may be asking yourself, ” why put up such a negative review of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? Sure I could have posted a positive review, but it wouldn’t help to demonstrate the power of this film. Koch’s review so exquisitely illustrates the evident foundations of this film (i.e. cannibalism, sadists, etc). He saw the film “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” without actually seeing the film. The title flashed up on the screen and his mind went blank. The next thing he remembered was leaving the theater with a mess in his pants. Koch went in with blinders for this film and they lead him down the misguided path of this review.
Well, enough of that on with the page. I was just about to start my freshman year of college and over the summer had purchased my first VCR. Just before I left for school, I had begun to slowly work my way through every horror title at my local video store. Before video, my horror viewing had been limited to a double dose on Saturday afternoon of “Creature Double Feature” or if I could stay up “Saturday Night Dead”.
A few years early my parents had gotten cable, but a majority of the day’s horror rarely showed up on cable and when it did it was so watered down that I hardly knew it was supposed to be scary. Also, the nearest theater was about 20 miles away, so I rarely made it there. I still considered myself a horror fan, even though my experience was limited to bad 50’s and 60’s horror flicks and watching the Universal classics about a million times.
Off I went to school. In this strange new environment, I was scared shitless and homesick, horror was my security blanket. It was right around Halloween when my school was running a theme week of horror in the video theater. As I looked at the schedule, I saw a listing for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. I had heard people talk about how scary this movie was, so I marked my calendar. When I saw this movie, I knew I was really hooked, horror would always be my first love. I saw TCM every day during that week. What an awesome movie.
It is one of the scariest movie ever made. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who hasn’t seen it or who wants to get into horror, plus all horror fans, go re-visit this classic again and see if you don’t piss your pants. E-mail me.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Story
The story begins with five innocent kids on their way to checkout reports of grave robbing. As Sally, (Marilyn Burns) her invalid brother Franklin, and three friends head out to inspect the gravesite of her family, they are soon side tracked on the ultimate journey of terror. One by one, they wander into the murderous clutches of Leatherface and his trusty chainsaw. The poster reads: “Who will survive and what will be left of them?” In this case, not much, and what is…well, becomes the main course.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the quintessential horror movie of all time, and along with “Night of the Living Dead” and “The Exorcist” helped establish the modern era of horror. Gunnar Hansen’sperformance as Leatherface would eventually serve as the prototype for many of the slashers of the late 70’s and early 80’s. Daniel Pearl’s magical cinematography helped capture the tension of the moment and transfer the fear to the audience. The atmosphere was accented by a well-placed, spooky soundtrack co-composed by Tobe Hooper, echoing the screams of Sally’s terror. This movie is definitely not for the weak, although by today’s standards it’s not as controversial as when it was original released in 1974.
The Texas Chainsaw Frightful Facts
- The original name for the film was “Headcheese” and also, “Leatherface”. It wasn’t changed to TCM until the movie was about to be released.
- Tobe Hopper was originally shooting for a PG rating for this film.
- The film is banned in the United Kingdom although it has recently be given a cinema release.
- People actually walked out on previews of the film.
- Spawned three sequels, none nearly as awesome as the first. The second one is good and stars Dennis Hooper, the third is alright with Ken Foree from “Dawn of the Dead“
- TCM is based on the story of the serial killer, Ed Gein. Leatherface was based somewhat on Gein.
- Leatherface wears three masks in the film; the “killing mask”, the “old lady mask”, and the “pretty woman mask”.
- “The Gone with the Wind” of horror movies”….Monarch Film Studies.
- The narrator at the beginning of the film is none other than John Larroquette of “Night Court” fame.
The Texas Chainsaw Merchandise
- Buy a really cool Leatherface doll from Spencer gifts
- Checkout Rotten Cotton’s new Texas Chainsaw Massacre T- shirt.
- Checkout the new House of Horrors t-shirt for sale now
- Checkout “Murder is Meat: An Illustrated Guide to Cannibal culture“, a great book that looks at TCM and other Cannibal films.
The Texas Chainsaw Extra
- Click here to visit the “official” page of TCM director and creator Tobe Hooper. I am the webmaster!!!!!
- Checkout the LEATHERFACE action figure by McFarland Toys. Theree are two versions “PG-13” (without bloody) and “R” (bloody)
- Checkout The Texas Chainsaw related Crossword Puzzles on CrosswordZone
The Texas Chainsaw Fanspeak
RE: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, in my mind, is probably the most disturbing piece of film ever to be shown. I was sitting in complete darkness at my Grandmother’s house the night I sat down to watch it. Five minutes later, I turned all of the lights on. Needless to say, I have never been as terrified of a movie in my life.
The sound of Leatherface’s buzzing chainsaw and Sally’s screams are forever etched in my mind. When Franklin got hacked up by Leatherface’s chainsaw right in front of Sally’s eyes, I had to leave the room. My favorite part was the end scene, when Sally, drenched in blood, was screaming “Go! Go!” to the man driving the pickup truck, while Leatherface was running after her. This an outstanding horror movie! I highly recommend it!!!!!
RE: One HELL of a flick!
I have to say that I never really had a thing for classic gore movies until I saw the Texas Chainsaw massacre. The first thing that suggested it’s value of the diabolic was the introduction. A low voice of a man that spoke of the history and fate of Sally, Franklin and their friends. It was fast-paced and had a feeling in it that made you want to stay out of dark areas for a few months after you saw it. It was totally designed to give the viewer the feeling that they were being watched right through the movie. In my opinion the most epic and heart-wrenching scene was the close-up of Sally’s fright. When they show her eyes, and you swear that she’s on the curbe of going insane. It’s definitely worth a look for all true and dedicated horror fans!
RE: Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Texas chainsaw massacre is I would contend the most horrific film ever made forget about the exorcist etc, this the one. The film is a cold exploration of taboos that challenge us all, Cannibalism, rural degeneracy, disablement.
The first time seen , Massacre is very disturbing, a pernicious piece of film- making that may lead us to initially balk. However seen again we can analyze the films sadistic streak and it’s objectives which it seems to completely fulfill. Technically the film is well placed with a real feeling of claustrophobic heat coming right off the screen. I would contend it is one of the best films ever made , mainly due to the controversy and hysteria it can still induce ( in England anyhow)
RE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
At the tender age of four, I was drawn into the sick world of Leatherface and his terrifying family. Clearly, I recall sitting within inches of my TV set as I viewed the most disturbing piece of film ever produced. But, there isn’t really anything I can say about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre that hasn’t already been said; indeed, I am just a lifelong horror fan who feels that it is the best movie ever made!
The excellent mix of acting, docu-style film-making, and wise directing make the Texas Chainsaw Massacre the epitomy of a classic horror movie. Sometimes, when I close my eyes and sleep at night, I am still haunted by the sound of a buzzing chainsaw. Excellent, excellent film-making!
RE: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Call me sick. You won’t be the only one. I’m a fan of the horror film genre, but my obsession delves into the more demented and disturbing side of it. I first saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre a month ago, and the simplicity of the box itself evoked a sense of mystery the second I laid eyes on it. Within a dark room, I began to watch, and within 5 minutes, my worries of a lame, gore-filled film were put to rest. The introduction, spoken in a somewhat fearful voice, set the tone for the entire duration of the reel.
When it truly started, my gut wrenched (literally). Snapshots of decomposing bodies, only on screen for a fraction of a second, instilled a fear inside of me that still resides there. Then there was the scenes of capture. Innocent people entering a dark dwelling, looking for friends. We then watch as from within a doorway, a mask-laden man with chainsaw in hand, grabs at the visitors, carrying them away into the depths of the basement. The few times we get to see what’s really down there, still leaves the movie in a shroud of mystery: what happens down there? How are they killed? You never really find out, but that use of limited visuals allowed my mind to venture into the unknown, thinking about each and every gruesome act which has been taken place there, and continues to do so.
The film is not laden with blood-soaked, mutilated corpses, or bombarded with lame characters or bad actors. The appeal of this film for me was in it’s basic nature. I watched, I learned. When it’s all over, the scariest thoughts of all replayed in my mind. That this not only actors portraying characters on a screen, but actors re-enacting a story ripped from the headlines. Knowing that this has happened, and could be happening as I watched, made it all the more enjoyable. Like I said, call me sick, but don’t call my selection as the best horror film of the 70’s in bad taste. Watch it first, then tell me it didn’t seem real…and possible.
RE: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is an idol of filmmaking, it is by far the most amazing thing ever recorded on film, the only reason people don’t like it is because they are petrified of it, when they see the fear in marilyn burn’s (sally’s) eyes, they get scared…it is hard to comprehend that cameras were rolling during the events that happened in the movie. The low quality film, the great acting, the superb directing job, and the setting all contribute to the craziest thing ever put on film, its worse than faces of death (if your not up on that…you should be) Leatherface is god, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a force to be reckoned with.
RE: about my favorite horror movie!!!
I just wanted to say that “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is the best horror film that I have ever seen. I remember the first time I saw it. It scared me to death!! It’s hard to find any horror movies nowadays that can really scare you. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” did it for me. After that first time, I was hooked and I have loved it ever since. It is truly one of the greatest flicks that I have seen in my life. It has suspense, and surprise, and let’s face it, if Leatherface doesn’t scare you, then there is something wrong with you!! Anyway, I just wanted to say that Tobe Hooper did such a great job on this movie and it was one of his best ever. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” kicks ass!!!!! I’ll never get enough of it!!
RE: FRIGHTING AND DISTURBING!!!!
The first time I seen “THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE” was when it was first shown back in 1974. I was just a kid when I saw this frighten and disturbing film. I must have been 6 years old at the time when my dad took me and my brother and sister to the drive in theatre to go see this. Now, I was only six years old so when I thought what I was seeing was real.
I mean with the documentary style of directions that Tobe Hooper brought to the film and me being a kid and all how was i supposed to know the difference between real and make believe. I mean you gotta admit that this movie is disturbing regardless if you like horror movies or not. One of the scenes that i thought was really frighten and disturbing when leatherface was making Franklin into barbecue as his sister Sally watched on. I cant tell you any more, what ever body else has told you that this movie ranks up there as an all time classic horror film. This one…frighten flick.
RE: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was one of the most horrifying movies that I have ever seen in my life! The title itself creates an eerie atmosphere. The grinding sound of the chainsaw alone is enough to make your stomach churn. You can’t help being sucked into this movie. It may be an antique but that doesn’t mean that It won’t leave a permanent mark in your mind. The setting of the old creaky house,the sound of each of the victims screams, the sight of the leatherface, the closeup of Sally’s twitching eyes, and the buzz of the horrid chainsaw are all gutwrenching elements of this gruesome flick. Thereee is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. This movie was one of the most intriguing movies I’ve ever seen! I’ll always remember It.
RE: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
This one of the best horror films of all-time (in fact one of the best movies of all-time). The movie is based on Ed Gein’s lurid lifestyle. This movie is a must for film buffs and horror movies fans. This a fine piece of work from veteran horror movie director Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist, Eaten Alive, etc). The murder scenes are dementedly beautiful (Esp. When Leatherface hits Kurt in the head with a sledge hammer and he falls to the floor and start having a convulsion and Leatherface quickly stops it with another bash to head).
The classic sequence (which I think got this movie banned from Germany and the U.K) when Pam runs from the room (filled with human and animal remains, their awesomely morbid bad-ass furniture, the chicken in the cage, etc) and Leatherface hears her screaming her boyfriends name, and he runs from his “special” room and chases her out the door (but Leatherface catches her on the porch) and drag her to his kitchen and hangs her on the meat hook, I mean it wasn’t that gory, but the raw brutality is definitely present. The acting is very convincing esp. Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and Sally (Marilyn Burns). If you like being frightened by raw brutality, stop whatever you are doing and watch this movie. Personally, I was shocked by it explicit, anti-vague style. May offend the religious and the easily upset, and it will scare the hell out of your kids. HORROR FANS TAKE NOTE!!!!!