Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Review: "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (1974)

Image Source
Movie"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre"
Director: Tobe Hooper
Year: 1974
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

A group of teens on a road trip get into trouble when they run low on gas, but when the nearest gas station is out of fuel, they try to wait it out at an abandoned property owned by a pair of the teens' grandfather. Their troubles go from bad to worse when they go to a nearby home to ask for gas and the owner turns out to be a murderous psychopath. 

"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" claims to be based on a true story, but this is only true in the absolute loosest sense of the word. Just because this film is a work of fiction doesn't make it any less creepy. The low budget, grindhouse-style horror film gets really down and gritty within a very short amount of time, and to us, it still holds up even 40 years later, bringing the creeps, skeevies, and scares where it needs to. The film starts off at a relatively slow pace, building a proper atmosphere with the intention that more is to come. The group of teens involved in a road trip makes their first mistake early on when they pick up a crazy looking hitchhiker, played by Edwin Neil. Of course, it turns out this guy doesn't just look crazy, but actually is absolutely bonkers, cutting himself in their van and spouting crazy words and phrases only a lunatic would understand. This whole scenario sets the tone and expectation for things to come, and from there, things just get worse for the group. After running low on gas, a pair of these teens wind up at the worst place to be in a horror film: a secluded backwoods house which even from the outside is clearly owned by someone you shouldn't be visiting, let alone be asking for a handout from. Here is where the film's most iconic villain, Leatherface, played by Gunner Hansen, makes his first appearance. As soon as this human skin-wearing psycho appears, the road-tripping teens start to drop like flies one by one, each one murdered creepier than the last. There are some gruesome and bloody death scenes in this series of killings, graphic enough to please even the most hardened horror fans. But, with any good horror movie, this isn't even the most unnerving part of the now-iconic classic film. This title belongs to a later dinner scene when we find out Leatherface is just one small part of a much larger and equally crazy family. This scene is unsettling at best as the family taunts their last victim, all while she screams for her life. Our tension grows as the events unfold on screen, all while leading to its adrenaline pumping conclusions, still one of the best in terms of eye-widening and screaming at the TV. This film is a classic for a reason, and despite its sluggish opening, once it gets going, it delivers fully and is a great film to watch during the haunting Halloween season.

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 8/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
Two years ago, we were watching: "Evilspeak"

One year ago, we were watching: "Bad Milo"

No comments:

Post a Comment