Friday, October 21, 2016

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Pretty terrific horror movie, especially for it's time.

Tobe Hooper's masterpiece The Texas Chainsaw Massacre could probably be argued as one of the greatest Texan tall tales ever. Based loosely off of notorious serial killer Ed Gein, the plot follows a group of five friends travelling across the desolate regions of Texas where they encounter a family of cannibals. And that's really the kicker of this movie, it's not a gothic fairy tale, it's real. Not real real, where the events actually happened but they very well could. Tobe Hooper and all the cast and crew went through hell to make this movie, and for their efforts and what you see on the screen today, they should be applauded. Although oddly Tobe Hooper did not recognize this as a horror movie, but more of a dark comedy. That blows my mind, cause I can laugh at dark disturbing things. I laugh my ass off at American Psycho, I can find funny moments in creepy disturbing things, but not this movie! I laughed once but that was just because of a rather funny delivery of a line, this film is everything you have heard about it, shocking, scary, and highly disturbing, not much you can chuckle at. But the director insists this, the movie isn't meant to be scary but a dark comedy, a parody portrait of the dysfunctional american family. But whatever it is, it gets under your skin. The film is grainy and saturated, the acting is spot on, the soundtrack is non-existent except for sounds you would hear inside of a slaughterhouse, the editing gets more frantic and harsh as the film progresses, culminating in an unforgettable climax. The most simultaneously famous and infamous dinner scene in the movie just makes you take a step back and let all these horrible things sink into your subconcious, the actual shooting was a nightmare, look at any interview of anybody who worked on this film talk about the dinner scene. Poor Marilyn Burns, she put up with so much shit man, that poor girl went through the worst. She is the original scream queen to me. Sure, Janet Leigh and her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis screamed a bit, but Marilyn....I'd like to hedge my bets on how many times she lost her voice working on this movie. That screaming sticks with you. Damn fine actress, may she rest in peace. Gunnar Hansen plays the infamous Leatherface, and believe it or not he does not potray a villain. He's having a bad day too, he's left all alone at home in the middle of nowhere, all these damn kids keep showing up to his home, he doesn't know what to do, murder is second nature to him, he's just trying to protect himself, that's just life to him. You don't ever see that in horror movies, Gunnar Hansen did his homework well and it shows majorly. I could talk about this movie for an hour more, but I've rattled on enough, see it if you dare, but if you don't want to visit Texas afterwards, no one will be mad.

Another week, another review. Join me next Wednesday to see a true master of horror at work.

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