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 Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

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Judge Redd

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PostSubject: Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)    Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)  EmptyFri Sep 01, 2017 7:55 pm

Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)  9f26f814

Greetings Folks

So, this weeks review was originally going to be dealing with a different movie entirely, but considering just a couple of days ago I heard that Tobe Hooper, the man who brought us movies like "Poltergeist", "Salems Lot", and, of course, the legendary movie "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", had passed away I felt I should do a review on one of his movies. I was sad to hear that he had died, as I was equally upset over the loss of Wes Craven two years ago. So I decided to put the other movies I have lined up on hold, and review perhaps his most well known work "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". I dont think anyone who has heard of horror movies has not heard of this movie and its main villain Leatherface. So without any further delay, here is "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre":

Genre: As you can expect, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a well-known horror movie, with elements of thriller and some slight comedy elements that goes over the majority of viewer’s heads. If you are one of these viewers, I would not worry; it was so hard to notice this comedy that Tobe Hooper actually increased the levels of humour in the second one to make up for it.

Basic Plot: While on route through Texas to visit their grandfather’s grave, two siblings and their three friends drive past a slaughter house. After which they pick up what can only be described as the hitchhiker from hell, who goes on to cut himself before attacking the wheelchair bound passenger. They quickly kick him out of the car, before arriving at ta roadside gas station. They finally end up in their desired location, only to find themselves being hunted down by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths whose large son wears a mask composed of human skin. Can they escape this insane family? Or will Leatherface’s family have all of them for dinner?

Level of Blood and Gore: Despite this films rating reputation, it is in fact one of the least bloody films of all time. Yes indeed, despite some pretty juicy corpses shown at the beginning and some self-inflicted cuts on a Hitchhikers palm, there isn’t a lot of blood in this movie. After some research, I found out that this was because Mr Hooper wanted to make this movie PG by keeping the violence to the bare minimum, the language mild, and having more of the horror elements occur off screen rather than showing this in great detail. This also probably helped the budget as well, as I assume the effects for gore and blood would have cost a pretty penny, at least for the stuff that occurs in this movie. Despite this attempt, the fact that more of the horror happened off screen made it more horrifying and had it banned in some countries. If you’re a splatter fan, this isn’t the movie for you. However, be warned that there is blood and some scenes you may find disturbing, such as someone being impale on a meat hook and forced to watch as her lover is dismembered by a chainsaw. In fact, unless I missed something, the only gore you (might) see is when the hitchhiker hands around pictures of recently slaughtered cattle, and the juicy corpse display you see at the start.

Kills: Despite its title, there is only one kill in this movie with an actual chainsaw, the rest are either from a sledgehammer (which works because near the beginning we are told that this is how they use to kill cows in the old slaughterhouse), or other ways that could spoil the movie for you. The body count is low for this movie at 5, but I wouldn’t let that sour you on the movie.

Setting: This movie’s setting was something that impressed me the most, as the locations alone are simple but the it’s the use of sound and lighting that adds to the overall movie and sense of dread. The heat that the lighting portrays is actually accurate, as apparently the scenes were shot during a heat wave, and this heat can be reflected in the lighting and use of colour in the movie. The soundtrack contains no sounds from musical instruments (with the exception of one or two songs that they got the rights to), instead they used sounds an animal would hear inside a slaughterhouse. This is actually a very ingenious way of adding to the atmosphere of the movie, as you realise that these poor people are the cattle to be slaughtered for the insane family. According to the actors, shooting the movie itself was something of a struggle, as Hooper apparently was a difficult director to work with and the heat wave made some scenes unbearable to shoot. Edwin Neal, who played the Hitchhiker, said that making the film was more miserable than his service in Vietnam and said that he might kill director Tobe Hooper if he ever saw him again. But he was not the only one who was a little angry at Hooper, as Gunnar Hansen(who played Leatherface) in his iconic scene where he swings his chainsaw in frustration  was actually his attempt to scare director Tobe Hooper as payback for his treatment of the cast during filming. He was originally asked to look frustrated, but apparently knew for a fact that stomping his feet and shouting wouldn’t do the trick, it was merely an added bonus to scare the director.

How it racks up: This movie is a classic for a reason, it has inspired many directors and impressed others including Stanley Kubrick. It may lack the amount of blood and gore that other horror movies have, but what it lacks in that department it makes up for in tense scenes and frightening villains. Leatherface to this day is still one of the big Four in terms of human horror icons (the others being Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, and Michael Myers), and even has an upcoming origin movie entitled Leatherface coming out this year. Tobe Hooper may not have known how influential his creation would be upon conceiving it, but I am sure he didn’t know just how famous the name Leatherface would become in the years following his movie. This movie has spawned countless sequels staring the likes of John Vought (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Viggo Mortensen (LeatherFace Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3), Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey (both in Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Next Generation) and even was remade in 2003. This movie is one of the, if not the, most well-known horror films in film history. Regardless of how you like your horror, or even if you don’t like it at all, everyone should watch this film at least once.

Overall Mark: 10/10

This movie is a classic for a reason, and should be watched by film fans and horror fans alike. The movie is a great example of less is more, and makes it scarier when you don’t see what kind of fate character faces. Add to the fact that the opening of the movie is a narrator explaining what’s to come as if it’s a true life story, makes it all the more chilling. This narration actually worked better than expected, as many people did believe for a while it was based on a real life story. With all this good in mind, and with the sad passing of Tobe Hooper, I recommend you check out this movie.

If you have a movie you want me to review, please leave it below.


This movie is rated R, due to disturbing imagery and some material viewers might find upsetting.



Last edited by ZombieRedNeck on Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:58 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)    Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)  EmptyFri Sep 01, 2017 10:24 pm

RIP Tobe Hooper. I enjoyed his films and Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one that I have in my DVD collection. Great horror film as you said less is more and this film will always be a great classic.
Loved your break down of the film, a very good read!

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PostSubject: Re: Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)    Tombstone Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)  EmptySat Sep 02, 2017 8:44 am

RIP Tobe Hooper indeed. This movie surely has had a great influence and brought a lot to the horror movie genre. Though, to be honest I've only seen it once, a long time ago, and I only have a vague memory of it, I guess I should give it another watch. That said, I've always thought the character of Leatherface to be way more scary than Freddy or Jason or M.Myers, not sure why, if it's the human skin mask, or the chainsaw, or both.
Fun fact: Corey Taylor, Slipknot's singer, was inspired by Leatherface when he created his first mask.

@ZombieRedNeck You already know it buddy, but I love those reviews, so keep 'em coming. Great work as always Wink

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