The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Cert: 18 / 83 mins / Dir. Tobe Hooper / Trailer
It's nice to be reminded that there was a time when the villains in slasher movies didn't have to make a quip after despatching each hapless teenager, and that the 'why' element of their motivation could be as simple as "...because they're crazy".
Tobe Hooper's seminal horror movie may not have aged particularly well, but that only adds to its appeal as a snapshot of where the genre was in the 1970s. As a stylised but completely trashy exploitation film, it succeeds magnificently. Cinematographer Daniel Pearl turns it into a borderline arthouse piece, albeit one which has no idea what restraint is.
The masterstroke is that TTCSM isn't just about The Horror™, but also how paralysingly weird the whole thing is. For such a short film to have such a long build-up would be unheard of in this day and age, but Hooper layers on the outré from the opening scene, to the point where being chased through the woods in the dark by a maniac with a chainsaw is one of the more nuts-and-bolts scenes in the movie.
The only thing which really bothered me is that film's poster and subsequent sequels/reboots say "Chainsaw", whereas the introductory on-screen text and the film's BBFC certification entry say "Chain Saw". Why is this, please?
Outstanding work, although I'm not the only one who finds Franklin to be almost weapons-grade irritating, am I? He's like the Jar Jar Binks of horror movies…
Yeah, really. Which is all the more odd because I used to watch a lot of horror flicks in my younger days.
Er, I think so…
Director Tobe Hooper made an appearance in 1992's Sleepwalkers, as did a certain Mark 'Skywalker' Hamill.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
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