Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Some horror fans think this movie is boring and lame.  I disagree.  I love this movie.  It spawned so many other ripoffs/homages/however you want to put it, including one of my personal favorites, The House of 1000 Corpses.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a true classic.  Filmed in a month in the blazing Texas summer heat, the movie used little-known actors and a teeny tiny budget.  In fact, Gunnar Hansen, the actor who played Leatherface had to wear the same shirt for every day of filming.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a story of a group of 20-somethings headed into rural Texas.  There's young and pretty Sally, wheelchair-bound Franklin, Sally's boyfriend Jerry, and couple Kirk and Pam.  The purpose of their trip is to see if Sally and Franklin's dead grandfather was the victim of some recent grave-robbings.  When they find out that his corpse is safe and sound, they decide to head over the grandpa's old property to check it out.  On the way, they pick up a super-creepy hitchhiker and have to stop for gas at a creepy roadside stand, only to find out that their is no gas.  Once they arrive at the house, they play around a bit and eventually get separated.

Unfortunately, Franklin's limitations are kind of holding up the whole getting-away-in-a-hurry part, and Sally becomes frustrated as she tries to find her friends.  The local weirdos, including Leatherface himself, use the opportunity of them all being separated to catch their prey.  This whole movie illicits such a creepy and eerie vibe that no amount of special effects can create.  The dinner scene is especially spooky.

The only thing that sort of bugs me about this movie is the Franklin character.  I'm fine with the fact that he's in a wheelchair (although that does nothing but slow the group down) but he's just all whiny and annoying and doesn't serve much of a purpose in terms of a character.  Awesome movie, definite horror classic.

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