The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Review
Written by: Gardenofstone10
This movie is in a 3 way tie for my favorite horror movies of all time with the original Halloween and the original Dawn of the Dead. I just remembered that I haven't yet done a review for my movie, so here we go.
The movie starts out with the most infamous single noise, IMO, of horror movies, the flash of an old school camera as we take pictures of decomposing bodies. Over the radio broadcast that the credits are rolled over, we get what little bit of this story is actually true, in that Ed Gein dug up bodies and took parts of them...the same as the family in this movie. Then we have a van full of soon to be dead teens!!!! I hate Franklin and am glad they replaced his character in the remake, he's just a whiny, annoying piece of crap and gets what he deserves.
The stereotypical old man warning the teens is watered down in this movie as it's just a drunk guy saying he sees things. Drunk is always good, so we don't pass judgment on him at all. The Hitchhiker is one of my favorite characters in this movie just because he's the perfect balance between sadistic and crazy (crazy as in the harmless crazy).
All the spiders in the house when they get there creep me out as I am afraid of spiders. That is a perfect setting to what is about to happen to all the teens. Almost like an omen. I hate Franklin. I wish he died twice in this movie to be honest with you. He's such a baby. If I saw him in real life, I would beat his ass.
My favorite scene in the movie is when Leatherface makes those pig noises to lure the guy into the room, and comes out of nowhere and just attacks him. I remember as a kid that was the scariest thing ever. As an adult, it's really not, but it's still cool. Then he slams the metal door shut, classic.
When Franklin gets gutted like a fish ala Leatherface, the movie gets GREAT from then on. Then, of course, we all know the rest of the story with a messed up family dinner followed by a heroic escape by miss Marilyn Burns.
Now, on to why this is one of my favorites and what it brings to the plate to be called a horror classic:
Horror movies and exploitation films around this time were huge, but not that common in America. One of our biggest horror movies up until TCM, was Psycho (funny enough same inspiration). Instead of filling this horror movie with sex and drugs, it's filled with nothing but terror. We get the suspense of the chase between Marilyn Burns and Leatherface. We get that dinner scene followed by another chase. Then, for the violence, it doesn't stand out in this movie. Gore is often associated with the TCM movies, but this has very little gore to be had. What makes this movie "gross" if you will, cannibalism. Up until this movie, cannibalism wasn't really a staple in mainstream movies. Albeit an independent movie, it had a huge cult following and was brought to the foreground with great horror movies almost instantly.
Horror fans young and old can at least respect the way this movie paved the road for SOOOO many future movies. Best movie ever? No, not by a long shot. But a reference for horror fans and filmmakers. If you don't own this movie, get it. If you don't like this movie, I'm sure you at least respect it. Peace