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Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days of Halloween 2013 - Day 31

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
1974
Tobe Hooper

Spurred by graveyard desecration that is plaguing Texas, Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair bound brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain) and some friends are traveling to visit the grave of Sally’s grandfather. Afterwards they head to an old family house and along the way pick up a weird hitchhiker (Edwin Neal), who causes trouble and cuts himself. He manages to smear a symbol in blood on their van before he escapes. In need of fuel, the group comes upon an old gas station with no available gas and they decide to head to a nearby house. What they don’t know is that a family lives there, a family with a member named Leatherface.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre runs the gamut of horror, from the eerie foreboding of its early moments, the shock and visceral horror of its middle, before descending into a cartoonish sweaty nightmare world that leads its finale. A lot of the madness and pain on display has to do with a shooting history that is as much a part of the film as the story presented. The behind the scenes turmoil definitely bleeds through and creates the idea you are witnessing something truly warped. It’s a tribute to the skill of all involved that it still retains its power today, even after being endlessly copied, remade, and sequelized. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is an iconic piece of horror film making, and just damn good cinema in general. It embodies all the precision beneath the grimy horror that makes the slasher film such unique subgenre.

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