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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre -1974
Who will survive and what will be left of them
Tobe Hooper

Kim Henkel
Tobe Hooper

Marilyn Burns
William Vail
Allen Danziger
Teri McMinn
Paul A Partain
Edwin Neal
Jim Siedow
Gunnar Hansen
John Dugan
Robert Courtin
William Creamer
John Henry Faulk
Jerry Green
Ed Guinn
Joe Bill Hogan

Review by Noel Baily

A classic? Of innovation perhaps…not substance!
Having seen this flick on its release, at roughly four-year intervals, and again last night on a supposedly “uncut” dvd, my view of the thing remains unchanged. A legend in its own mind! There is nothing even remotely “classic” about this film. Having much the same problem as CABIN FEVER – totally dull and charismatic less individuals whose sole purpose is to die at some stage.

In terms of blood and guts, you see far more in the re-make, which is a vastly more professional offering and STILL way shy of greatness.

Hooper’s TCM is just plain dull for the most part. What killings there are, are merely glimpsed or suggested, rather than in your face. Even the famed meat-hook scene is far better handled in the remake. Hooper blew his creative wad on the solar flares imagery, which might be seen as a catalyst for the madness, but hell, these inbreeds have been at it for generations. TCM, like Craven’s LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT is more an exercise in tasteless filmmaking than an authentic recreation of an actual event which my friends, this is NOT.

It is very loosely based on a case-file. One that did NOT include “Leatherface,” or his absurdly fanciful grandpa, appears to have wandered straight off the set of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
The film remains however, a tribute to Marilyn Burns tonsils, which are put to high-decibel use during the concluding 20 minutes. TCM is exactly what it looks – low budget, low relevance horror…sorry, screaming!

Review by Theo Robertson

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

It`s Not A Video Nasty – It`s A Black Comedy,
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is one of the most infamous films ever made, a film that is often mentioned by people who scapegoat video nasties for much of the world’s problems. This is laughable. And nor does TCM deserve to be lumped together with garbage like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE and NIGHT OF THE DEMON or all those other video nasties because despite the low budget and technical flaws this is a relatively good film story wise. In fact it’s not really a horror film let alone a video nasty. Okay it follows the same structure as any cheap horror film of having a bunch of teenagers stalked in some dark woods but that’s where the similarity ends.

TCM is more similar in tone to DELIVERANCE in having a bunch of city dwellers fight for their lives against rural folk. In fact you could describe it as ” Scooby Doo on acid “! Seriously, think about it, a bunch of pesky kids get mixed up in grave robbing and weird backwoods communities. All it really needs is a great dane and an unshaven youth saying ” Yoikes “, in which case the film would have ended with someone pulling off Leatherface`s mask to reveal the sheriff saying ” If it wasn’t for those pesky kids ….”

So why is TCM so infamous? It’s because it’s funny. So the humour is in very bad taste, but come on admit it, you laughed when the lad in a wheelchair fell down the hill, you laughed when the hitchhiker started doing his bizarre routine in the van, and you laughed at the end when the truck driver left the rig with that terrified look on his face. You may have felt self-disgust for doing so but that’s the whole point about TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE – It’s not a horror film, it’s a black comedy

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Review by Wayne Malin

THIS is a classic?
First off I want to make one thing clear…I’m a huge horror movie fan. I love them–old ones, new ones, gory, non-gory…everything. But I really HATE this film!

Five 20-somethings (all of them annoying) are out on a road in rural Texas. They’re running low on gas so two of them go to an isolated farmhouse to get some. In no time at all, one is hit in the head with a sledgehammer and the other is hung up on a meat hook. The others come looking and one by one are killed until one is left (Sally well-acted by Marilyn Burns). Can she get away?

Hopeless. This film is a mess. The first 45 minutes are very very dull. We listen to these five uninteresting characters yap endlessly about nothing. No insight to their characters or their motivations. One in particular (Franklyn) is VERY annoying–I couldn’t wait for him to get it. When they start getting killed, you could care less. They never come across as real people so how can you get upset about their being killed? And the killings aren’t ever remotely gory. You hear them,but don’t see them. And the constant chainsaw on the soundtrack gave me a headache.

Also the acting mostly sucks. The family all overacts (although some of the sounds Leatherface gave did spook me)…Burns gave out the only good performance. Unfortunately she’s TOO good. When she’s being tortured and abused by the family at the end hearing her screaming and seeing her crying is way too realistic.

No gore, no plot, no characters, no point and–most important of all–no scares. A worthless piece of garbage. As one of the previous posters mentioned, the only people who seem to like it are those who saw it in 1974 (when it was really shocking). Most younger people (in their 20s) who I’ve spoken to who have seen it, don’t like it. Not worth anybody’s time.

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