When The Texas Chain Saw Massacre hit movie theatres in 1974, it quickly supplanted the previous year’s top horror flick, The Exorcist, as ""the most terrifying movie ever made."" Unlike The Exorcist, however, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre eschewed standard production values and modern special effects in favour of a grainy documentary-like approach with visceral, low-tech, in-your-face visual effects. The tale of five young students who unwittingly meet up with a sinister hitchhiker, the mask-wearing maniac Leatherface (whose mask is actually made from dried human skin), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre turned a lumberjack’s tool into the stuff of nightmares and the blood-curdling scream into an art form.
Though he has worked in the horror and dark fantasy genres for more than two decades, producer-writer-director Tobe Hooper’s significant contributions can all be traced to just two films: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Poltergeist (1982). Though produced under very different circumstances — the former was an ultra-low-budget exploitation potboiler while the latter was a major studio spectacular — both films were major commercial successes that reflected the zeitgeist of their day. Surprisingly, neither had quite the salutary effect on Hooper’s career as one might have expected. The filmmaker’s current viability, such as it is, has resulted from a canny shift to creating, producing and directing genre projects for the small screen. A popular artist who once helped set trends in entertainment evolved over time into a smooth craftsman striving to ride the wave of his genre’s acceptance into the mainstream.
The Austin, Texas native was first bitten by the… read more
In my heart, this sits next to Kubrick's "2001". There's something gigantic and deeply intense about this film that can hardly be described. It's one of the few films that suddenly put everything into a new perspective and leave you startled by the mere fact of human existence in this universe beyond comprehension. It may be the most frightening, horrific viewing experience you will ever have, but the feelings of awe and humility it leaves you with in the aftermath of its final images add up to something beautiful that transcends the preceeding experience of sheer terror/fear. You will feel like you've been given a wonderful gift.
Loved the first 2/3rds of the film - great visuals - very bizarre and suspenseful. The last third was mostly running, eating "barbecue", and (way too much!) screaming. I hate incessant screaming. Not scary - just annoying. Also enjoyed how much it was influenced by Scooby Doo. Seriously.
Once you’re past the usual suspects, “the full list is wonderfully unpredictable and packed with oddball leftfield choices.”
For this year’s incarnation of the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow, someone had the excellent idea of commissioning the artist formerly