Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas are terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer. One by one, they wander into the murderous clutches of Leatherface and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.
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Made with $20, very impressive and an informative DVD commentary for any aspiring low-budget filmmaker, Hooper's effects still work and are scary as ever.
From the first frame (dead armadillo) you feel as if you are venturing into the land of no return. Very effective mood setting and unsettling characters (get a load of that hitchhiker?). The horrific tragedy of livestock.
The operatic final act cacophony of screams, maniacal laughter, the disrhythmic percussive score and the buzzing chainsaw fully illustrate the depths the film delves into an atmosphere of terror. The slick shooting style somehow dissolves into the grainy 16mm images, creating a disturbingly realistic documentary-like feel. There aren't many films quite as grim as this.
Even though it would probably be interpreted as insensitive or even just plain ridiculous by modern day audiences, 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre''s strangely psychedelic and sick scares still see it remain as a bona fide horror classic. Its low budget practical effects even gives it a sort of sadistic charm. It is, without a doubt, the best slasher film ever made.
In many respects an important and remarkable film. For me the dinner sequence at the end is one of the creepiest scenes ever made: In combining his sometimes rough camera shots from different angles with body sounds (cries of fear and vicious laughter) and an extraordinary music/soundscape (produced by self-made instruments) Hooper gives the mental and social disorder of the situation an unforgettable shape.
40th anniversary re-master. Hooper's classic defining horror film is still the stuff of nightmares. Wildly upsetting and extreme upon release it's relative tameness now does not diminish its effect on the viewer. From the first closing of the steel door to the last shot of a screaming Burns and a twirling Leatherface this is still a terrifying experience. Hooper would never live up to the promise this film suggested.
TCM's social-political, proto-slasher hysteria is not only masterful in the last act's crazed acting and steadily rising, fever-pitch tension, but in its delirious, nightmarish style: the fluid camera movements, opaque and oblique composition, and jagged editing. It enhances the mood, shocks the nerves, and is so horrific on the sensory level, that it's the best of all rudimentary slashers lacking characterization.