Tuesday, October 19, 2010

HMP #1 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Horror Movie Project #1 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Bryanston Distributing Company 1974
Directed by Tobe Hooper
Written by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel

"Who will survive and what will be left of them?"

I mentioned yesterday that I had decided to watch one new (to me) horror movie a day until Halloween, starting today. I decided to start with the classic slasher film, Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I had never seen it, and I was kinda ashamed about that. Especially since I bought it back in March, and it sat on my DVD shelves since then.

From the hype around the movie, I actually expected it to be more gory and disturbing. But I think that's because I was listening to people who saw it when it first came out. The waves and waves of gore that came after it have numbed me to movie violence more than I though, I guess. I can see how at the time it would have been considered shocking (especially that truck scene at the end).

Regardless of its shock factor now, the movie is revolutionary, and for good reason. It pretty much invented the slasher genre, in the same way that Night Of The Living Dead invented modern horror. So much of what is iconic about the genre started here, such as the masked, unspeaking killer (Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc).

One thing I noticed early on was the obvious influence on House of 1000 Corpses. I knew Rob Zombie took influence from all over classic horror, but I feel like I understand that movie better now that I've seen the direct influence.  Then, as I was thinking about that, I saw a shot that Zombie had to have directly borrowed for Halloween 2. So obviously Rob Zombie is a fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (Note: I feel like this could be interpreted as saying Zombie ripped off Hooper, and I just want to clarify that I am not saying that at all. Borrowing from other movies is a tradition in film, just as it is in music and pretty much all forms of art. I think that what Rob Zombie did with that influence is unique and excellent, especially his flipping of the idea of "the last girl left alive.")


  1. I guess I'm of an older generation because this will always be too creepy for me.

  2. I can definitely see why back then it was shocking. It's just kinda tame by modern standards. Mainly because of the influence the movie had on nearly every horror movie to come after it.