Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) review


This original horror classic tops almost all horror films I've seen to date. The emotions captured in this film are amazingly shown with amazing performances and visionary horror direction by Tobe Hooper.

PLOT:A group of friends, including brother and sister Sally (Marilyn Burns) and Franklin (Paul A. Partain), go on a road trip through Texas to visit Sally and Franklin's deceased grandfather's old house. However, weird and disturbing things start happening, including picking up a freaky hitchhiker that looks a lot like Dracula (Edwin Neal). Things get even stranger, especially with the news of graves being robbed and "artwork" of decomposing bodies is being made close by. After their encounter with the strange hitchhiker, the group stop at the house for a while and spot another house out in the distance, which is believed to have gasoline for their van. Upon visiting the house, however, the group finds that the residents aren't your typical neighbors, specifically a psychotic killer brandishing a chainsaw (Gunner Hansen). Now the group must get away or fall victim to the chainsaw. It's a great horror plot executed brilliantly.

ACTING:The acting in this film is excellent. I could see the fear and insanity in each person's eyes during the horrific scenes. The best performances I could mention would be Marilyn Burns as Sally and Gunner Hansen as Leatherface, or the chainsaw killer. I could see perfect horror and insanity in her eyes and actions that it seemed real. Hansen's iconic performance of  Leatherface was just brutal and frightening with beauty in its own ways. Every performance was great because emotion and insanity itself was captured perfectly. The other performances I'd like to mention would be Allen Danziger as Jerry, Paul A. Partain as Franklin, William Vail as Kirk, Teri McMinn as Pam, and Edwin Neal as the hitchhiker.

SCORE:There wasn't much background score in the film except for the music on the radio, which was mainly southern-type. The one memorable theme with the scraping sound effect, however, was very creepy and good in its minimalism. The sound effects worked above everything else because they were insane.

EFFECTS:The effects here were really good for being low-budget in the seventies. The make-up and prop effects for Leatherface and the house were very creepy and well done. The blood effects for the kills and cuts we see are also quite realistic in itself, while not being too brutal.

OTHER CONTENT:This horror film is one of the king's of all horror films. This film captures the feeling of insanity above anything. For more than a couple scenes in the film, I was actually scared due to the scary silences and horrific portrayals of the characters. It takes a lot for a film to really scare me, and this one did just that. I was very convinced. Also, this film is shot so artfully for a horror film, even with some of its flaws. Hooper knew what he was doing going into this boat by angling the camera just right from the beginning to the end. Every thing I believe Hooper wanted to capture was truly captured. Even all of the flaws this film may have make it even better.

OVERALL,an epic horror film with a brilliantly-executed plot, excellent acting, creepy sound-effect score, well done effects, a thundering feeling of insanity that it even scared me, and artful capturing of the film itself.

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