[Movie] The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • Directed by: Tobe Hooper
  • Cast: Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen

The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

the first line (narration) of the movie

The movie starts with the narration that hints that the film is based on a real event. Nope, it is fictitious. The strange thing is that despite its crazy settings and plots, it gives us the feeling of reality.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 slasher film, which has been accepted as a cult and classic horror. As a 21 century viewer, the film might look very typical, which can be true in the wrong deduction of cause and effect and a direction of time. The film set the standard of horror exploitation films and is considered one of the most influential movies in the genre. It laid the foundations for the Halloween, Evil Dead, and Blair Witch horror franchises.

The mood is violent, grubby, grotesque, and disturbing. But the strength of the film lies in how the low-budget movie can hold the tension from the start till the end. The sound of a chain saw and the screaming of Sally (Marilyn Burns) echos long after the end of the movie.

The film’s exploitive nature and the violence against women can be a topic of critical reviews. You might be wondering why, in most horror films, protagonists, who are subjected to brutal, sadistic violence, are females. The film shows or sets the common pattern of a slash horror: girls are killed or tortured in a sadistic passion with a lot of screams, boys are usually killed in a quick passion, and a heroine, as a sole survivor, can escape the horror with the help from outside, usually a man.

Another critical point of the film is the depiction of the Sawyer family, the killers. The family, a father, 2 sons – the killer Leatherface and a hitchhiker, and a mummified grandfather, represents the perverted and absurd side of our family and social values. On one side, they are just crazy, but on the other side, they are the shadow images of the exploitive side of our commercial society.

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