The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

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A group of friends on a road trip unwitting stumble into the lair of a chainsaw wielding psychopath.

Celebrated as one of the all-time horror greats, Texas Chainsaw Massacre is more an exercise in the macabre than outright gore. In fact, there is very little in the way of blood and guts and the murders happen swiftly and without gruesome detail. The reason that this film is so unsettling is the way that Leatherface is so matter of fact about it all; despite the fact that his victims are pretty girls, he has no interest in molesting them in any way. They are just meat, pure and simple. He basically treats human life with no more respect or reverence than any other animals and the constant references to slaughterhouses and the furniture and trophies fashioned from bones of all kinds, animal and human indiscriminately mixed, highlight this fact. In a way it could be interpreted as the most militantly vegetarian film I’ve ever seen! Despite the low budget it’s surprisingly well directed and it effectively cultivates an atmosphere of a disturbing world where the normal rules of society just don’t apply. I personally felt it needed a rather more in the way of plot and dialogue to hang these themes upon and when the film degenerated into the inevitable cocktail of screaming and running around I found my interest waning.

Certainly worth seeing as a cornerstone of an entire genre but for me, Night Of The Living Dead was a far more complete package.

5/10

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