#27 – Countdown to Halloween: TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974)

Aside from college football, playoff baseball, and hunting season, one of the many rewards I benefit from in the month of October is that it also seems to be the unofficial horror movie month. There’s something about taking two hours out of your day, to completely detach yourself from the real world, and scare the shit out of your girlfriend, that I continuously get enjoyment out of. One of my favorite horror movies of all time, and the one that I have decided to write my first horror movie review on is, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”

 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an independent horror movie released in 1974 and was directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist), with a budget of only about 300,000 dollars. For those of you who have never seen the movie, here is a little synopsis of the classic horror flick:

With high hopes of investigating alleged cases of vandalism and grave robbing where their grandfather is buried, Sally and her annoying wheelchair bound brother Franklin, set off with three friends across Texas to find out what is going on.

After doing this, the five ill-fated teenagers decide to visit their grandfathers old house, but run into trouble along the way. On their trip, they pick up a demented hitchhiker, who they quickly drop back out of their van after he cuts both himself, and Franklin with a blade he is carrying.

 After getting back on the road, and to their grandfathers place, one of the couples heads out to explore the area and find a nearby pond, but discover an old farmhouse instead. The couple quickly finds out that the house belongs to chainsaw wielding ‘Leatherface’ and his disgusting cannibalistic family (which includes their hitchhiker friend as well). One by one, the travelers begin to be killed off by this human decapitator, and soon Sally is the only one left in a fight for survival.

One of the reasons I love this movie as much as I do, is because for the time it was created, this movie really pushed the envelope as far as gruesome went.

For a movie that was created in 1974 with a relatively low-budget, and unknown actors/actresses, this movie sent shock waves through the movie industry, making a name for itself with its overly gory scenes and sadistic story line.

Almost 40 years later, people are still planing remakes of this indie horror classic, and debating over whether or not the original story has any degree of truth to it. So with that being said, the big question is, is the movie is based on a true story?

The answer to this is – No. But it does take inspiration from one.

Although there was never a man named Tommy Hewitt, from Travis County Texas, who chopped up travelers with a chainsaw, the story line did take inspiration from real life serial killer Edward Gein. Ed Gein was a murderer/body snatcher located in Wisconsin, who in the 1950’s took both the lives and body parts of victims in his secluded house and did so out of pleasure (not vengeance). In case the name Ed Gein sounds familiar, it may be because Texas Chainsaw Massacre is not the only movie to take inspiration from this man for their movie, Silence of the Lambs, and Psycho are two of the most prominent films which have done this as well.

With all of this being said, I give Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 3.5 out of 5 pumpkins.

 I could do without some of the annoying characters and the half hour of Marilyn Burns, screaming at the end of the movie, but this truly one of the most inspirational horror movies created in the 70’s, and one of my all-time favorites.

The art of screaming without breathing…for a loonnnng time.

In case anybody is wondering, there is another Texas Chainsaw Massacre being made, which is set for release in October of 2012. Before you get at all excited about this, just know that Trey Songz will be one of the actors, and it will be featured in 3D…..Sorry to be a buzz kill! At least Alexandra Daddario will be in it…

Check here for the continued COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!! 


And finally, this is me visiting the House from the movies a while back…

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