Wednesday, October 28, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 28 - Movie

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974) is one of those movies that's been discussed to death, and I don't really have much to add to the discussion. For anyone who doesn't know the movie is about five young friends who venture out to the abandoned home of a relative. On the way, they pick up the wrong hitchiker. Once they reach the house they discover the hard way that the neighbors are a family of psychotic, cannibalistic, grave robbers.

I'm always surprised when I see references to how violent and gory this movie is. There's actually very little blood in the movie. The mentally off kilter hitchiker slices the palm of his own hand, and the arm of one of the friends with a pocket knife, and later one of the friends has her finger tip cut with another knife. For all the revved up chainsaw wielding in this movie, that's mostly all you see. There's plenty of violence, but almost all of it is of the emotional kind, which even makes one of the cannibals uneasy.

The movie succeeds primarily because of its almost documentary like nature, which delivers a sense of realism to the scenario which has no real plot to it. It is definitely an influence on movies like "The Blair Witch Project" in this regard, and influential on just about every power tool or machete wielding masked maniac movie for purely superficial reasons.


Shawn Robare said...

The other thing that really works for me with this flick is the real uncomfortable disposition that that cast and crew were going through. Grueling hours, the insane heat of an unrelenting sun and overly hot summer, real mishaps with power tools, rotting food on closed stinking sets, you name it. The actress seemingly at the end of her wits in the freaking family dinner scene is truly about to lose it.

That and the metal saw noise under the flash photography during the opening credits to this day make me uneasy.

John Rozum said...

The first time I saw it, I thought the hammer scene with grandpa was a high point in depicting torture, and not at all funny. It seemed to go on forever. I was actually surprised at how short that bit was watching it this time around.