Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Sometimes a movie's title tells you all you need to know about the movie.



Chain Saw


Well then I watched it and only four people died so that's hardly a massacre.  The first four people died quickly and without incident.  I thought maybe there could have been more of a struggle, or more character development, but I guess not.

I was intrigued by Leatherface's family.  He and his brother are obviously are not in the right frame of mind and their grandfather would rather yell at them then take care of them.  Why has he trained them to kill human beings and rob graves?  How did he get started killing people for food?  We have learned that they all formerly worked at a slaughterhouse, and that's all we know.  Their macabre decorations reminded me of the Ed Gein house, which used human skins as decor.  Leatherface's family quirks are never explained because it is the fear of the unknown that is the greatest.

I felt bad for him because he's only doing what he was taught to be right and doesn't know any better.  His grandfather told him to not let anyone get away.    Leatherface (who is not called once by his real name) is heavily influenced by his evil grandfather.  I feel more for him than most villains because my own child doesn't speak and I have had to protect her on numerous occasions from her own grandmother (my mother-in-law). I could spend all day talking about grandparents.  Spanking, beating, lying, judging; what is it about grandparents that makes them so evil?

The last victim is Sally who outruns Leatherface and goes into the gas station.  Leatherface easily follows her constant screaming.  For the last entire hour, she screams nonstop.  Unbeknownst to her, his grandfather owns the station and offers to take her to another town to call the police.  She gets suspicious and he starts smacking her with a broom.  Seriously?  You can't get away from an old man wielding a broom?  This is why cardio is important.

Then the camera pans over to the meat cooking in the gas station and we realize that it was the human meat from the graves.  And our protagonists ate it!  That's what they get from eating food from a gas station.  There were a lot of flaws in this film and a lot they could have done better, but the chainsaw dance is one of my favorite endings.  So I'll give this film a 6/10.

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