Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Review:

There's something about the title of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and how people think of it. Many just think of it of being about a chain saw wielding killer who stalks people and cuts them up for fun. However, that is just skimming the surface of this particular horror franchise. What some may not realize about this story is that there is more than one could expect to see - and that doesn't include scares. There's another aspect about this movie that first time director Tobe Hooper included that will have the audiences baffled, stunned and amazed. That aspect is the sheer bizarre atmosphere that is this film.

5 friends on the road,...end up meeting
Viewers will follow the path of five friends who are on the road, heading toward a relative's house. On their way, they run low on fuel and look for a place to rest for the night. What they don't know, is that they're not going to see the light of day. Unbeknownst to them, something, a danger so unspeakable is headed their way that quite frankly if anyone ran into, should high tail it out of there. This danger is a family of psychotically deranged cannibals that have no conceivable conscience. But, the most deadly individual is the man (if he is one) known as "Leatherface".

This guy is not to be messed with. He is the towering, chain saw wielding killer and can this beast run! Strangely enough, he and the rest of his cohorts were the ones who were given the most attention to when it came to character development. The audience actually gets to understand his place in the family and how the overall family acts. This is also a major flaw. With the antagonists more developed, this left our main characters on the sidelines and are basically only fodder for Leatherface. Sure, audiences' will understand that they're friends but what else is there to learn? Not much else - or at least from what's given to us. Along with that is a rather underwelming plot. There really isn't much of a plot at all. Friends travel and end up running into the goons. Not much else. There are a few twists but nothing that wasn't too oddball or unpredictable.

However, in place of this is the bizarre aspect that was mentioned earlier, credited to Tobe Hooper. The way of life that takes place with these killers are something to behold. It will make the viewer question to themselves, "Who enjoys this kind of thing?". It's that bizarre. Another element that viewers should enjoy is how the movie pushes the endurance meter. To see how long one can watch the screen without turning away or closing their eyes is a serious plus. Adding to this is how little music is in the running time. It is almost to the point of completely absent, yet when it is heard, it's distinct. Still, it should've been more prevalent because there were areas that could've used the emphasis of terror. With all this, it still amounts to a decent horror film.

It's surprising that with uneven character development, lackluster music and a very thin plot, that this movie made the impact it did and will for future viewers. With an atmosphere and characters so bizarre, it's hard not to sit down and wonder how things will turn out.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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