Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974)

Starring Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar Hansen.
Directed by Tobe Hooper
84 Minutes – Not Rated

One of the greatest titles in horror cinema, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre helped usher in a new era of horror films. Director Tobe Hopper picked up right where George A. Romero left out in that he made an intense, low budget, independent, pseudo-documentary, horror flick.

Inspired by the real life exploits of Ed Gein, a group of nubile lads and lasses visit a rural Texas house where a couple of them had grown up. However, they missed the news about the cannibalistic butchers who moved in behind them. The majority of them are summarily slaughtered by the now famous Leatherface and his chainsaw.

It must be said that there is surprisingly little gore (according to legend, Hopper laughably hoped to secure a PG rating). But don’t be fooled; this is as intense as it gets. Casting unknown locals was a stroke genius/necessity/luck? Either way, it gives the whole film a sense of realness that makes it that much harder to watch. Modern horror owes much to this classic.

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