What’s t About?
Sally (Marilyn Burns), her wheelchair-bound brother (Paul A. Partain) and their friends travel to a vandalized graveyard to see if their grandfather’s remains are intact. En route, they come upon chainsaw-wielding maniac
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
Directed by Tobe Hooper
9 out of 10
This might be the best sweaty palm film ever made. You know that feeling where you lose yourself in the trauma of the main character in a horror film and you notice the perspiration right on the end of your palm. It would never get you to that point if it weren’t for the deliberately slow buildup. The young people smoke pot, banter in boring conversation, and playfully joke with one another. Once the first victims find the cannibal family’s home and Leatherface comes out of the meat locker door, it’s a jarring moment. It happens so suddenly and so violently that it puts us in a queasy and claustrophobic mood for the rest of the experience.
This isn’t a film about great acting, great storytelling, or brilliant plot points. I would more equate it to a really good roller coaster ride. It slowly climbs up that first big hill, gets you to the peak, and then you feel the butterflies come as you drop into that first fall. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has a prolonged chase with the heroine that is 30 minutes on that damn roller coaster and rivals any chase in movie history. She is caught, escapes, gets caught again, and you can literally hear your heart thumping in your ears during the most intense parts.
Where John Carpenter’s Halloween is about the suspense of silence and a brooding musical score, Tobe’s Hooper’s Chainsaw Massacre is about loudness and documentary-like camera work. The chainsaw, the screaming, the schizophrenic brothers’ muttering, and Leatherface’s squeals all contribute to the adrenaline fueled uneasiness. Once you start that descent down the coaster, there’s no going back until you reach the end of the ride…..and find yourself wiping the sweat from your palms off on your pant leg.