The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: A Classic Horror Movie That Still Scares People
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a horror movie from 1974, was directed by Tobe Hooper and written by Hooper and Kim Henkel. The story revolves around a group of friends who become targets of a cannibalistic family of killers in rural Texas. The film is known for being one of the most influential and frightening horror movies ever made and has led to various sequels, remakes, and related films.
The film starts with news about grave robberies and murders in Texas. Five friends – Sally Hardesty, her brother Franklin, and their buddies Jerry, Kirk, and Pam – are heading to visit the Hardesty family’s old farmhouse. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a violent and crazy man. He harms Franklin and is kicked out of their van.
They arrive at the farmhouse, finding it run-down and deserted. Kirk and Pam explore a nearby house with a generator running and discover it’s owned by the hitchhiker’s murderous family. Leatherface, a masked man wielding a chainsaw, kills Kirk, and Pam is captured and hung on a meat hook. Jerry goes to look for them and meets the same fate.
Sally and Franklin grow concerned when their friends don’t return. They search at night and are attacked by Leatherface in the woods. Franklin is killed, and Sally escapes to the nearby house. There, she encounters an old man named Grandpa, who seems dead, and a woman named Nubbins, who is actually the hitchhiker in disguise. Nubbins chases Sally back to the house, where Leatherface and his brother, the Cook, capture her.
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Sally endures torture from the family. They force her to watch as they try to make Grandpa kill her with a hammer. She manages to flee, pursued by Leatherface and Nubbins. Sally flags down a truck driver, but he flees when Leatherface approaches with his chainsaw. Sally escapes in another truck, leaving Leatherface frustrated.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was made on a small budget, about $300,000, with mostly unknown actors and shot in 16 mm film. It drew inspiration from the real-life crimes of serial killer Ed Gein, who also influenced other horror films like Psycho and The Silence of the Lambs.
Despite being banned or censored in some countries due to its violence, the film achieved commercial success, grossing over $30 million. It received mixed reviews for its realism and brutality but has since become recognized as a top horror film, influencing filmmakers like John Carpenter and Wes Craven. It’s also been preserved in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
The film spawned sequels, remakes, and spin-offs, but the original remains the most beloved by fans and critics alike.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a horror classic, continues to frighten audiences with its realistic portrayal of cannibalism and murder. It stands as a significant movie in the genre, influencing other horror films with its style and themes. The film’s impact is seen in its franchise, which explores the legacy of Leatherface and his family through various sequels and adaptations.
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