Sunday, March 10, 2013
Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
" I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it. " - Old Man
"Things happen here about, they don't tell about. I see things. You see, they say that it's just an old man talking. You laugh at an old man, it's them that laughs and knows better." - Drunk
"Uh... yeah, maybe I've seen something like that up that way. Well now look, you boys don't want to go messin' around some old house. Those things is dangerous. You're liable to get hurt. You don't want to go fooling around other folks' property. If some folks don't like it... they don't mind showing you." - Old Man
I can't remember when I first saw this. Usually I remember things like that. I think maybe I heard about it way before I actually saw it. But when I did I was still young, and all the "old white house" dreams I had as a small child came rushing back. My great aunt used to live in a similar big old white house beside of my grandparents in the country, and I would NEVER go over there because I had dreams that witches lived in that house. That's what parents get for showing their kids THE WIZARD OF OZ at an early age and thinking they'll like it. So all of those creepy old houses in the middle of nowhere will FOREVER hold an uneasy feeling for me. One that screams, "let's get the fuck outta here!" A bunch of unknowns were cast for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE!!!
In the beginning we hear a radio broadcaster explaining that there has been a string of grave robbing incidents on the outskirts of some small Texas town, and we see a grave desecrated with a body up on top where the cross usually is. Enter what will become an institution of horror movies for decades to come: 5 teenagers in a van going to explore, almost SCOOBY-DOO style. Two couples and the odd man out is in a wheelchair. He is one of the girls brother, and they are going to see if their grandfather's grave was robbed and check out his old estate. So they go to the graveyard and there's drunks everywhere just gawking. And then they decide to light out to the old house and check it out. They pick up a hitchhiker whom the cripple dubs "Dracula". The hitcher is super looped out and ends up cutting his own hand with a straight razor and then cutting the cripple guy. They kick him out and he smears blood on the van. Then they stop at a gas station but the old attendant tells them they're out of gas and the gas dude should be there later in the day. They decide to go check out the house and fill up with gas on the way back, against the advice of the old man.
So the brother tells the one chick and dude about an old swimming hole around back of the house once they get there, and they take off. The sister and other dude explore the house. The first couple realize the hole has gone dry and keep walking till they find another house. They think maybe they'll get some gas from these neighbors because there's a generator running. They knock on the door to no answer. The guy (in a completely stupid move) decides to GO IN THE HOUSE. DUMBASS! Basically as soon as he enters, a huge guy with a human skin mask on (Leatherface) clubs him in the head and drags him downstairs and slams this metal door shut. The chick waits for a while and then thinking he's tricking her, she reluctantly enters the house goes upstairs. She trips into a room full of feathers and furniture made out of bones. When she screams, it alerts Leatherface who catches her and she sees her dude on a slab and then he impales her up on a meathook.
The other dude goes to look for the other couple at sundown, and the siblings stay back. He goes past the water hole and finds the house. He knocks and sees one of the others vest on the railing. He enters the house and goes downstairs. He finds the other chick alive freaking out in a freezer but- TOO LATE! BOOM! He gets clubbed to death and the chick gets stuffed back into the freezer. So the siblings start fighting. Honking the horn does no good, so they keep trying to figure out what to do. He doesn't want her to leave so he finally convinces her to roll him over there with her. When they get close to the house, Leatherface jumps out of nowhere with a fucking chainsaw and just kills the cripple dude like it was nothing. I guess it isn't technically "out of nowhere" because "chainsaw" IS in the title. Anyway, he chases the chick through the woods almost catching her several times. She goes into the house, up the stairs and into a room and finds a dead lady and a seemingly dead old man sitting in chairs and freaks. To escape she jumps out of a second story window and finally evades him and gets to the highway. She then runs all the way back to the gas station.
The old man at the gas station can hardly make out anything she's saying, but he tries to calm her down and then turns from kinda creepy to super fucked up in the snap of his fingers, hitting her with the broom and swatting her until she's almost passed out, tying her up and putting her in his truck. He gets in and then is so excited he forgets to turn off the lights and lock up. I love how he explains that to her and while he's driving he starts poking her with a stick and laughing this terrifying crooked laugh. He gets back home and screams at the hitcher boy who is just getting home. He's mad at the hitcher boy for making the news for desecrating the graves and thereby calling attention to their creepiness. They torture her and she wakes up tied to a dead body chair. They have a delicious looking dinner consisting of sausages made from god knows what, but she ain't having any. They bring the old man down from upstairs and it turns out he isn't dead, just almost. They decide to let him kill her, but he's too weak. Leatherface tries to help him but it ain't working. She kicks out and escapes them, JUMPING THROUGH ANOTHER WINDOW!! She hobble runs down the drive and out into the street where the sun is finally rising. A tractor trailer runs over the hitcher and stops to help her. Leatherface chases them through the cab of the truck, and another small truck stops. The smiling bloody girl gets away, and Leatherface does the ultimate chainsaw berzerker dance with the rising sun in the background. Its fucking beautiful. This is a must see. Stop what you are doing and find it.