the fresh films reviews

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The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Followed by: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Directed by:
Tobe Hooper



83 minutes

Produced by:
Tobe Hooper
Written by:
Kim Henkel
Tobe Hooper

Cast includes:

Sally Hardesty Marilyn Burns
Jerry Allen Danziger -
Franklin Hardesty Paul A. Partain
Kirk William Vail -
Pam Teri McMinn -
Hitchhiker Edwin Neal ˝
Old Man Jim Siedow ˝
Leatherface Gunnar Hansen -
Grandfather John Dugan -



Perhaps a little remarkably, Tobe Hooper’s shoestring budget for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, one of horror history’s greatest cult successes, is more apparent during the film's rather conventional first half. When Hooper is setting the stage for his journey into the Texas backcountry and we’re supposed to become acquainted with our group of young adults, the movie looks and feels like the semi-professional product of an autodidact that it arguably was. There is also nothing to suggest the film's eventual cult status in the story per se, but once we start accompanying our cast of characters into the Ed Gein-inspired Victorian house which would become the scene of the crimes, Hooper taps into a very 1970s fascination for (and arguably fear of) kidnappings, torture, murder and inbreeding which resonates through his feverish camerawork and brilliant use of blood and other cheap special effects. For all its obvious shortcomings and limited scope, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre deserves its status for its free-spirited nature in the midst of its genre conventionality. The film turned into a franchise with several sequels plus a reboot in 2003.

Re-reviewed: Copyright © 25.07.2023 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang
Original review: Copyright © 05.01.2000 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang