The Texas Chainsaw Massacre title

Tag Lines : Can You Survive... Happened.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre It's hard to believe that this notorious horror pic by director Tobe Hooper, could have caused so much controversy when it was released back in the 1970's.

Set deep in the heartlands of Texas, a group of youths go out for a sunny afternoon drive in their van. With news reports on the radio of their being a spate of grave robbings in the area, they decide to go visit one of the old cemeteries to see if their grandfathers grave has been disturbed.

They run short of fuel on the trip home and the Gas station claims to have run out until the next delivery, which won't be till later on in the day. With no option but to hang around, they decide to visit their old families home, which is just down the road from the Gas station and now stands empty and abandoned.

Unfortunately, it seems they have acquired some new neighbours. As one by one they go off to explore the surrounding area and run into Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) , a chainsaw wielding maniac who sports a mask made of Human flesh.

In the end only 2 are left, Sally (Marilyn Burns) and her wheelchair bound brother Franklin. With night setting in they go off to hunt for their friends, only to come face to face with Leatherface's chainsaw and poor old Franklin encounters a bit of trouble in running away (poor sod). The rest of the film is then spent with Sally being chased around by Leatherface, meeting up with the rest of his cannibalistic family and screaming an awful lot.

Overall this is a very good film, but hasn't withstood against aging very well (check out the flared trousers and awful 70's style hairstyles). Probably the most memorable scene is were one of the girls is hung on a meat hook, then forced to watch as Leatherface carves up her dead boyfriend with his saw.

The film isn't all that gory in particular, but it is extremely suggestive and such was it's impact on the UK censors back in 1974, that it was refused a general release certificate for the cinema and remained banned on video until finally passed by the BBFC for both cinema and video release in 1999.

Supposedly based on a true story (yeah right), the notoriety this film achieved during it's initial release was such, that it is still regarded as a classic horror film by both critics and fans alike to this day.

Overall Marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines, "Who will survive and what will be left of them?", "What happened is real, now the motion picture that's just as real" and "America's most bizarre murders".

  • Tobe Hooper also directed the Sci-Fi vampire pic "Life Force" and the Steven Spielberg produced chiller "Poltergeist".

  • Gunnar Hansen, who played Leatherface, turned his hand to writing fiction books after completing Texas Chainsaw, rather than acting. Although he has appeared in other films, most notably the Horror/Comedy "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers".

  • Marilyn Burns also appeared in Tobe Hooper's "Death Trap" (AKA Eaten Alive), only to get tied up and terrorised all over again.

  • DO NOT BELIEVE in the nonsense surrounding this film that it was a true story. IT ISN'T! Never mind what the text on the posters claim, or what the narrator in the introduction says. Leatherface's character was LOOSELY based on the exploits of Wisconsin farmer Ed Gein, a serial killer from the 1950s who also provided the inspiration for Norman Bates character in "Psycho" as well as Hannibal Lector and Buffalo Bills characters in "Silence of the Lambs". Confusion arises as some people seem to think the film was based on serial killer Bob Kleason, but he did not use a chainsaw and didn't commit his crimes until AFTER the film had been release. There was no actual Texas Chainsaw Massacre. PERIOD!!!

  • Although initially rejected for a cinema certificate by the BBFC in 1974, the film was shown at the London film festival and played at selected cinema's around the country where permission was granted by the local councils. The film was released onto video in the UK back in the early 80's, but fell foul of the "Video Recordings Act" in 1984. It was never listed as a Video Nasty, but instead was quietly refused a video certificate by the BBFC (though never officially).

  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre was finally awarded a cinema certificate in 1999, but only after the previous head of the BBFC, James Ferman, who banned the film back in the 70s, had retired. A video certificate was granted shortly afterwards.

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