Saturday, 5 January 2013

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre - Will's Review

What can I even begin to say about TCM that hasn't already been said?

Unoriginal though this sentiment may be; the first thing I'm going to say is 'if you haven't seen Texas Chain Saw; go watch it'. Although that seems a little redundant; if you like horror movies enough to have found yourself on the corner of the interwebs where people watch one every week, then you have almost certainly seen this one a couple of times already!

With that in mind, I'm not going to be especially mindful of spoilers from here on in.

The thing I think most people find so surprising about this movie is the lack of blood.

The only blood-drawing scenes are 2 smallish knife cuts (one to a hand, one an arm) a pricked finger, and an accidental 3" cut to Leatherface's leg... Only the latter would require stitches!

The second thing that surprises people is that it takes more than one viewing to even realise how little blood there is; the movie is such an assault on the senses that a first viewing is likely to leave you too overloaded to notice specifics. The soundscape especially seems to have been (and I'm sure; was) especially made to fill you with fear, and knock you mentally off balance.

After a nerve jangling opening, the movie quickly settles down into a quite road trip; the visit from a demented hitch-hiker acts as groundwork for what is to follow, but still the tone quietens down as out cast (surprisingly, to a modern audience) arrive at their intended destination.

This quietness though, is what gives the films 3rd act it's power; from the second we enter the Sawer's home, the nerve jangling goes up to 11, and doesn't let up for the rest if the movie.

Really the only problem I have with this film is Grandpa... Until he turns up, the film is squarely in 'it could happen' territory; and suddenly showing a... Whatever grandpa is (a zombie?) really bugs me.

But then without Sawer Snr, we'd miss one of the most horrifying scenes ever commuted to film; The hitchhiker, assisting grandpa in an attempted slaughter of our final girl; it's so drawn out that it's not easy to watch, and by the time she finally loses it and goes hysterical, we completely understand!

It's hard to believe that this was brought to us by the same Tobe Hooper who would go on to bring us "The Mangler" and the "Toolbox Murders" remake...
Fun Facts:
  • The Roadkill armadillo from near the beginning of the film did not appear in the script; the crew just found it on location.
  • Letherface's self-inflicted chainsaw wound did not use a stuntman, and was achieved by placing a metal plate, and then a steak, on actor Gunnar Hansen's leg under his trousers. Hansen sustained a burn to his leg because of the friction between the chainsaw and the plate.


  1. Awesome movie. Love it on every level.

    Didn't think Grandpa was anything other than human though. Wearing a mask?

  2. There's nothing in the film to indicate that he's wearing a mask; I think he's just supposed to be insanely old (or slightly rotting).

    I'd always assumed he was on the edge of death and kept going by blood (hence the family feeding him from final-girl's finger).

  3. According to

    He's 124 years old (if that's mentioned in the film, I missed it) and apparently "Director Tobe Hooper stated on the audio commentary for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, that Grandpa is kept alive by drinking the blood of his family's victims."