The plot of the film is fairly simple. A group of young adults (probably just out of high school) are driving through Texas on a road trip. One of the members of the group (who also happens to be in a wheelchair) is curious to look at the old family house where he grew up. After stopping at an off road gas station and being told the gas truck won't be in until evening, the gang decides to check out the old family abode. While wondering through the fields, two of the people hear a gas motor and decide to check it out and see if they can borrow some gas. This leads them to a spooky house which they end up investigating and where they end up getting killed at. Their folly leads to the death of everyone else in the group, except for young Sally. Sally learns all about the perversity and sadism around her and eventually is able to escape right before having her skull bashed in.
You would think that the film would be rather gruesome, but it isn't. Other than a few flicks of blood off screen, there is hardly any gore in the picture at all. Instead, the movie takes a lesson from Hitchcock and scares by not showing much and leaving the horrors to one's imagination. Why does Leatherface have a mask that looks sewn from some sort of hide? Why are all those cars hidden beneath a camoflauge canopy? You have to put the pieces together yourself.
Because this film was one of the first modern horror films and because it was made on such a shoestring budget, the movie does feel somewhat dated and many may not enjoy it. Also, segments of the film are so common place in horror films today, they seem comical in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (such as the final part of the movie when Leatherface and his brother are chasing Sally). Maybe it will shock you, maybe it won't, but if you have any interest in horror movies or are a film buff, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is worth watching.
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