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A 1974 American independent horror film written, directed and produced by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel.

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Staple of America's Horror

  • May 5, 2009
By now, everyone who has a remote interest in horror films has seen atleast one of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films & knows of it's great importance in the horror genre. While the film may be tame by today's standards, there is no denying the dramatic effect it had on viewers upon the initial release. Along with Night of the Living Dead & ofcourse Hitchcock's Psycho, TCM may very well be one the most influential films to ever grace the silver scream & rightfully has secured it's place in the true annals of horror.

Tobe Hooper did actually draw upon some actual events that took place but the film itself is still very much a grand work of fiction. Supposedly based (albeit loosely) the crimes of Gein & Dahmer, it's now onder this would've struck a nerve with audiences. Hooper admits that he was standing in line at a hardware store one day & the line didn't seem to be moving ofcourse. Surely we can all relate to that. He goes on to comment that the line would've quickly evacuated the building has he revved up a chainsaw. Ha! Gotta love the man for that.

TCM also boasts a fairly talented motley crew here as well. Although it's debatable as to who gave the best performance, my vote has to be cast for Edwin Neal before Gunnar Hansen. Naturally, I feel that both are amazing in this film but Neal's performance is as campy as it is over the top which secures my vote. Marilyn Burns makes a great scream queen & I think she was another reason in which the film was so successful.

I'll skip the intro altogether as I'm sure you've been subjected to the plot spill nearly a zillion times. The truth of the matter is you couldn't ask for a better example of what horror is supposed to be without visiting here first. Catch the original long before you venture out to find the many unworthy sequels, inferior rip-offs, & unncessary re-makes.
tcm Staple of America's Horror Staple of America's Horror Staple of America's Horror

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November 01, 2009
I have a co-worker who lived in Texas around this time. She says that this story was more horrific than the movie itself. Great review! You know I haven't seen the sequel to this movie as today?
November 03, 2009
Damn. I've always wanted to live in the heart of some big crime scene or UFO sightings but never had such luck. Not because I thrive on human depravity or slaughter per se but I've always been fascinated with the massacres or tragedies that occured in the seventies. I wonder what drives people to become these madmen?
November 06, 2009
probably repression.
November 06, 2009
Ya think? LOL
More The Texas Chainsaw Massacre reviews
review by . June 26, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****     It takes a true genius to take something as twisted as the concepts and characters dealt with in "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and make them satirical material. So not only is one of the scariest horror films of all time still scary, but it's also funny. This is one of the only times where you can say such a thing, but heck, that's why the film deserves to be remembered.    I believe that Tobe Hooper did something pretty impressive when …
review by . June 18, 2011
Everything, including the chainsaw on the kitchen sink (DVD review)
Fans of this cult favorite can relax - no, they didn't gloss up the film stock with digital sheen to make it look as though it were filmed yesterday. To be certain, TCM was cleaned up: the colors are brighter and more vibrant, and the film's nocturnal sequences aren't quite as murky as they were in the VHS edition. But this minor buffing hasn't betrayed the film's gritty, low-budget, high-grain 16mm (as transferred to 35mm stock) aesthetic. The '70s zeitgeist isn't even …
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
this movie scared me to death and still does. the effects for the time are good. its one of those movies that you watch and your thinking about for a week.
review by . May 04, 2009
A seventies horror film classic!
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most horrifying films of all times. Not only did this movie spawn three sequels but it was recently remade (badly might I add) by a big Hollywood company. It also was responsible for many knock-offs and cut rate rip-offs. Despite the fact that there's really no graphic set pieces or expensive special effects, the film is creepy and scary as hell and it's some what based upon a true story.      A group of grave robbers are raiding …
review by . December 04, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE was the first modern horror film (well, besides PSYCHO). EVIL DEAD and HALLOWEEN both came later (but all three films formed the foundation for the modern horror film). Tobe Hooper's low budget picture sets itself to be a picture "based on a true story" (twenty years before THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), though there never really was a Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There really was an Ed Gein who killed people and chopped them up and made clothes from skin and he serves as the …
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I've spent years trying to make others happy & not really focusing on what's most important in my own life. Having said that, my own health & security are paramount so now I'm more … more
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About this movie


The feature film directorial debut from Tobe Hooper. 

Based loosely on the crimes of Ed Gein.

First film of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.

Tobe Hooper was trying to get a PG rating but was given an R instead.

This sensational, extremely influential, 1974 low-budget horror movie directed by Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist,Lifeforce,Salem's Lot), may be notorious for its title, but it's also a damn fine piece of moviemaking. And it's blood-curdling scary, too. Loosely based on the true crimes of Ed Gein (also a partial inspiration forPsycho), the original Jeffrey Dahmer,Texas Chainsaw Massacrefollows a group of teenagers who pick up a hitchhiker and wind up in a backwoods horror chamber where they're held captive, tortured, chopped up, and impaled on meat hooks by a demented cannibalistic family, including a character known as Leatherface who maniacally wields one helluva chainsaw. The movie's powerful sense of dread is heightened by its grainy, semi-documentary style--but it also has a wicked sense of humor (and not that camp, self-referential variety that became so tiresome in subsequent horror films of the '70s, '80s, and '90s). OK, in case you couldn't tell, it's "not for everyone." But as a landmark in the development of the horror/slasher genre, it ranks withPsycho,Halloween, andA Nightmare on Elm Street.--Jim Emerson
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Director: Tobe Hooper
Genre: Horror
Release Date: October 1, 1974
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Tobe Hooper, Kim Henkel
Runtime: 84 minutes
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