The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 Movie Review: Done by Rancel
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 classic slasher horror film is directed and produced by Tobe Hooper. The legendary horror film director co-wrote the script with Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar Hansen. Gunnar Hansen plays the main antagonist known as “Leatherface”. The film is entirely fictional, but minor plot details and the character Leatherface were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein.
The movie is 84 minutes long. Upon its release in the theaters in 1974 it was banned in several countries. Several theaters would stop playing it due to complaints about its brutal and violent scenes. The movie was shot on location in Central Texas with unknown actors. The budget was very limited as it was produced for less than $300,000. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Movie received a mixed reception by critics, but was successful at the box office making over $30 million.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 movie is about Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns), her paraplegic brother, Franklin (Paul A. Partain), traveling through Texas with three friends, Jerry (Allen Danziger), Kirk (William Vail), and Pam (Teri McMinn). Sally and Franklin want to visit their Grandpa’s grave, when they arrive they notice that it has been ritualistically desecrated. As the group drive by a slaughterhouse, they pick up a hitchhiker (Edwin Neal), who they quickly kick out of their van for his bizarre and frightening behavior. They kick him out for slashing himself and Franklin with his razor. Sally, Franklin, and the others stop by a gas station to refuel, but the owner “The Cook” (Jim Siedow) tells them the fuel tanks are empty.
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The group departs the gas station with some barbecue they bought and arrive at the Hardesty family home. Pam and Kirk wander off towards an old farmhouse nearby, while looking for a swimming hole. Pam and Kirk are quickly killed in brutal horrific fashion when “Leatherface” (Gunnar Hansen) makes his presence known. Jerry soon leaves to look for Pam and Kirk, and is also killed by Leatherface. Daylight soon turns to darkness; Sally and Franklin begin to worry and set out looking for their friends. As they near the old farmhouse Leatherface lunges from the darkness and kills Franklin with his chainsaw. Following these events begins a night of true horror as Sally is left to fend for herself from a bizarre cannibal family consisting of The Cook, The Hitchhiker, and Leatherface.
Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Review
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 film was very shocking to the public upon first release and for good reason. There wasn’t anything of its kind in American Cinema Horror before its release in 1974. The movie really goes all out to shock you with its extreme amount of blood and violence. There are some really disturbing scenes in this film like Pam tripping and falling down into a room in the old farmhouse, that is filled with a bunch of human bones, skulls and chairs made from them. She looks at the scenery in terror and retches. Some of the horrific scenes such as the killing of Pam (Teri McMinn) are going to affect you especially if you are squeamish. Poor Pam runs out of the bone filled room, only to be captured by Leatherface, who carries her back into the house kicking and screaming. Her death is extremely brutal as Leatherface put’s her on a meat hook and you can hear her agonizing screams of pain and horror as she hangs.
While she is suffering on the meat hook, Pam gets to watch as her boyfriend’s Kirk (William Vail) dead body get dismembered by Leatherface’s chainsaw. You later see her again when she lunges out of the freezer barely alive when Leatherface kills Jerry. The ultra violent Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie surprisingly has some comedic elements in it. I always found the scene when the group arrives at the cemetery in the beginning of the film and some weird drunken guy starts rambling and laughing saying, “Things happen here about, they don’t tell about. I see things. You see, they say that it’s just an old man talking. You laugh at an old man, it’s them that laughs and knows better.” That early scene exemplifies the over the top insanity that will be shown throughout this film as you watch it. Joe Bill Hogan was very realistic in that scene as the drunk. They should have given him an Oscar for it, lol.
I found the goofy music playing in the traveling group’s van while the hitchhiker cuts himself up and ignites Franklins photo on fire, quite amusing. The hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) does a great job in that scene with his facial expressions and giggling as he shocks the group with his bizarre and realistic display of mental illness. The Cook played by Jim Siedow is also great. I love how he comes off seemingly normal at the gas station and then later on he is as mentally as f**ked up as the other members of his family. I like when he is arguing with the hitchhiker during the torture of the Sally scene near the end. He is adamant about his thoughts on killing, while he tells the hitchhiker who is taunting him “you shut up. You’re just a cook, you don’t enjoy killing, me and Leatherface do all the work”.
The morbid score/soundtrack done by Wayne Bell is also excellent. It is some of the best I have ever heard in a horror film. It highlights and adds atmosphere to every horror filled scene in Texas Chainsaw Massacre . The score created quite a disturbing effect while the cannibal family is torturing Sally near the end of the film. Marilyn Burns who played Sally in this film was very authentic with her terror filled screams throughout the film. She really did a great job in her torture scene. The only flaw the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 movie has was the annoying whining Paul A. Partain as Franklin did before Leatherface guts him. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1974 is the best one of the series and has the darkest and more serious tone to it. The others are of varying quality and good in their own right, but the sequels were just made to be funny while the first one was a shocking display of true horror. Click here to buy The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974 [Blu-ray]
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Movie 1974 Trailer
Filed Under: Horror
About the Author: Hello and welcome to Rancel's Movie, TV Show, Animated Films, and Japanese Anime Review Website. I love writing, watching films (especially foreign cinema and horror), playing video games, listening to music, repairing computers, and spending time with people I love. I have always been into the world of cinema, animated films, and TV series. So now as an adult I am an amateur film reviewer and intend on getting a degree in journalism.