The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is the slasher franchise that I came to last out of all of the major franchises. My first introduction to the franchise was seeing the VHS cover of The Next Generation with my dad and him mentioning the rest of the series. I didn’t get to see any of the movies until shortly before the remake of this movie was coming out. I rented all of the movies in the franchise that were out at the time. I immediately became a fan of the series after watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and I’ll do my best to only talk about this movie.
The only time I’ll break that rule is when I mention the second movie. My first time watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre I ended up laughing at random parts but specifically the part with grandpa and I felt weird laughing at that part. I learned that Tobe Hooper saw that there was dark comedy in it which led to the sequel and the drastically different tone. Hooper cowrote the movie with Kim Henkel, with them taking some inspiration from Ed Gein but the story being fictionalized.
The cast was mostly unknowns and that really helped with the story. That even includes the narrator being John Larroquette, which is a fun fact for fans of Night Court. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A, Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, and Gunnar Hansen. I really want to talk about Hansen’s work as Leatherface. The noises that he made were and still are an interesting choice. The physicality that he brought was on a different level, especially with that Texas heat. The interactions between the members of the family really shows the power structure of the family. Both Burns and Partain feel like they’re family members, even down to how annoyed they are by the other one. Partain also plays an annoying brother incredibly.
The effects in the movie are pretty crazy. The hook hang part is still something that looks incredibly gnarly. That alongside the sculptures throughout the movie really help sell the griminess of the movie. The music that Tobe Hooper and Wayne Bell did for the movie adds a lot to it. The score adds a whole new level of creepiness which goes along with the sound design of the movie.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a classic and is so much fun to watch. I watched this one specifically because of the Netflix sequel that’s coming out on Friday. The sequel adds a whole new branch on the weird timeline of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. You can stream The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on Shudder. I give The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 10 chainsaws out of 10.