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Texas Chain saw Massacre, The

Director: Tobe Hooper


Tobe Hooper’s notorious horror classic is re-released in a new print. It is the most purely horrifying horror movie ever made. A quarter of a century on, power-tools may have been overused, blunting the sheer gall of using a title as up-front as this, but Tobe Hooper’s sick, inventive little film remains as disturbing, suspenseful and shattering as the day it first saw the light of a drive-in screen.
Its plot is textbook modern American folktale – a van-load of kids, not unlike the bunch from Scooby Doo, wander off the road in rural Texas and trepass on the wrong farm, where they are murdered by a family of degenerates who used to work in the local slaughterhouse but now practice their bloody skills on passing people…
From the first images – a corpse wired to a grave, sunspots, a dead armadillo in the road – the film goes all out to show you the uncomfortable. The horror scenes are staged with unforgettable force, using the soundtrack as much as the (oddly restrained) visuals to batter you senseless. Hooper and his collaborators, especially art director Bob Burns, fill the film with unsettling details that register on the corner of the eye. The horror house, where human and animal bones are used in the furniture and a fat chicken is cooped in a canary cage, is a truly nightmarish locale, and the four maniacs each have unpleasant but credible tics.
Unlike The Exorcist, which tries to make horror play with a mass audience, this is a picture for the hardcore crowd. It has an almost absurdist lack of meaning which is as horrific as any message could be, and is never less than totally committed to scaring you witless.

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