Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Family's Always Been in Meat

Today's movie is:

1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Starring: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn and Gunnar Hansen. Directed by Tobe Hooper

Plot: Five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Type of horror: Splatter

Any good?: I liked it, save for one itty bitty detail, which I'll elaborate on directly.

Is it scary?: I'm from Texas, and I grew up being told that TCM was based on a true story (the film claims as much at the beginning, but that's been long since debunked) and that messed with my head a great deal. If you're 8 years old and you have grown-ups whom you trust telling you that a grunting, chainsaw wielding madman once shared your state, and he liked to don a mask made out of man-flesh, chase young teens, carve them up and EAT THEM, it tends to make a young lass uneasy. Thankfully I didn't actually SEE the film until after I'd been disabused of that nonsense, but it's still pretty terrifying.

Highlights: It's a small thing, but I liked the fact that Marilyn Burns, the lead chick, was monkeyshit crazy by the end of the movie. They could have had her play it all calm and filmogenic (what, filmogenic is a word. It doesn't mean what I'm implying it means but who says words can't evolve?), but they decided to go the realistic route and show how a person actually would respond to being subjected to those kinds of shenanigans.

Lowlights: I think this is the first time I've done a lowlights section, but something in TCM begs for it to be created: The character of Franklin, the whiny, obnoxious, annoying wheelchair-bound brother of Burns' character. I hated Franklin so much that, the first time I watched it-sorry to be all spoilery-when he got killed, I actually stood up and pointed at the TV Nelson Muntz-style and went "HAW-HAW!" No one else was in the room to hear my outburst, which makes me look really pathetic, but that doesn't make it any less true...

Where?: Here