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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Marilyn Burns , Edwin Neal , Tobe Hooper    R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (519 customer reviews)

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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 for Psycho), the original Jeffrey Dahmer, Texas Chainsaw Massacre follows 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 with Psycho, Halloween, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. --Jim Emerson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the All Time Horror Greats June 3 2004
Texas Chainsaw Massacre is about a group of five people which runs afoul of a psychopathic family of cannibals living in the Texas hinterlands. The film inspires dread and nervousness right from the start with unsettling music and little hints of bad things yet to come such as a horoscope and a drunk old man both predicting awful things. It also gives several moments of absolute shock and terror. The first appearance of Leatherface (the chainsaw wielding psycho who wears a mask of sewed-together skin) ranks right up there with the infamous shower scene from Psycho. Surprisingly, though, there is very little gore in this film. Most of the shocking action either takes place behind closed doors or in the background. The viewer is left to fill in the awful details with his/her imagination. The grainy film stock used to shoot the movie actually works to the film's advantage in that it gives the whole thing a documentary sort of feel, something clearly meant by the somber narration at the beginning of the film which states what the viewer is seeing is real.
If you want a real scare, this is the film for you. Ignore the horrid recent remake.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) May 21 2004
Director: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen, Edwin Neal.
Running Time: 83 minutes.
Rated R for extreme violence and mild language.
Director Tobe Hooper's defining moment as a film creator took place about twenty-five minutes into "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". In this scene, a happy-go-lucky teenager, who forsees himself getting laid later that night, stumbles inside an old farmhouse in search for directions to a lake. As he walks into the house, he trips and falls at the feet of Leatherface, the cannibalistic maniac that captures people for his family to eat. Leatherface proceeds to bash his head and face with a hammer and drags him into the kitchen, shuts the door quickly, and the audience if left to hear a resounding "grrrr" from the scratchy soundtrack. The scene sets the tone for the entire film, if not Hooper's entire career.
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" revolves around a group of young adults who are investigating the grave diggings of some of their relatives. While they are staying at their grandparents' cottage out in the middle of no where, they are tormented by a chainsaw wielding freak who wears past victim's skin as a mask. The overall premise is disturbing, twisted, and halfway stupid, but Hooper creates great tension and incorporates a diabolically shrieking score to send chills down viewers' backs.
While the film is as influential as any to the horror genre, along with "The Exorcist" and "Halloween", this classic is unique compared to many films because of the theatrical presence that it had--which is obviously lost on video or DVD. Truly terrifying during its day, slightly more comical in the present. One of the best horror films of the middle 1970s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Texas Chainsaw Massacre May 20 2004
I am going to skip my usual review format, and not review the DVD. I am instead just going to look at the film itself.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released in October of 1974, and was an immediate success. All across the nation, people were running out of the theater in shock of what they were seeing. The film cost $100,000 to make, and wound up grossing about $30 million. In other words, 300 times its budget. Not bad for an indie horror flick.
Over the years, TCM has garnered a reputation as being extremely gory, perverted, and being a symbol of everything that is wrong in America. The film has been banned in many countries due to its content, and is equally reviled as it is praised.
It was with some hesitation that I sat down to watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I had avoided it due entirely to its reputation. But what happened as I was watching it was interesting. For the first time since seeing The Exorcist 4 years earlier, I was completely terrified by a movie. On the edge of my seat, squirming, heart racingly TERRIFIED.
To start off, there is hardly any blood at all in the movie. Yes, people get butchered by Leatherface, and there is the girl on the meathook, but its all done with sound effects and imaginative camera angles. There's literally only about 2 ounces of blood seen in the entire movie. Secondly, you don't even really see what's happening when the people are slaughtered. Your imagination is forced to take over, which is even scarier than all the blood and guts in the world.
Is the movie any good? Yes! The reason I praise The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is its unparallelled ability to horrify the viewer. This film comes as close to a living nightmare as any film could possibly come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS FILM May 19 2004
I cannot express how much I love this film. Well, I'll try. I first saw this with a few buddies, on a big screen TV, in the basement around the age of 13. Although the movie never really scared me, I would describe this film as one of the creepiest films ever. I believe it's banned in Germany and England. For a low Budget movie, this is an A+. The only one equal would be the first evil dead. It was Tobe Hooper's 3rd or 4th film and sadly he hasn't made one that has topped this one since. People also have to consider that this came out in 1974 and was the first of its kind. (I'm sorry but as much as I love it, Psycho is NOT as slasher Film) People walked out of the trailers of TCM in shock. I like the Idea that's it's based on a true story, but it really isn't. Leatherface is somewhat based on the serial killer Ed Gein. Buffalo Bill from Silence of the lambs and Norman Bates are also based on him. And to put it bluntly, ED GEIN NEVER OWNED A CHAINSAW!!!!!! But back to the movie.

The Plot: I think the best way to describe the film is to tell what is said in the shot description in my TV guide (this movie is rarely ever shown on premium channels).
Young Teens encounter a Houseful of demented Butchers who chase them with chainsaws and other deadly tools. It is Rated 3 out of 4 stars With a Highly recommended sign.
Now to the average person, this may sound like a piece of crap that would appear on svengoolie. But its much more then that. It's best to just see the film; it would take forever for me to explain. This film is also one of the most creative movies I have ever seen; you will know when you see the furniture. I'm not surprised that people became vegetarians after watching this. (like the Director of Blade 2) Yes there is cannibalism.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars you could be ordering one if the greatest horror films of all time
While you're wasting time reading this review, you could be ordering one if the greatest horror films of all time. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Greg
3.0 out of 5 stars Still a fun film
The picture and sound are good considering the quality of the source material. However there are only comentaries not special features so that was a let down.
Published 28 days ago by Greg Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Works on my Canadian PS4
Came exactly as expected for a great price. There are many bonus features. Works on my Canadian PS4
Published 2 months ago by David
1.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE: DVD Not Playable Due to Region Code
Not one commenter that I saw ever mentioned this very important piece of information and to top it off, Amazon's Region Code info indicating Region 2 is wrong. Read more
Published 6 months ago by RemlackOfficer
3.0 out of 5 stars Broken special features?
The movie is a horror classic but the special features do not seem to work on the blu ray. When I click on them it takes me back to the main menu and they do not play. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing beats the original!
I had watched the newest Chainsaw Massacre and wondered what the original version was like. I am a movie buff and think that originals are always the better movie (kind of like... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jennifer Corporon
5.0 out of 5 stars The One That Started It All...
I saw this at a fairly young age, 9 or 10 years old, which in my opinion is young for the violence & gore this movie contains, maybe other people feel differently. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Leah-S
3.0 out of 5 stars Warming, Blu-Ray is Region B/2 Does not play in Canada, USA
2013 Blu-Ray Review WARNING: Blu-Ray is Region B/2 Does not play in Canada or USA. Requires specially modified Blu-Ray disk player. Read more
Published 17 months ago by B. Armitage
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
great movie, i love how its always thrown in conversations with the greats like halloween and hellraiser and nightmare on elm street but sets itself apart from all the others... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sorpse
4.0 out of 5 stars A true story base on Ed Gein? Get real!
Why would people think this movie is base on Ed Gein when I do not agree to their oppinion? I must assure you that in real life in August 18, 1973 there are no chainsaw murderers... Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2010 by Kevin Barton
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