The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

“What happened is true. Now the motion picture that’s just as real.” ~The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

IMDB Summary: Five friends visiting their grandfather’s house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Rotten Tomatoes rating: 89%

Why I love it: It’s just so awesomely 70’s, so gritty. (And I love the bell bottoms and the halter tops.) Just ask Rob Zombie, who was admittedly obsessed with it, and whose movies all have the same feel.

This is the third movie from Tobe Hooper on this list, along with Poltergeist and The Funhouse. Oh, Tobe. Way to freak people out for a living. I kind of wish I were you. And you sure do give people their money’s worth.

People thought it was a true story. This is what they were shown in the beginning of the movie:

The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

There’s only one part about Texas Chainsaw I have anything to say about. I have no idea why this scene haunts me so much (other than the fact that it’s supposed to). Beyond all the blood and the screaming and the chainsaw sounds, this is what I always think of when this movie comes up. The house is creepy and Kirk is stupid. When he’s looking for his friends at the farm house, he helps himself to walk on in and ends up getting clobbered by Leatherface. Maybe it’s the squealing sound, or the crack of the hammer on his head. Or the look on his face. Or the door slamming. It’s just so fucked up.

Last year Texas Chainsaw turned 40. Read 11 Things You Didn’t Know ABout Texas Chainsaw Massacre on And don’t come over on Halloween night if you don’t want to watch it.


Next: The Silence of the Lambs

Written by Anne Clendening
Anne Clendening was born and raised in L.A. She's a yoga teacher, a writer and occasionally slings cocktails in a Hollywood bar. She could eat chocolate cake for every meal of the day. She has a huge fear of heights and flying. And fire. She wishes she could speak French, play her guitar better and make cannoli. She's probably listening to The Dark Side Of The Moon right now, kickin’ it with her boxer dog and her hot Australian husband ★