The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
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Director: Tobe Hooper
Plot: Friends fall prey to a family of cannibals while on a road trip.
Excerpts from our roundtable discussion:
LEAGUE: A lot of people have argued this is the most influential horror film of all time, and at the same time, there are Texas themes that resonate through it. There is the death of quintessential Texas industries, of the cattle industry falling apart, and that’s what drove this family to cannibalism. There is this lurking darkness in rural Texas. The movie was made by Texans in Texas; the word “Texas” is in the title . . .
BLOOM: If you read any of the outrage surrounding the release of this movie—especially from the eminent writers and New York literati who attacked it—of the three words in the title, the one they found most offensive was not “chainsaw” or “massacre.” They believed that the movie was a justification of a violent outlaw state. I don’t know of any other movie that remains on banned lists for more than thirty years after its making. It’s the ultimate outlaw movie. And it is a Texas movie. What makes it Texas horror as opposed to just any horror is that it’s done with comedy—the fact that when they finally get to the slaughter room they have to hold up Grandpa’s arm to hold the hammer and the hammer keeps falling out of his hand. They’re scary but they’re also funny.
And now, the Alamo Drafthouse Presents . . .
The Texas Monthly Rolling Roadshow
Starting June 3, the Alamo Drafthouse and TEXAS MONTHLY will be showing all ten of these films in unique, location-specific settings all over Texas. For more information, please visit texasmonthly.com/texasfilms or drafthouse.com/texasfilms.