As Joe Bob Briggs once stated, it’s telling of Tobe Hooper’s groundbreaking horror classic that to this day, conservatives still use the 1974 grindhouse slasher as a means of expressing how films are corrupting society. Because even so many decades after its initial release, there’s never been anything like it in theaters. No other film has managed to infuriate movie critics and analysts as Hooper’s vile and detestable horror film that depicts the back woods of the South as a futile wasteland filled with death, dread, and grime. Hooper pretty much set the bar high in terms of how harrowing the horror genre could be in cinemas, and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is still such a visceral experience to behold.
Much of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s” own disturbing gross out factor is not so reliant on what we see but what we don’t see. Much of the family’s gigantic house in the picture is strewn about with bones and the remains of many dead animals that have come and gone. Leatherface’s own locker room is painted with the bones of animals and left over human parts, and his own fridge in which he stores his victims has obviously been filled with many a helpless victims. Much of what havoc ensues in the story strikes a chord that not many horror films can, today.
And Hooper doesn’t use blood and gore as a crutch, instead relying on the more internal aspects of physical and mental torture. There has never been a more ominous and truly horrifying sound than the slam of Leatherface’s meat locker door. The bash across the head with the mallet as Kirk trembles along the floor from brain damage is still one of the most disturbing images I’ve ever viewed on film, and the hook hanging is so utterly painful and mesmerizing in spite of never actually showing any blood shed in the process. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is definitely a film one has to ready themselves for, because Hooper never relents in tormenting the audience as well as poor Marilyn Burns.
The trip through pure baseless evil and carnage is not just based around death and murder but psychological distress that will leave the audience winded after Burns has managed to evade Leatherface for hours on end, miraculously. The landscape depicted in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is one that obviously many haven’t been fortunate enough to escape, so when we finally do see some semblance of victory in the end, it’s still a pyrric victory and one that will forever inflict pain on our heroine’s life. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is still as effective and monstrous as ever, and it deserves to be preserved forever.
“The Ultimate Edition” features a slew of extras beyond the restored edition of the film including “The Shocking Truth” of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” A tour of the original house with Gunnar Hansen, A slew of Trailers, TV Spots, and radio spots for your viewing pleasure, Deleted scenes and outtakes from the cast, a blooper reel, and outtakes from “The Shocking Truth.” Still a remarkable and utterly unnerving horror film to this day, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is a masterpiece of the genre with a genuinely horrifying villain whose own motives are baseless and void of motive, hence why he’s still such a massive beast on film.