The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre ★★★★★

I finally saw the 40th anniversary color graded restoration of this film tonight on the big screen: the original 16mm A/B rolls in 5.1 surround sound. Holy fucking shit, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was already my favorite horror movie of all-time, but tonight's viewing obviously topped my first experience with it. This is a maniacal film - when it gets going, it really gets going. It's so gritty, so real. The constant screaming juxtaposed with the sound of the chainsaw throughout the entire second half of the movie, perfect. The chase scenes, perfect. The humor, perfect. The rapid editing, perfect. The golden cinematography littered with it's distinctly TCM low-to-the-ground shots, perfect. The score that Hooper himself co-composed, perfect. Even the length of the film is perfect. And it inspired so many horror movies; this is, to me, the original American slasher, the one that spawned them all. There's are two moments during this film where our scream queen, Sally, bursts through a window in an attempt to escape Leatherface and the rest of the deranged family. That's the ultimate microcosm of the movie in its entirety: for once, a lifelike, sensible character acting like a real human being in a horror film, taking action to save her ass. It's aspects like that which make this movie frightening to me, in an honest way, adding an extra flare of the graphic truth.

I will always, always love this film.

PS: during my first viewing, I don't think I picked up on the fact that the generator Pam and Kirk stumble across on their walk to the local swimming-hole is labeled Wisconsin, my home state, and also the home state of infamous serial killer Ed Gein, the murderer this film is loosely based upon.

Very clever, Mr. Hooper, very clever.

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