The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Battery The zombie apocalypse has left America a wasteland of the undead with pockets of mankind struggling to survive. Two former baseball players forced by the situation to become fast friends travel the country looking for supplies and safety, but their different personalities and views on the situation lead to dramas far removed from the flesh-eating varieties. Zombies have been ubiquitous in the horror genre for years now with three out of every five horror films focusing on them as their monster of choice. (I totally made that up, but it feels right.) The vast majority of them are pretty damn terrible, but once in a while a real gem comes along, and one of the best is this American indie that dares find the humanity in a story about the inhuman. It feels like a drama, but a lack of flesh-chewing scenes doesn’t mean it’s devoid of horror as the reality these men find themselves in is a terrifying one. Writer/director Jeremy Gardner (who also plays one of the two leads) is a refreshingly smart new voice in genre film-making. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, making of, outtakes, featurette, trailer]



Hooray! Look at Sally screaming in delight! She’s celebrating (with a little sausage dinner) because The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) has just been crowned The Scariest Movie Ever by you, our dear readers! If there’s one thing we learned from the nail-biter of a championship round, it’s that Exorcist fans vote early and Leatherface fans vote late, but while William Friedkin‘s demonic horror flick held a slight lead going into the evening, our friendly neighborhood cannibals overtook Linda Blair so fast it made her head spin. The final tally was 808 – 657 in favor of Texas Chainsaw, but if Exorcist lovers are bummed out, they can always cheer themselves up with this. Thanks to all whovoted. October Insanity has been intense, so let’s take a victory lap over the final numbers.



It was a tough few days for movies about creatures from other worlds slashing their way through flimsy human flesh. Both Alien and The Thing lost handedly in the semi-final. That means we have the two movies you’ve chosen to fight to the death in the Championship Arena (which is currently being built in a part of the Australian outback that’s not being ravaged by a mutant pig). After a week of match-ups, you’ve chosen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Exorcist to vie for the title of Scariest Movie Ever. Not a bad pair, friends. It will be fascinating to see what goes through the minds of voters when choosing between these drastically different films. One is an aggressive, raw death-fest which is far less gory than people remember it being; the other is a more carefully constructed examination of a single powerful entity that involves vomit but not a lot of death. One hunts you down; the other invades your body and home. One has Leatherface; the other has Captain Howdy. So how do you even choose? What will go into your consideration? TIME TO VOTE FOR A CHAMPION



And then there were four. After the tournament’s closest battle came to an end with a come-from-behind winner, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre eked its way into The Final Four alongside The Thing, Alien and The Exorcist. Essentially we’re down to the impossible choices, but while a horror movie tournament is one thing, figuring out with of these baddies would best each other in real life is a bit easier. Today’s match-up sees Ridley Scott‘s hallway of terror go up against the devil in Ms. Blair, but if the mutli-mouthed E.T.s actually had to fight off a demon, it seems obvious that evil would prevail (unless The Queen had the courage to jump out of an airlock after getting possessed). On the same front, a family of cannibals with their own meat locker is terrifying, but they’d be quick work for the body-stealing Thing, especially since Grandpa’s offspring don’t seem all that bright. How long would it take for one of them to hit themselves with a hammer in order to stop the invasion? Over/Under is twenty minutes. Speaking of which, someone should make a movie where horror icons fight each other. Especially if it involves Alien. How could that miss? And since both Freddy and Jason have been knocked out of the tournament, they’ll have plenty of time to collaborate on a project like that. VOTING FOR THE FINAL FOUR IS NOW OPEN



After laughing about the completely unplanned, totally-done-by-your-votes match-up between The Ring and The Thing in the Axe-Wielding Eight Round, I’d like to talk about two types of movies that didn’t make the cut. There are. of course, the 24 movies so far that have been chopped off the block by you clicking a Facebook button, but there are also a bunch of movies that didn’t get placed on the original bracket to begin with. There are two reasons that your favorite scary movie didn’t make it. One, it’s a finite list (and a small one at that). Two, we aren’t mind readers. For the most part, our bracket was conventional in honoring the classics, but we also tried to spice things up by including newer films and even a few that maybe weren’t seen by wide audiences (Session 9, you will be missed…). Today’s post will seek to celebrate some of those movies you suggested we were morons for leaving out. We’ll also run down the numbers, laugh some more about the rhyming Ring/Thing battle, and get serious about the predictions. We’re down to 8 insanely strong horror flicks, so it’s even more important to get out the vote because the margins are going to be razor blade thin. Or you can vote first and then read all this


commentary-texas chain saw massacre

The Commentary Commentary you are about to read is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths. Okay, not really, but there’s certainly a fair amount of slashing and running and screaming in the woods. This week we’re covering The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and everything director Tobe Hooper had to say about the production along with director of photography Daniel Pearl and Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen. We chose The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, because Total Recall last week left us for something a little more happy-go-lucky, something that isn’t riddled with copious amounts of blood and body parts being ripped off. Shockingly, there’s a ton more of that stuff in the Arnold movie than here, but it’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that makes you want to cleanse yourself after. The movie, for the lack of shown blood it has, does have a way of making you feel dirty after watching. So grab your popcorn, because this one’s for the whole family. Cue John Larroquette‘s opening narration in 3…2…



I like a good horror movie, so I am a bit conflicted when it comes to the movie The Strangers.

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published: 01.31.2015
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published: 01.30.2015
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