Sunday, October 3, 2010
THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)
The greatest horror film of all time. The epitome of 70's grind-house terror and reality. All of this is accomplished with little gore and little budget. THE EXORCIST is the film most mainstream audiences point to as the pinnacle of horror greatness from this time. I would argue that the thing that puts this one over it is the fact that it is based in reality, a fucked-up reality full of cannibalistic, homicidal insanity but a reality nonetheless. THE EXORCIST'S reality only works if one embraces a belief in supernatural demons. There's no arguing that the world contains psychopaths with minds that can conjure up the horrors on display in this slice of depravity, if not worse. A mirror into the dark soul of humanity and a comment on a decade that saw the failure of 1960's idealism. Often lumped in with the slasher genre which came years later this seems so much deeper. If this was accidental or not it seems debatable but either way everything was aligned just right to capture what I feel is a masterpiece of purely iconic scary film-making. From the opening graveyard scenes up until the last shot of Leatherface maniacally dancing against the sunset wildly swinging a buzzing chainsaw, everything works in what is certainly the high-water mark of exploitation movies if not cinema in general.