Tobe Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is without doubt one of the greatest American horror films and a blistering critique on post-war America that is as relevant today as it was back in 1974.
Loosely based on the case of real-life ghoul Ed Gein, the story tells of a cannibalistic clan living deep in the heart of Texas and the troubles that befall a group of hapless teens who stumble upon their depraved house of terror.
It’s quintessential post-Vietnam/Watergate paranoia, channelled through the lens of a hungry young filmmaker that had no studio heads looking over his shoulder to make sure he was turning in an easily digestible horror film.
Made on a budget of just $300,000, with a tiny cast and crew battling 110 degree heat and filming for up to 16 hours a day, the film stinks of rotting meat, bones and animal parts though every single frame. It’s claustrophobic, oppressive and dripping in tension, with a score (which arguably invented industrial music) of clanging metal and howling noise that lends itself to the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness throughout its 83 minute runtime.
Tobe Hooper made so many great films and nearly all of them are beloved by your Beyond Fest crew but CHAIN SAW stands as a film that unites us and drives us to screen and celebrate incredible pieces of transgressive cinema during the festival.
We have lost a couple of greats this year and screening this plus NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is our way of showing tribute to two directors that made us (and you) the people (and festival) we are today. RIP Tobe. (Spencer Hickman)
Special Thanks to Mike WIlliamson and Mick Garris
Director: Tobe Hooper
Country: United States
Runtime: 83 minutes
Mick Garris and Masters of Horror will lead a discussion between NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE