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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 18.71%
Average: 6.43%
Pretty Bad: 4.68%
Total Crap: 7.6%

3 reviews, 153 user ratings

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Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1974)
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by JonnyAngel

"Don’t mess with Texas."
5 stars

This film is a classic in every sense of the word. And that is one of it’s biggest problems. Everybody’s heard of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but few people have actually seen it. They dismiss it as some old cheesy 70’s horror movie, when in fact, it is one of the most disgusting, disturbing, and downright diabolical horror movies ever made. In other words, it’s a fucking ride. If you’ve got a weak stomach, make sure you pack your barf bag.

A group of kids set off for a day trip to the country, what they get is a permanent vacation to hell.

The story begins with a van full of teenagers, on their way to visit their Grandfather’s grave (must have been the thing to do in the 70’s), and spend a fun summer day in the country. Unfortunately, they make the timeless mistake of picking up the first psychotic hitchhiker they meet. What ensues is one of the weirdest movies ever made.
I don’t want to go too much into the plot because it’s more fun that way, but it does have a lot to do with the irresponsible use of chainsaws.

Everything about this movie works beautifully and without an overabundance of cliches.

Unlike say Scream, there are no sympathetic characters, no poor little Neve Campbells or misunderstood Fredie Prinze Jrs, none of that. They’re all assholes. I mean, there's a kid in a wheelchair and he's the biggest bastard of them all. You find yourself wanting them to die, but then still feeling bad for them when they do. Overall the acting is pretty good, but for a “scary” movie, it’s damn near Oscar worthy, the villians especially.
One of the best performances though, is that of the killers’ actual house. Talk about horrifying, it makes the house in The Haunting look like Bob Villa’s latest conquest.

The dramatic impact of it all is heightened even more, because unlike every other movie of this type, a lot of the really frightening stuff takes place during daylight. As viewers, it throws you off balance, because everybody knows bad shit only happens at night, right? Wrong. It’s a nice change, and most horror movies couldn’t pull it off, but here, once again, it works beautifully.

But the thing that makes Texas Chainsaw Massacre a truly scary film is the atmosphere, it feels real. And while it wasn’t shot in the style of a documentery, (like a certain “scary” movie a lot of people saw this summer) it definitely has a documentary feel and look to it. The mood is very suggestive and the actual movie is not as gory as it feels. There’s a lot of whacked out, disturbing visuals and set pieces, but violence-wise, there’s not a lot of “penetration” shots. Most of the actual violence is left for your mind to fill in. It's a technique that was used extensively in the above mentioned other “scary” movie (Okay I’ll say it! The Blair Witch Project. Happy now?), and it's very effective here as well.

I hate to compare Texas Chaisaw Massacre with Blair Witch Project because TCM is by far the better, and scarrier, flick. But basically, if Blair Witch scared you, this one’ll make your head spin (please excuse the blatant Exorcist reference).

But hey, maybe you hated Blair Witch, well, me too. That’s why you should check out a movie like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, one that actually lives up to the hype.

Hey mom, pass the headcheese.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/30/99 02:41:20
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2014 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell harrowing but in a good way skip the remake 4 stars
8/25/16 Matt Good. Fuck the bad reviews 4 stars
12/31/15 Horror Girl Still the most scariest and powerful horror ever made 5 stars
6/23/12 Silkworm Comical drivel 1 stars
2/15/12 stanley welles nothing more than an over hyped fantasy gore flop 1 stars
8/10/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Landmark horror film based on Ed Gein. 5 stars
1/05/10 art A NIGHTMARE MOVIE!,DO NOT WATCH IT!,whatever you do! 1 stars
12/06/09 art THIS BLOODY FILM INSPIRED FRIDAY THE 13TH AND halloween. 1 stars
10/25/09 Thresher A great review of an under-rated film 5 stars
10/17/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess "Anyone can die at any moment"-Joe Bob Briggs 5 stars
8/29/09 Julian Hilariously cheesy with Benny Hill chase scenes -not scary at all. 1 stars
6/05/09 art THIS "MOVIE" REALLY CROSS"S THE LINE! 1 stars
5/17/09 Sam Whilst not much gore, there's a very heavy sense of dread. The best horror film ever shot. 5 stars
1/16/09 Luke Meighan This movie gave me herpes! Awesome horror film. 5 stars
1/14/09 sam lovelock 2nd best horror movie i've ever seen the 3rd texas chainsaw massacre is better 5 stars
10/10/08 budd look at those characters come on !!!!!!! this is a comedy not a horror film 4 stars
9/10/08 Borat To disturbing 2 stars
1/15/08 art a nightmare movie a real nightmare movie 3 stars
11/29/07 raul valdez jr no storyline just killing total crap, at least halloween had a storyline 3 stars
11/22/07 Kevin This actually happened to me 5 stars
11/15/07 Mikey G. The ultimate experience in unparelled horror. 5 stars
11/13/07 cherrybaby the second movies is better than the first one.. 3 stars
8/15/07 Leatherface wheres my saw the best 5 stars
7/27/07 action movie fan cheap,unintentionally funny,awful dialouge -bad in all respects should have been forgotten 1 stars
6/12/07 al smith relentless and raw in its power a true horror classic 5 stars
6/07/07 Dave Its awful! so much hype. Its crap! he should'v invested in a better chainsaw. i 1 stars
3/10/07 MP Bartley Brutally effective in its simplicity. 4 stars
11/21/06 Michele blood bath 4 stars
11/13/06 Dark Enchantress It was good, but not great. No enough gore and plus it was kinda cheesy 4 stars
11/02/06 rob this movie is overrated, not scary or gory whatsoever 3 stars
10/29/06 JM Synth Could have been better paced, but the flm produces true terror when it comes 4 stars
10/25/06 Drew G The GREATEST horror film of all time... 5 stars
10/09/06 steven It was a dame goog movies 5 stars
9/23/06 David Pollastrini I never thought this film was particularly scary 3 stars
9/22/06 Lisa Craven Definitely not for children, this gorefest even freaked me out! 2 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Good, creepy cuz its based on a true story. 4 stars
5/14/06 Horror Film Freak Relentless and terrifying. Definitely one of the best horror movies ever made. 5 stars
4/18/06 Destiny Knowlon This movie is so stupid and melexxticating little chidren. 1 stars
3/11/06 Dillon A piece of unadulterated horror 4 stars
3/04/06 turnips twisted photography, mental and macabre 4 stars
3/01/06 Uk_shooter great movie one of the best of the seventies 5 stars
11/25/05 cr freak, shocking,gory,and scary what else can you ask for and plus true story 4 stars
11/21/05 chris exelent very good and gory movie 5 stars
10/14/05 Darren O A nerve racking, trendsetting terror trip. Marilyn Burns makes you feel what she portrays. 5 stars
8/23/05 Eden The best horror film, gritty, realistic very well directed 5 stars
8/02/05 Martin grainy, claustrophobic style of filmmaking. unnnerving, more than scary. 5 stars
7/03/05 Eddie Its so scary i almost shit my pants 5 stars
6/11/05 Manu Ginobli A big ranicd piece of overrated shit. 1 stars
5/24/05 E-FUNK The definitive horror movie. Absolutely stunning and disturbing and balls-to-the-wall. 5 stars
5/05/05 coy truman cool....disturbing 4 stars
4/25/05 Indrid Cold Nice depiction of hysterical fear, but doesn't come close to living up to its reputation. 3 stars
4/08/05 Jason Kreitzer A triumph. One of the best horror movies of the post-Psycho era. 5 stars
3/31/05 Flash The most visceral final chase of all time, you practically go insane along with Sally 5 stars
3/20/05 Vince Whar is the FUCKIN HYPE all about? 2 stars
2/19/05 Karissa Knowlton to New England = Dynasty Frankin in the wheelchair made a great movie dudh 5 stars
2/19/05 Karissa Knowlton i love all the peeps were great actors and actress and gunnar hansen did great 5 stars
2/19/05 Karissa Knowlton I love it marilyn burn was great 5 stars
2/09/05 New England Patriots = Dynasty the cripple in the wheelchair made it so boring. Scary my ass. 2 stars
2/02/05 Darryl As horror movies go, this one is just run-of-the-mill. 3 stars
12/04/04 Me A great film 5 stars
11/21/04 Steve Austine I almost shit my pants because its true 5 stars
10/26/04 Naka Relentless horror that exists on a primal level. Not terrifying, but a damn good watch. 5 stars
9/21/04 al it is pretty sweet 5 stars
9/11/04 jewels vile loathsome piece of crap 1 stars
6/21/04 silver10 Very frightening and disturbing. something for the whole family to watch together. yee-haw! 4 stars
6/11/04 Rex Reed This is the most horrifying motion picture I have ever seen 5 stars
6/04/04 Stab Wounds Purty Cool! 5 stars
5/02/04 American Slasher Goddess The scariest movie ever made. 5 stars
5/02/04 jacob its all good....but ive seen better 4 stars
4/24/04 J I have never seen anything so Horrorfying! **** 5 stars
4/09/04 Bryan McGlothlin im sure the 2003 Texas chainsaw massacre is alot better scaryer i give the new one a 5 star 5 stars
4/06/04 niki I loved the movie and I'm only 8 because horror is cool. 4 stars
4/04/04 Tito Soooooooooooooooooooooo much better then remake! (Thank God!) 5 stars
3/31/04 charlie smalley fucking rules 5 stars
3/29/04 true review - correct review everytime horror classic, the scares are all in the mood, no fx needed, creepy and twisted 5 stars
2/26/04 Messiah A perfect examle of how a horror movie should be done. Chilling 5 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge This movie is DOPE. One of the classics.Not recommended for girls in the country alone. 5 stars
2/17/04 Igor I saw this without hearing the reputation and thought it was a comedy. Overated, Not Scary 2 stars
2/15/04 American Slasher Goddess The scariest movie ever made. 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody Now this is some freaky shit! 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric Great start to the series.Franklin kind of ruined it for me though 4 stars
1/17/04 J Movie creepy and chilly! *** 1/2 out of 4 5 stars
1/11/04 CJ The best movie ever 5 stars
1/01/04 David Definitely one of the best horror movies ever made. Not gory but gruesome. 4 stars
12/26/03 Sara Really scary 5 stars
12/10/03 Samuel One of the greatest horror films of all time!! 5 stars
11/28/03 john brilliant and scary 5 stars
11/21/03 homer simpson one hell of a ride! 5 stars
11/14/03 Josh Low One of the best movie I have seen in a long time. 5 stars
11/01/03 American Slasher Goddess The best horror movie ever made. 5 stars
11/01/03 Dee`z nutz It was gangsta yah digg da um movie had ah nigga jumping 5 stars
10/30/03 Jules I saw the original and then the new release--scared me all over again!!! 5 stars
10/28/03 sophia was it based on a true story? i went to go see it it scared me 5 stars
10/27/03 sylvia very scary!!! 5 stars
10/26/03 andy fucking scary man 5 stars
10/25/03 Kevin Rodriguez This movie was so awsome and VERY SCARY 5 stars
10/24/03 Andre Pilon best horror ever 5 stars
10/22/03 Clint I'm from Texas, I thought it was scary untill .I heard it never REALLy happened 4 stars
10/21/03 Jenni from cali I became interested after I saw the movie and i had to find out more!! 5 stars
10/21/03 Cheryl from Texas Saw the 30 yr old movie and can't wait to see the new one 5 stars
10/18/03 Lauren I just saw the new version of the movie, and I became very interested in it. 5 stars
10/18/03 brian awesome movie chop 'em up! 5 stars
10/18/03 Morally Sound The greatest horror film of all time! 5 stars
10/15/03 Erica I believed the events in the film were true and I enjoyed it that much more based upon that 4 stars
10/12/03 Angie Frels I thought the movie was Great, but id like to know how true the events were? 5 stars
10/06/03 Jack Sommersby Visceral, nerve-frying horror classic. 4 stars
10/05/03 Sandra Scary movie, worth watching. 4 stars
10/03/03 lucas incredible 5 stars
10/01/03 Samuel Justus This Movie is based on a true story,and it is great! can't wait for the remake! 5 stars
9/20/03 Kali Even though it's not bases on a true story, still makes me scared to go out alone at night 5 stars
6/29/03 heywood jablomie Iabsofuckinglutely love thi movie! Crapped my pants not once but twice!! 5 stars
6/14/03 Alice This is a big one! No one ever came close.Top. 5 stars
5/15/03 Zach Nice 5 stars
4/22/03 LIAM JACKSON stupid teens get hacked up by chainsaw-wielding hillbilly nutcase.excellent 5 stars
4/17/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik Brrrrr... 5 stars
4/15/03 Ayatolla of Rockinrolla One of the best horror movies ever made 5 stars
3/20/03 Jack Sommersby Unpleasantly unnerving film manages to carry out its tasks well. 4 stars
11/28/02 Kyle Everyone on here will hate me for this, but it's total sludge! I didn't think it was scary 1 stars
11/06/02 Jiz Holy fuck I am never going to Texas. 5 stars
10/26/02 Morally Sound The sound of the chainsaw in the pitch black woods alone is enough to scar you for life! 5 stars
10/02/02 Michael J. Farris As a film student, I will get to see the 35mm print on the big screen! 5 stars
9/25/02 Ben Wasden Intense and scary, but not really fun. 4 stars
9/23/02 Tobey One of the great nerve-wracking climaxes of all horror cinema. Mortifying 5 stars
9/01/02 dean gough disturbing 5 stars
5/19/02 john waite chicks on meat hooks!!??...gets my vote! 5 stars
4/02/02 Film Dude One of my favorite movies. Go rent it. Right now. Seriously. Now. I'll give you a dollar. 5 stars
3/22/02 Luke Meighan Forget "The Exorcist", TCM is the most terrifying movie ever made.Best cannibal movie ever! 5 stars
3/07/02 Jeff Lecky Scared me shitless 5 stars
3/06/02 lauren mccreight Amazing!Ranks right up there with The Exorcist and Night of the Living Dead. 5 stars
3/05/02 Veronica Foxx aka The Raven-Haired Temptress How could being hunted by a chainsaw-wielding psycho wearing a leather mask not be scary? 5 stars
3/02/02 Chowie Well, this movie was a bit overrated, and not terrifying, but for it's time i guess.... 4 stars
2/28/02 Dave MacDougall If you have any imagination (or brains) this movie will scare the hell out of you! 5 stars
1/15/02 tom great moive 5 stars
1/06/02 daniboy not THAT good 2 stars
12/25/01 r b its the best movie ever made especially when terry mcminn is put on the meat hook. 5 stars
12/06/01 Se7en Sureal 5 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 unpleasant, overrated...dull. 2 stars
10/14/01 Andrew Carden What Starts Out Scary, Gets Gross and Out Of Hand. 3 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk The most frighteningly realistic horror movies ever made...unforgettable. 5 stars
6/30/01 fifu i don''t like horror films but this movie is very freaky, not scary but disturbing Very 4 stars
6/21/01 Travis Denson The best horror film ever made! 5 stars
5/08/01 Rodney Muterspaw freaky, just plain freaky man 5 stars
4/15/01 Bradley Elfman fucking scary, incredibly witty,original, well directed, incredible script, awesome acting 5 stars
3/03/01 Jacob Myers I ate while watching this boring movie 3 stars
12/11/00 vinnie st. john the sickest piece of crap i´ve ever saw.a must for any horror fan.amazing ! 5 stars
9/17/00 Robert Llewellyn lets be honest this film stinks 2 stars
2/11/00 steve layne Semi-Distrubing, but highy overrated and not at all scary and laughable at times, but OK 3 stars
2/02/00 Vance Lipovac The Best Film with the Worst reputation! See It, Man! 4 stars
10/27/99 reverand love joy this movie is sick and twisted and crazy,it is fucking awesome baby 5 stars
10/23/99 little jerry Classic case of the power of suggestion.This is REAL FILMMAKING.As great as Psycho. 5 stars
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  15-Jun-1974 (R)
  DVD: 26-Sep-2006

  N/A (18)

  N/A (R)

Directed by
  Tobe Hooper

Written by
  Tobe Hooper
  Kim Henkel

  Marilyn Burns
  Allen Danziger
  Paul A.
  William Vail
  Teri McMinn

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