The Texas Chain Saw Massacre [note 1] is a 1974 American horror film directed by Tobe Hooper and co-produced by Hooper and Kim Henkel . It stars Marilyn Burns , Paul A. Partain ,Edwin Neal , Jim Siedow and Gunnar Hansen , who are portray Sally Hardesty, Franklin Hardesty, the hitchhiker, the proprietor, and Leatherface. The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. Although it was marketed as a true story to a wider audience and a subtle commentary on the era’s political climate, its plot is entirely fictional; however, the character of Leatherface and minor plot details were inspired by the crimes of real-life murderer Ed Gein .
Hooper produced the film for less than $ 300,000 (about $ 1488663.97), and used a cast of relatively unknown actors from central Texas, where the film was shot. The limited budget forced Hooper to film for a long time, so that it could finish as quickly as possible. Due to the film’s violent content, Hooper struggled to find a distributor. Louis Perano of Bryanston Pictures Eventually you purchased the distribution rights. Hooper limited the quantity of onscreen gore in hopes of Securing a PG rating , aim the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it R . The film faced similar difficulties internationally.
On its October 1974 release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned outright in several countries, and many theaters were later arrested in the violence in the United States. It was enormously profitable, grossing over $ 30 million at the domestic box office. It has had a positive reputation and a reputation as one of the most influential horror films in cinema history . It is credited with having several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murderers and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure. The popularity of the film led to a franchise that continues the story of Leatherface and his family through sequels, remakes, prequel, comic books and video games.
Sally Hardesty ( Marilyn Burns ) and her paraplegic brother, Franklin ( Paul A. Partain ), Kirk (William Vail), Jerry ( Allen Danziger ), and Pam ( Teri McMinn ), to visit the grave of the Hardestys ‘grandfather to investigate reports of vandalism and serious robbing. Afterwards, they decide to visit the old Hardesty family homestead. Along the way, they pick up a hitchhiker ( Edwin Neal ) who talks about his family who worked at the old slaughterhouse. He borrows Franklin’s pocket-knife and cuts himself , then takes a Polaroidpicture of the others and demands money for it. When they refuse to pay, he burns the photo and slashes Franklin’s arm with a straight razor. The group forces him out of the van and drive on. They stop at a gas station to refuel, but the owner ( Jim Siedow ) tells them the pumps are empty.
They continue to the homestead, intending to return to the gas station. When they arrive, Franklin tells Kirk and Pam about a local swimming-hole and the couple heading to find it. They stumble upon a nearby house. Kirk calls out for gas, entering through the unlocked door, while Pam waits outside. Leatherface ( Gunnar Hansen ) appears and kills Kirk with a hammer. Pam enters soon after and trips into a room filled with furniture made of human bones. She tries to flee, but her leatherface catches her and impales her on a meathook, making her watch as he butchers Kirk with a chainsaw. Jerry heads out to Pam and Kirk at sunset. He sees the house and finds Pam, still alive, inside a freezer. Before he can react, Leatherface kills him.
With darkness falling, Sally and Franklin set out to find their friends. As they come to the next door, Leatherface lunges from the darkness and kills Franklin with a chainsaw. Sally runs to the house and finds the desiccated remains of an elderly couple upstairs. She escapes from Leatherface by jumping through a second-floor window and flees to the gas station. The proprietor calms her with the help of her friends and her friends. He drives to the house, arriving at the same time as the hitchhiker, now revealed as Leatherface’s brother. The hitchhiker recognizes Sally and taunts her.
Sally while wearing a leatherface. Leatherface and the hitchhiker bring down Grandpa ( John Dugan), one of the desiccated bodies from upstairs. He is revealed to be alive when he sucks blood from a cut on Sally’s finger. They decide that Grandpa, the best killer in the old slaughterhouse, should kill Sally. He tries to hit the ground with a hammer but is too weak. In the ensuing confusion, she breaks free, leaps through a window, and flies to the road. Leatherface and the hitchhiker give chase, but the latter is over and killed by a passing truck. Armed with his chainsaw, Leatherface attacks the truck when the driver stops to help; the driver knocks down a leatherface with a pipe wrench, causing the chainsaw to cut his leg. The driver flees, and Sally escapes in the back of a truck tire.
The concept for the Texas Chain Saw Massacre arose in the early 1970s while Tobe Hooper was working as an assistant film director at the University of Texas at Austin and a documentary cameraman.  He had already developed a story involving the elements of isolation, the woods, and darkness.  He credited the graphic coverage of violence by San Antonio news outlets as one inspiration for the movie  and based Elements of the plot is serial killer Ed Gein in 1950s Wisconsin ;  Gein and other horror films such as Psycho (1960) andThe Silence of the Lambs (1991).     During development, Hooper used the working titles of Headcheese and Leatherface.  
– Kim Henkel  
Hooper has references in the cultural and political landscape as central influences on the film. His intentional misinformation, that the “film is about to be seen”, was a response to being “about water”, including ” Watergate , the 1973 oil crisis , and” the massacres and atrocities in the Vietnam War “.  The “lack of sentimentality and the brutality of things”, which was the focus of the debate on the subject, which was shown by “showing brains spilled all over the road” here, just wearing a different face,The idea of using a chainsaw to the murdered weapon while he was in the hardware section of a busy store, contemplating how to speed his way through the crowd. 
Hooper and Kim Henkel, Vortex, Inc.  with Henkel as president and Hooper as vice president.  They asked Bill Parsley, a friend of Hooper, to provide funding. Parsley formed a company named MAB, Inc. through which he invested $ 60,000 in the production. In return, MAB owned 50% of the film and its profits.  Ron Bozman, Production Manager, said he would be one of the world’s most successful sales representatives. Vortex made the idea more attractive by awarding them a share of its potential profits, ranging from 0.25 to 6%, similar to mortgage points. Vortex owned only 50%, which meant that they were worth half of the assumed value.  
Many of the cast members at the time were relatively unknown actors-Texans who had played roles in commercials, television, and stage shows, as Hooper knew personally, as Allen Danzigerand Jim Siedow .    Involvement in the film propelled some of them into the motion picture industry. The lead role of Sally was given to Marilyn Burns , who had previously appeared on stage and served on the film commission at UT Austin while studying there.  Teri McMinn was a student who worked with local theater companies, including the Dallas Theater Center . Henkel called McMinn to come back in Austin American-Statesman .  For her last call-back he asked that she wear shorts, which proved to be the most comfortable of all the cast members’ costumes. 
Icelandic-American actor Gunnar Hansen was selected for the role of Leatherface.  He regarded Leatherface as being mentally retarded and having never learned to speak properly. Hansen, a researcher for his character, prepared for his role, visited a special needs school and watched the students moved.   John Larroquette performed the narration in the opening credits. 
The primary filming location was an early 1900s farmhouse located on Quick Hill Road near Round Rock, Texas , where the La Frontera development is now located.  The small budget and concerns over the crew filmed seven days a week, up to 16 hours a day. The environment was humid  and the cast and crew found conditions tough; temperatures peaked at 110 ° F (43 ° C) on July 26. Hansen later recalled, “It was 95, 100 degrees every day during filming.” They would not wash my costume because they were worried that they would lose it, or they would change color. second suit, so I wore that [mask] 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for a month. ” 
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was mainly shot using an Eclair NPR 16mm camera   with fine-grain, low-speed film that requires more light than modern digital cameras.  Most of the filming took place in the farmhouse, which was filled with furniture made of animal bones and a latex material used to uphold the appearance of human skin.  The house was not cooled, and there was little ventilation. The crew covered its walls with drops of animal blood from a local slaughterhouse.  Art director Robert A. BurnsThe House of the Land and the Remains of the House 
The special effects were simple and limited by the budget.  The on-screen blood was real in some cases,  such as the scene in which Leatherface feeds “Grandpa”. The crew had difficulty getting the stage blood out of its tube, so instead Burns’ index finger was cut with a razor.  Burns’ costume was so drenched with a life that it was “virtually solid” by the last day of shooting.  The scene in which Kirk’s leatherface with a chainsaw worried actor William Vail (Kirk). After telling Vail to stay still, he’s really being killed, Hansen brought the running chains to within 3 inches (8 cm) of Vail’s face. A real hammer was used for the climactic scene with some mock-up. However, the actor is playing Grandpa’s love for the floor rather than his victim’s head.  Still, the shoot was a dangerous one, with Hooper noting at the wrap. He stated that “everyone hated me by the end of the production” and that “it just took years for them to kind of cool off.”  
The production exceeded its original $ 60,000 (about $ 297732.79 adjusted for inflation) budget during editing .  Sources differ on the film’s final cost, offering figures between $ 93,000 (about $ 461485.83 inflation-adjusted) and $ 300,000 (about $ 1488663.97 inflation-adjusted).     A film production group, Pie in the Sky, provided $ 23,532 (about $ 116770.80 inflation-adjusted) in exchange for 19% of Vortex.  This left Henkel, Hooper and the rest of the cast and crew with a 40.5% stake.  Warren Skaaren , then head of the Texas Film Commission , helped secure the distribution deal with Bryanston Pictures. David Foster, producer of the 1982 horror filmThe Thing , arranged for a private screening of Bryanston Pictures’ West Coast executives, and received 1.5% of Vortex’s profits and a deferred fee of $ 500 (about $ 2481.11 inflation-adjusted) . 
On August 28, 1974, Louis Peraino of Bryanston agreed to distribute the film worldwide, from which Bozman and Skaaren would receive $ 225,000 (about $ 1116497.98 inflation-adjusted) and 35% of the profits. Years later Bozman stated, “We made a deal with the devil, [sigh], and I guess that, in a way, we got what we deserved.”  They signed the contract with Bryanston and, after the investors recouped their money (with interest), and after Skaaren, the lawyers, and the accountants were paid-only $ 8,100 (about $ 40193.93 inflation-adjusted) was left to be divided among the 20 cast and crew members. Eventually the producers sued Bryanston for failing to pay for their profits. A short judgment instructed Bryanston to pay the filmmakers $ 500,000 (about $ 24,811,066.61 inflation-adjusted), but by then the company had declared bankruptcy. In 1983 New Line Cinema was acquired from Bryanston and gave the producers a larger share of the profits. 
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre premiered in Austin, Texas on October 1, 1974, almost a year after filming concluded. It screened nationally in the United States on Saturday morning and its false marketing has a “true story” helped it attract a broad audience.   For eight years after 1976, it was annually reissued to first-run theaters, sponsored by full-page ads.  The film is more than $ 30 million in the United States and Canada  ($ 14.4 million in rental), making it the 12th highest-grossing film released in 1974, despite its tiny budget.  Among independent films, it was overtaken in 1978 byJohn Carpenter ‘s Halloween , qui grossed $ 47 million. 
The opening crawl falsely suggests that the film is based on true events, has conceived that contributed to its success.
Hooper reportedly hoped that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) would give the complete, uncut print a “PG” rating due to its minimum amount of visible gore.    Instead, it was originally rated “X”. After several minutes were cut, it was resubmitted to the MPAA and received an “R” rating. A distributor apparently restoring the material, and at least one theater presented the full version under an “R”. In San Francisco, cinema-goers walked out of theaters in disgust  and, in February 1976, two theaters in Ottawa, Canada, were contacted by local police to withdraw the film. 
After his initial British release, including a one-year theatrical run in London,  The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was initially banned on the board of British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) Secretary Stephen Murphy, and subsequently by his successor, James Ferman .   While the “chainsaw” itself was forcing titles, forcing imitators to rename their films.  In 1998, despite the BBFC ban, Camden London Borough Council was granted the license.  The following year the BBFC passed the Texas Chain Saw Massacrefor release with an 18 certificate,  and it was broadcast a year later on Channel 4 .  
The Australian censors refused to classify the 83-minute version of the film in June 1975;  the board similarly refused classification of a 77-minute print in December that year.  In 1981, an 83-minute version submitted by the Greater Union Organization Film Distributors was again refused registration.  It was later Filmways Submitted by Australia and approved for an “R” rating in 1984.   It was banned for periods in other countries Many , Including Brazil, Chile, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and West Germany.   
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre received a mixed reaction upon its initial release. Linda Gross of the Los Angeles Times called it “despicable” and described Henkel and Hooper as more concerned with creating a realistic atmosphere than with its “plastic script”.  Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said it was “as violent and gruesome and blood-soaked as the title promises”, yet praised its acting and technical execution.   Patrick Taggart of the American-American Austin hailed it as the most important horror film since George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968).  Varietyfound what is called “heavy doses of gore”.  John McCarty of Cinefantastic stated that the house featured in the movie made the Bates motel “look positively pleasant by comparison”.  Revisiting the film in his 1976 article “Fashions in Pornography” for Harper’s Magazine , Stephen Koch found his sadistic violence to be extreme and unimaginative. 
– Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times 
Critics later frequently praised both the film’s aesthetic quality and its power. Observing That It managed to be “without being white has horrifying bloodbath (you’ll see more gore in a Steven Seagal film),” Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle called Expired it “a backwoods masterpiece of fear and loathing.”  TV Guide thought it was “intelligent” in its “bloodless depiction of violence”,  while Anton Bitel felt the fact that it was banned in the United Kingdom was a tribute to its artistry. He pointed out how the quiet sense of foreboding at the beginning of the movie grows, until the viewer experiences “a punishing assault on the senses”.  InHick Flicks: The Rise and Fall of Redneck Cinema , by Scott Von Doviak, is one of the most popular of daylight shots, unusual among horror films, such as the sight of a cloth draped over a tombstone in the opening sequence.  Mike Emery of The Austin Chronicle praised the movie’s “subtle keys” -such as radio broadcasts heard in the background describing grayly murders around Texas-and said that what made it so dreadful it was never strayed too far from potential reality. 
It has been described as one of the scariest movies of all time.  Rex Reed called it the most terrifying movie he had ever seen.  Empire described it as “the most purely horrifying horror movie ever made” and called it “never less than totally committed to scaring you witless”.  Reminiscing about his first viewing of the film, horror director Wes Craven’s “wondrous” recollection of “what kind of Mansonite crazoid” could have created such a thing.  It is a work of “cataclysmic terror”, in the words of horror novelist Stephen King , who declared, “ Critic Robin Wood found it one of the few horror movies to possess “the authentic quality of nightmare”.  Based on 56 reviews published since 2000, the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes deferrals That 88% of critics gave it a positive review, with an average score of 7.9 out of 10. 
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is considered one of the greatest-and most controversial-of horror films,   and a major influence on the genre.   In 1999 Richard Zoglin of Time commented that it had “a new standard for slasher films”.  The Times listed as one of the 50 most controversial films of all time.  Tony Magistrale believes the film is paved the way for horror to be used as a vehicle for social commentary.  Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times, “Los Angeles Times,”declared that it “both defines and entirely supersedes the very notion of the exploitation picture”.  In His book Dark Romance: Sexuality in the Horror Film , David Hogan called Expired it “the most Affecting gore thriller of all and, in a Broader view, Among the MOST effective horror movies ever made … the driving force of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is something more horrible than aberrant sexuality: total insanity. ”   According to Bill Nichols, it “achieves the force of authentic art, profoundly disturbing, intensely personal, yet at the same time far more than personal”.  Leonard Wolf praised the movie as “… an exquisite work of art”Greek tragedy , noting the lack of onscreen violence. 
Leatherface has gained a reputation as a significant character in the horror genre,   responsible for establishing the use of the force of a weapon, and the image of a large, silent killer devoid of personality.  Christopher Null of Filmcritic.com said, “In our collective consciousness, Leatherface and his chainsaw have become as iconic as Freddy and his razors or Jason and his hockey mask.”  Don Sumner called The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has not only introduced a new generation of filmmakers. According to Rebecca Ascher-Walsh of Entertainment Weekly , it’s the foundation for future horror franchises such as Halloween , The Evil Dead , and The Blair Witch Project .  Ridley Scott cited it as an inspiration for his 1979 film Alien .   French director Alexandre Aja is credited with an early influence on his career.  Horror filmmaker and heavy metal musician Rob Zombie sees a major influence on his art, most notably his 2003 film House of 1000 Corpses . 
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was selected for the 1975 Cannes Directors Film Festival ‘Fortnight  and London Film Festival .  In 1976 it won the Special Jury Prize at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival in France. Entertainment Weekly ranked the sixth film in its list of “The Top 50 Cult Films”.  In a 2005 Total Film Poll, it was selected as the greatest horror film of all time.   It was named Among Time ‘ s top 25 horror movies in 2007.  In 2008 the movie Official number 199 isEmpire magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time”.  Empire also ranked it 46th in its list of the 50 greatest independent films.  In a 2010 Total Film Poll, it was again selected as the greatest horror film; John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero .  In 2010, the Guardian ranked it number 14 on its list of the top 25 horror films.  The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was inducted into the Horror Hall of Fame in 1990, with director Hooper accepting the award, and it is part of the permanent collection of New York City Museum of Modern Art .  In 2012, the film was named by the British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound magazine as one of the 250 greatest films.  The Academy Film Archive houses the Texas Chain Saw Massacre collection, which contains over 50 items in a collection of many original elements of the film. 
Themes and analysis
The underlying themes of the film have been the subject of extensive critical discussion ; critics and scholars have interpreted it as a paradigmatic exploitation film in which female protagonists are subjected to brutal, sadistic violence.   Stephen Prince comments that the horror is “born of the torment of the young woman and subjected to misuse of decaying arms … and mobile made of human bones and teeth.”  As with many horror movies, it focuses on the ” final girl ” trope-the heroine and inevitable lone survivor who somehow escapes the horror that befalls the other characters:  Sally Hardesty is a victim of torture, yet manages to survive.  Critics argue that even in exploitation films in which the ratio of male and female deaths is roughly equal, the images that will be of the violence committed against the female characters.    The specific case of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre provides support for this argument: one of two men is killed in one’s life, but one woman is brutally slaughtered-hung on a meath and the surviving woman endures physical and mental torture.  In 1977, critic Mary Mackey described the meathook scene as probably the most brutal onscreen female death in any commercially distributed movie. Placed in a line of violent films that depict women as weak and incapable of protecting themselves. 
In one study, a group of men were shown five films depicting differing levels of violence against women.  On first viewing The Texas Chain Saw Massacre they have symptoms of depression and anxiety; however, they are more likely to be offensive and more enjoyable.  Another study, investigating gender-specific perceptions of slasher films, involved 30 male and 30 female university students.  One male participant described the screaming, especially Sally’s, as the “most freaky thing” in the film. 
According to Jesse Stommel of the Bright Lights Film Journal , the lack of explicit violence in the film forces viewers to question their own fascination with violence that they play in central role in imagining.  Nonetheless-citing its feverish camera moves, repeated bursts of light, and auditory pandemonium-Stommel asserts that it involves the audience primarily on a sensory rather than an intellectual level. 
– Christopher Sharrett 
Critic Christopher Sharrett Argues That since Alfred Hitchcock ‘s Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963), the American horror movie has-been defined by the issues it poses “about The fundamental validity of the American civilizing process”,  Concerns amplified during the 1970s by the “delegitimation of authority in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate “.  “If Psycho began a new sense of absurdity in contemporary life, of the collapse of causality and the diseased underbelly of American Gothic”, he writes, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre“This exploration to a logical conclusion, addressing many of the issues of Hitchcock ‘s movie while refusing comforting closure. 
Robin Wood characterizes Leatherface and his family as victims of industrial capitalism, their jobs as slaughterhouse workers having been rendered obsolete by technological advances.  He states that the picture “brings to focus a spirit of negativity … that seems to be less than the surface of the modern collective consciousness”.  Naomi Merritt explores the film’s portrayal of “cannibalistic capitalism” in relation to Georges Bataille’s theory of taboo and transgression.  She elaborates on Wood’s analysis, stating that the Sawyer family’s values reflect, or corresponds to, established and interdependent American institutions …
In Kim Newman’s view, Hooper’s presentation of the Sawyer family during the dinner scene parodies a typical American sitcom family: the gas station owner is the bread-winning father figure; the killer Leatherface is depicted as a bourgeois housewife; the hitchhiker acts as the rebellious teenager.  Isabel Cristina Pinedo, author of Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing , states, “The horror genre must keep terror and comedy in a state of terrorism. … this delicate balance is struck in The Texas Chainsaw Massacrein which the decaying corpse of Grandpa not only incorporates horrific and humorous effects, but actually uses one to exacerbate the other. ” 
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has been described as “the ultimate pro vegetarian film” due to its animal rights themes. In a video essay, film critic Rob Ager describes the irony in humans being slaughtered for meat, putting humans in the position of being slaughtered like farm animals. Director Tobe Hooper gave up meat while making the film, and said “In a way I thought the heart of the film was about meat; it’s about the chain of life and killing sentient beings.”  
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre has appeared on various home video formats. In the US, it was first released on videotape and CED in the early 1980s by Video Wizard and Vestron Video .   The British Board of Film Classification had long since refused a certification for the uncut theatrical version and in 1984 they also refused to certify it for home video, which is a moral panic surrounding ” video nasties “.  After the retirement of BBFC Director James Ferman in 1999, the board passed the film uncut for theatrical and video distribution with an 18 certificate, almost 25 years after the original release.  The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was first released on DVD in October 1998 in the United States,  May 2000 in the United Kingdom  and 2001 in Australia.
In 2005 the film received a 2K scan and full restoration of the original 16mm A / B rolls,  which was released on DVD and Blu-ray . In 2014 an additional, even more extensive 4Krestoration, using the original 16mm A / B reversal rolls, was carried out.  After a screening in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival ,  this was also released on DVD and Blu-ray worldwide. Dark Sky Films ‘ US 40th Anniversary Edition was nominated for Best DVD / BD Special Edition Release at the 2015 Saturn Awards . 
In 1982, shortly after The Texas Chain Saw Massacre established itself as a success on US home video, Video Wizard released a mass-market video game adaptation for the Atari 2600 .  In the game, the player assumes the role of leatherface and attempts to kill trespassers while avoiding obstacles such as fences and cow skulls.  As one of the first horror-themed video games, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Caused Controversy When It Was first released due to ict violent nature it sold poorly as a result, because many game stores refused to stock it.  
The film has been followed by seven other films , including sequels, prequels and remakes. The first sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), was considerably more important than the original and was banned in Australia for 20 years before it was released on DVD in a revised special edition in October 2006.  Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) was the second sequel to appear, though, did not return to direct conflict with another film, Spontaneous Combustion .  Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation , Starring Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaugheywas published in 1995. While briefly acknowledging the events of the preceding two sequels, its plot makes it a virtual remake of the original 1974. A straight remake, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre , Was released by Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema in 2003.  It was Followed by a prequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning , in 2006. A seventh movie, Texas Chainsaw 3D , was released on January 4, 2013.  It is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film, with no relation to the previous sequels, or the 2003 remake.   The 2017 prequel, Leatherfacewas released exclusively to DirecTV on September 21, 2017, before receiving a full release on video on demand and limited theaters , simultaneously, in North America on October 20, 2017.