I remember tting in the floor at the tender age of seven, admiring the new top loading VCR that my uncle had just bought the night before. Only problem was, we had no movie's of our own, so my uncle decided to rent one at one of the countless mom, and pop video store's here in town back in the day.
Little did I know that the movie he brought in and sat on the TV next to the new VCR, would change my life forever.
After we had dinner that night, we walked into the living room, and he opened, the clear plastic case, put the video cassette into the deck, and pushed play.
And these word's will be remembered for the rest of my life.
“The film which you are about to see, is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths,
in particular, Sally Hardesty, and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad, and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”
After we see this, the film is black, but we can hear noise in the background of people moving around, then out of blackness we see a camera blub flash, and we see a badly decomposed corpse, this goes on for about a minute, and then we see the corpse wired to a grave stone, with a radio report of grave-robbing in the area. We then see the opening credits of a sunspot (which in my opinion is one of the best openings I have ever seen).
We then see the sun and we cut to the road were a dead armadillo lies in the road.
We then see a van pull up in the background, followed by a middle aged man in a wheelchair being rolled out of the van, he is handed a coffee can, and he attempts to use the bathroom but a huge truck drives by and the wind pushes him down a hill, we have just met Franklin, (Paul Partain)
Sally's Hardesty's (Marilyn Burns) brother.
The group then decides to investigate their grandfather's grave, after finding the grave undisturbed, then group then drive around in search of a gas-station, on the way they pick up a strange hitchhiker (Edwin Neal) who act's very disturbing, at one point he asks Franklin, to see his knife, after getting the knife he cut's his hand, and then after taking a photo that the group doesn't want, and refuses to pay for, he then set's the photo on fire, and cuts Franklin's arm open.
Little do the group know, the hitchhiker is a member of a crazed, cannibal family, that they will all soon encounter.
After being kicked out of the van, the hitchhiker smear's blood all over the de of the van, after talking about not picking up any more hitchhikers, they soon find a gas-station, the owner AKA “The Cook” (Jim edow) comes out to inform the group that he is also out of gas and that the trans-port will not be by until late that afternoon or the next morning.
The group then decides to go to Franklin, and Sally's grandfather's house to wait for the transport. After arriving the group then goes in to explore, after looking around for a while Pam, (Teri Mcminn) and Kirk(William Vail) decide to go swimming, the two then take off behind the old house to find the creek, after finding it dry, they hear the sound of a generator, ready to make a deal with the owner the two walk a path to another house, after not finding anyone out back, they walk to the front door.
Kirk walks up to the door, knocking, after moving away from the door, we hear a noise, the camera then gets a close up of a human tooth laying on the porch, he then put's it in Pam's hand, she gets offended and walks away.
Leaving her outde Kirk walks into the house to investigate. After walking in, Kirk hears a strange sound, he then runs to an open doorway were he trips, and when he looks up he is face to face with Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen). Leatherface then smashes Kirks head in with a sledge-hammer, after a closer look we see that Leatherface is wearing a very creepy mask, upon an even closer look we see it is a human face which he has made into a mask.
After hearing a commotion inde the house, Pam gets up and head's for the door, this is fallowed by one of the best camera shots of all time, the camera fallow's her as she gets out of a swing, and the camera goes under the swing and the house in the foreground looks like it engulfs the screen.
Pam then enters the house,
while looking for Kirk, Pam enters a room that is full of human, and animal bones, along with body parts, there are human-skin lampshades, a bone couch, a helpless live chicken in a cage. After seeing this Pam begins screaming, and gagging, Leatherface then burst's out of a room, and runs after her catching her, then he carries her to her death, while laughing.
Leatherface enters the kitchen, were we see a large, meat-hook, and in the foreground we see Pam's bare back, Leatherface then hang's her on the hook, he then proceeds to start his chainsaw, with Kirk laying on a chopping block, Leatherface then cut's Kirk to peaces in front of Pam.
After Kirk, and Pam, do not show up at the house for a while, Sally's boyfriend Jerry (Allen Danziger)
Tell's Franklin, and Sally to stay there, he sets out to find the pair.
He then finds the house and Pam's towel on the porch bannister. He then runs into the house, after going into the kitchen he hears a sound coming from the deep-freeze, he then rushes to open it, and Pam lunges for him, he then turns around to get smashed in the head by Leatherface. We then have a scene of Leatherface panicking, wondering were these people are coming from.
We then see that night has fallen, and a full moon is out, we hear a horn honking in the background, then we see Franklin, and Sally yelling for Jerry and honking the horn. After that fails Sally decides to go look for Jerry, and the rest of them, Franklin being scared insts that he come along as well. After walking in the wood's for a few minutes, Sally sees a light in the distance, being filled with hope, they hurry as fast as they can, after Franklin hears a noise, he tells Sally to stop, as soon as she does Leatherface burst's on the screen, and murders her brother.
But little does Sally know this is just the beginning of her night of hell.
This is one of my all time favorite horror films. Not only was in the first horror film I had ever seen, but it also made me love the horror genre in general. This is one of those films that I will be watching till the day I die.
It has been almost forty years and each and every year it grows a new fan base. People were talking about it then and always will be talking about it. After countless remakes I still recommend that you watch this one first, I will also go as far as to call it a masterpiece of modern day horror cinema.
So the next time you are in Texas, and you get some BAR-B-Q, Make sure you check it out really good before you take the first bite.