“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” is the preeminent film in the slasher genre. It’s what the “Lion King” was for lion movies. It’s what “Joe Dirt” was for janitor movies. It’s what “Boyz in the Hood” was for….well, you get the point.
The horror flick has spawned several sequels and spin-offs, but nothing will give you nightmares quite like the original 1974 movie.
Its plot goes just as you’d expect. A group of teens runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere. They stop for help at a house inhabited by a family of cannibals.
Cue the eerie music and dead bodies.
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” was a box-office hit, grossing over $30 million, which is fairly profitable for a horror movie made in the 1970s. A large amount of its success was thanks to its “based-on-a-true-story” marketing campaign. The film’s tagline read: “What happened is true. Now the motion picture that’s just as true.” Though the movie’s narrative is entirely fictional, the main killer, Leatherface, is loosely based off serial killer Ed Gein.
(See the resemblance?)
Though the R-rated film does have its fair share of brutal killings, it’s nothing like the gruesome “Saw” or “Hostel” franchises. It will probably be fine to show it to your middle-school-aged kids. But you may want to watch it with them. Or maybe not. 10-year-olds hopped up on pixie sticks and mini-Snickers are a hell-of-a-lot scarier than a chainsaw-wielding psycho wearing a skin-mask.
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