Often credited as one of the most influential horror movies of the last forty years, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is responsible for creating many elements now frequent in the slasher genre. The film was produced for a budget of less than $300,000 but went on to bring in over £30 million at the box office and has since spawned five sequels or remakes with a sixth scheduled for release in 2013. I saw the 2003 remake when I was about eighteen and remember being nonplussed by its story and violence. My Dad then asked me if I’d seen the original and when I said I wasn’t sure he replied “You’d remember if you’d seen the original.” Well nine years on I’ve now seen the original and despite some good moments and obvious influence it has had on recent horror I fail to see its appeal. I didn’t find it scary or threatening, the story bored me and I was very glad that it was only 84 minutes long.
If you’ve ever seen a slasher film then the premise will sound very familiar. Five friends are travelling through central Texas on their way to a run down house owned by the family of Sally (Marylin Burns) and her brother Franklin (Paul A. Partain). Along the way they pick up a hitchhiker who scares the group, attacks Franklin and flees. Once they reach the homestead the group slowly begin to dwindle as they encounter chainsaw wielding, leather mask wearing neighbour/maniac.