When I was growing up, my aunt would babysit me and my younger brother. I had 4 cousins there, 2 next door kids about our age, another kid 2 houses down who ended up marrying one of my cousins, and my grandfather and uncle lived across the street. We would stay there after school and during the summer when my parents were at work. Like my rowdy redneck kids, we would sneak in R rated horror movies without the grownups knowledge. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was one of the films I saw sometime between the ages of 5-10.
I do not recommend showing this film to a child in this age group.
The added factor to this was behind my aunt and their next door neighbor’s house was a long field. If you went to the right, up to a hill, and then down it, there was an old, abandoned house. This thing looked straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Add to the fact that the older kids told me this was a real movie, and I was mortified.
On Episode 5 of the podcast we discuss sub genres of horror and mine was slashers films. This and Black Christmas, both released in 1974, kicked off what we now know to be the slasher film genre. I am not sure if it is the way the film looks, or the uneasy music and sound effects throughout, but this movie is just filled with dread. You are out of sync as soon as the group picks up the hitchhiker. From there, you know this is not going to be a run of the mill movie.
Gunner Hanson delivers an iconic turn as Leatherface, and studied children with special needs to deliver the mannerisms seen in the film.
This movie is violent, gory, and a mad dash road trip from hell, and is required viewing every Halloween.
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