And yeah, I know that the odds are you've seen this film a bajillion times already. So what? It's an American classic. Now, here's a bajillion and one.
Yoinked from the almighty wikipedia goddess ...
"The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American independent horror film directed and produced by Tobe Hooper, who cowrote it with Kim Henkel. 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 attract a wider audience and as 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 and used a cast of relatively unknown actors drawn mainly from central Texas, where the film was shot. The limited budget forced Hooper to film for long hours seven days a week, so that he could finish as quickly as possible and reduce equipment rental costs. Due to the film's violent content, Hooper struggled to find a distributor. Louis Perano of Bryanston Pictures eventually purchased the distribution rights. Hooper limited the quantity of onscreen gore in hopes of securing a 'PG' rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rated it 'R.' The film faced similar difficulties internationally.
Upon its October 1974 release, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was banned outright in several countries, and numerous theaters later stopped showing the film in response to complaints about its violence. While it initially drew a mixed reception from critics, it was enormously profitable, grossing over $30 million at the domestic box office. It has since gained a reputation as one of the most influential horror films in cinema history. It is credited with originating several elements common in the slasher genre, including the use of power tools as murder weapons and the characterization of the killer as a large, hulking, faceless figure. The popularity of the film led to a franchise that continued the story of Leatherface and his family through sequels, remakes, comic books, and video games.
Hooper has cited changes in the cultural and political landscape as central influences on the film. His intentional misinformation, that the 'film you are about to see is true', was a response to being 'lied to by the government about things that were going on all over the world', including Watergate, the 1973 oil crisis, and 'the massacres and atrocities in the Vietnam War'. The 'lack of sentimentality and the brutality of things' that Hooper noticed while watching the local news, whose graphic coverage was epitomized by 'showing brains spilled all over the road', led to his belief that 'man was the real monster here, just wearing a different face, so I put a literal mask on the monster in my film'. The idea of using a chainsaw as the murder weapon came to Hooper while he was in the hardware section of a busy store, contemplating how to speed his way through the crowd.
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. To research his character in preparation for his role, Hansen visited a special needs school and watched how the students moved and spoke. John Larroquette briefly served as narrator in the opening credits. Most of the filming took place in the farmhouse, which was filled with furniture constructed from animal bones and a latex material used as upholstery to give 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 obtained from a local slaughterhouse. Art director Robert Burns drove around the countryside and collected the remains of cattle and other animals in various stages of decomposition, with which he littered the floors 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 to come out of its tube, so instead Burns's index finger was cut with a razor. Burns's costume was so drenched with stage blood that it was virtually solid by the last day of shooting. The scene in which Leatherface decapitates Kirk with a chainsaw worried actor William Vail (Kirk). After telling Vail to stay still lest he really be killed, Hansen brought the running chainsaw to within 3 inches (8 cm) of Vail's face.
Hooper reportedly hoped that the Motion Picture Association of America would give the complete, uncut release print a PG rating due to its minimal 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 restored the offending 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 advised by local police to withdraw the film lest they face morality charges.
It has often been described as one of the scariest films of all time. Rex Reed called it the most terrifying film he had ever seen. 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 'set a new standard for slasher films'. The Times listed it as one of the 50 most controversial films of all time. Tony Magistrale believes the film paved the way for horror to be used as a vehicle for social commentary.
The film was followed by two sequels, a remake, a film that straddles both those categories, and a prequel. The first sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), was considerably more graphic and violent 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 Hooper did not return to direct due to scheduling conflicts with another film. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, starring Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, was released in 1995. While briefly acknowledging the events of the preceding two sequels, its plot makes it a virtual remake of the 1974 original. 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 film is in production and scheduled for release in 2013."
Steve's Snacks Of The Week:
Cold Ice Cold Water
Buttered Popped Corn
Vanilla Iced Cream
Whatever Candies I Can Find
My Wife's Boobs
... AND NOW, Reverend Steve and this blog are both PROUD to once again present today's Church-less Movie of the Week absolutely FREE! But first lets go over a few theater rules first.
Absolutely no talking is allowed during the feature presentation. Any and all talkers will be pooped upon with extreme prejudice. No cell phones or African-American berries going off in the theater. And NO TEXTING!
And be sure to dim your headlights (where applicable).
ENJOY THE SHOW, Y'ALL!