The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) Vs. Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) (31 Nightmares #7)

31 Nightmares, Movies

Yes, that’s actually the latter’s name.

In 1974, Tobe Hooper, director, created the horror classic, “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” While there’s obviously a lot of other people that made the movie what it was, it all started with Hooper, as he got the idea from when he was in a crowded hardware section of a store. When thinking of ways to get out, he saw the chain saws (beautiful).

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is one of my favorite horror movies, if not my favorite. Regardless, if the movie’s my favorite, it’s incredibly effective. The witnessing of the different feelings and emotions that the characters are going through, especially Sally (Marilyn Burns), made me feel as if I was actually going insane while watching it.

Realism is one of the strongest aspects about this movie, due to multiple factors and whether that realism was intentional or not. The Sawyer family actors, Jim Siedow (the cook), Edwin Neal (the hitchhiker), and Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface) actually feel like the filmmakers got them out of a real mental institution. The production design, and the way Daniel Pearl, cinematographer, and Hooper shot the film gives off the feeling, even when someone’s watching the movie at home, that the viewer(s) has been transported to an old run down 70’s theater or drive in.

Some aspects that really adds to the authenticity of the movie weren’t even planned. Hansen, even when in his lift boots, still ran faster than Burns, so he had to stop in the middle of woods, while chasing her, to do random things, like cutting tree branches apart. This just added to the craziness and dedication of Hansen’s performance.

“Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” unlike “The Blair Witch Project,” isn’t one of those films that doesn’t try to play itself off as real. While that can work, like with “Blair Witch Project,” “Texas Chain Saw Massacre’s” iconic-ness comes from the feeling of how this could really happen.

Unfortunately, as great as this franchise’s beginnings were, there’s the last current entry in this franchise, “Texas Chainsaw 3D.” This film is like a Thanksgiving feast. There’s a lot of potential but a lot of room for error too. At this Thanksgiving, all the food got burnt to crisp. A lot of the time, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” feels like a direct to DVD or TV movie of the week version of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie. The acting is pretty bad, and the characters just aren’t enduring or entertaining, so you’re just anxious to see them get hacked to death. The blood and gore is also really disappointing, in that it just looks so fake, whether what’s being shown on screen is Leatherface cutting up an unconvincing looking torso or just blood that looks like red paint.

(Start of spoilers for “Texas Chainsaw 3D” below, if you even care.)

This movie decides to take the anti-hero approach. That’s an interesting angle to go, especially since this is Leatherface, but it’s an idea that works better on paper. Another reason I don’t like it is just trying to make the audience feel bad for these horrible people. They’re villains after all, make them feel like actual villains.

(End of spoilers for “Texas Chainsaw 3D”, if you even care.)

I was really wanting for this movie to succeed. The days leading up to the release there were no reviews, and it was a horror movie coming out in January. I knew that meant it was probably going to be shit, but I was still hopeful. Unfortunately, my fears came true. Hooper endorsed the film by calling it “incredible! a perfectly terrifying follow-up to the original.” If he really thought this, good on him, but I feel like they just paid him to say that. He was also a producer on “Texas Chain Saw 3D.”


As where the franchise is going next, “Leatherface” is coming out. Whether or not the film just turns out to be wasted potential (probably will be) The concept is interesting and actually peaks my interest, so we’ll see.



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