Days of Terror: “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”


On last week’s episode of my new favorite TV show, “Scream Queens,” Wes, the film professor, shows “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” in his class. The scene cuts to one of the students in his class throwing up in her purse. I remember watching this scene and thinking that there’s no way anyone could actually get sick from a movie. How wrong I was.

Where I watched: DVD

Length: 84 minutes

Prior knowledge of the film: I have definitely seen this before. I don’t remember anything besides plot points that can be guessed easily from the title.

Brought it on themselves

It’s a common theme in horror movies to have really stupid characters, but I couldn’t help thinking that the characters in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” brought what happened to them on themselves. Maybe I’m looking at this from a technologically privileged viewpoint, but they planned a trip and yet didn’t really know where they were going. How hard is it to invest in a map? Why was this not planned out beforehand? Why did they pick up a hitchhiker? Why did they keep a hitchhiker in their car after he showed them all pictures of dead animals and started to cut himself? Why were they not prepared about having gas in their car? Why did they walk into a house when no one was answering the door — especially when the house is littered with dead animals? Why was every character in this film so dumb? While no one deserves to get chainsawed to death, the characters in this film were so stupid that it was hard to feel bad for them.

Was it actually scary?

Yeah, of course it’s scary, but beyond being scary it’s just disgusting. From the early moments of Franklin discussing methods of animal torture, to the hitchhiker showing pictures of dead animals and cutting himself, to the eventual slaughter of the main characters, this movie is all around disgusting. While I was watching it, my dog threw up. It was probably from eating garbage, but who knows? Dogs can’t speak English, so I’ll never know for sure, but I think it could have been from seeing Pam put on a meat hook while she had to watch Kirk be chainsawed apart.

Overall consensus

Uh, I guess it was okay? I was so distracted by the growing feeling in my stomach that I was going to throw up. It’s definitely a scary premise, and a classic horror film. The controversy the film created cemented its place in horror movie history, but it was so gross, and that’s all I can think of.