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Movie Reviews

Texas Chainsaw Massacre  

USA 1974 Directed by Tobe Hooper. Starring: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Gunnar Hansen.

Five youths are driving out in the wilds in Texas. When they begins to running out of gas, they drive to a petrol service to fill up. But the gasoline station owner donīt get any gas until later in the day, and warn them also not to snooping around among the houses in the meantime. Of course are they doing it anyway, and soon are they going to become acquainted with the local bizarre cannibalistic family, with the mentally retarded "Leatherface" in forefront. Leatherface isnīt that hospitable, and makes short work of the youths with his chain-saw. Finally is only Marilyn Burns left, who really must step on it to avoid becoming cannibal food.

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Notorious "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" had to almost alone act as a punchbag, when the video nasties debate culminate in Sweden 1980. Pretty ironical seeing that it practically isnīt exist any gore in it. If "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" been a poor film it probably had passed by unobserved. Now is it a milestone in the horror genre, and got therefore free publicity by Swedish media. Though a lot is left to imagination, can I still understand why it been so controversial. The content is most brutal thinkable, and that odd music which actually isnīt music but only weird rattling and noise, makes one feel a certain discomfort all the time. The fact that the story is loosely based on Americaīs most famous serial killer Ed Gein, donīt make you feel better either.

"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" begins fairly promising. The suspense raises slow but sure to culminate about in the middle of the film. Then Leatherface turns up, and his appearance is so shocking that my back-hair stands on end on me. At this moment is "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" just as good as its reputation. But then Marilyn Burns start screaming. And she screams and screams and screams. Is there anything I canīt stand, is it when people scream uninterruptedly. Certainly I can make myself acquainted with her precarious situation, she actually get frightened out of her wits. But I still donīt think that I done it the same way. Maybe itīs a typical girl-thing, who knows? My impression is still more lowered when itīs evident that the members of the family not only are strange, but also dumb and ridiculous.

But the parts of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" that I get irritated about are also its strength. For when I read reviews about the film are these sequences the most memorable. I just donīt learnt to appreciate it yet. So when I now shall give a rating, am I forced to think back to the middle of the film again, and the magic I felt on that occasion. But 3,5 is a very kindly rating.

Kent Palmgren

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