The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Dir. Tobe Hooper. 1974, 83 mins. Digital projection. With Marilyn Burns, Gunnar Hansen. What better way to spend Halloween weekend than with a bunch of bloodthirsty hillbilly cannibals? Hooper’s genre-inventing slasher is grimy and gory but also, in its final, desperate chase, oddly beautiful, even serene, as the constant grind of Leatherface’s chainsaw on the soundtrack gradually pulverizes you into submission. That said, Massacre remains one of the tensest, most terrifying movie experiences of all time. Those who’ve caught it only on degraded videocassette, see it big and cower in fear.

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