Our editor-in-chief Nate Yapp is proud to have contributed to the new book Hidden Horror: A Celebration of 101 Underrated and Overlooked Fright Flicks, edited by Aaron Christensen. Another contributors include Anthony Timpone, B.J. Colangelo, Dave Alexander, Classic-Horror.com's own Robert C. Ring and John W. Bowen. Pick up a copy today from Amazon.com!

Series: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Review: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Texas Chain Saw Massacre poster

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. I was a late bloomer in my appreciation of horror cinema. Aside from sporadic outings to see mass-market horror films, I did not discover the true joys of the genre until I was in college. As I journeyed through classics like Alien, Halloween, and Rosemary's Baby, I was occasionally frightened or unsettled in various ways, but it was all enjoyable horror, the kind that can be intense but that ultimately leaves the psyche unscarred. Then I saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. As I watched this film, a deep-seated, almost unidentifiable anxiety began to build within me from the opening scenes - scenes which contain very little horror. Then, as I watched the characters experience physical and psychological torment later in the film, that building anxiety exploded into outright dismay. I was so disturbed by this movie that it would be six years before I watched it again, and even then it retained a potent effect. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is not so much creative in its approach to instilling horror as it is merciless, breaking down viewers' defenses before hitting them on all sides with unimaginable terror. This is one of the most horrifying films ever made.(read more...)

Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation poster

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. In 1974, Tobe Hooper created what would prove to be one of the most memorable and enduring horror films of the late 20th century: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Like so many memorable and enduring horror films, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre spawned a franchise of sequels, most of them worse than the one preceding it. The worst of the bunch, however, has got to be Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. A sad, anemic parody of the original film, TCM:TNG is an awe-inspiring confluence of bad dialog, absurd storytelling and epileptic pacing that is almost painful to watch. But, like any good train wreck, it's hard to look away.

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Review: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III poster

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. As is apparent in the structuring of its title, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III is more concerned with building a franchise out of its titular villain than it is crafting a continuous chapter in Chainsaw lore, and the resulting film struggles to find balance between being both a remake and a sequel to Tobe Hooper's original. Admirers of the first film will have no trouble spotting the twists and turns of David Schow's script, which treats Hooper's original screenplay like a road map, stopping at all the familiar spots along the way to a dissatisfying conclusion. To his credit, director Jeff Burr tries to inject his been-there-killed-that film with copious gore expected of a movie with Texas Chainsaw Massacre in its title (ironic since the original film had little red stuff to show), but New Line Cinema's vigorous cuts prevent the film even from being enjoyed on a primitive level. What's left is a gutted, castrated version of the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

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Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. Back in 1974, Tobe Hooper changed the horror game when he made the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre as an independent auteur. However, like many of the horror wunderkinds who made their mark in the 1970s, Hooper eventually found himself working for The Man. In the mid-1980s, Hooper was under contract to mini-major The Cannon Group, for whom he had already made two box office disasters that saw more than their fair share of post-production meddling. Making a sequel that lived up to the daunting legacy of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre would be difficult in any circumstance, but with Hooper now beholden to short-sighted corporate overlords, the task became impossible. Hooper tried, though. In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, he tackled (or attempted to tackle) such diverse topics as the socioeconomic landscape of 1980s America, the absurdity of family values, and the destructive effects of vengeance, all while trying to make a movie that Cannon would deem commercially viable. With so many different goals, it isn't surprising that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is uneven, a mish-mash of interesting ideas and missed opportunities, great moments and bizarre tonal shifts.

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Review: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2003 poster

I don't know what kind of hive mind Hollywood taps into, but 2003 saw the release of at least three prominent horror films with the same basic plotlines - kids on a road trip run into crazy kin intent on wholesale slaughter. Not entirely original, especially given that all three films (House of 1000 Corpses, Wrong Turn, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre '03) not only bore similarities to each other, but the trio also brandished their 1970s "relentless terror" influences on their sleeves.(read more...)

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