Originally Published Tuesday 14th October 2008
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Despite what anyone may tell you, there is no such thing as good torture porn. Films like “Hostel” and “Saw” may have popularised the format but they can never make it good. These films are lazy efforts, trying to shock with special effects. Hoping for controversy, they put people you don’t care about into situations you dare care to watch, as is the case with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Chainsaw kicks off on the road in the Lone Star state following five youngsters on a trip to the ancestral home of two of the group. The gang is made up of two couples and the brother of one of the girls, Franklin, who is in a wheelchair. Along the way they pick up a hitchhiker who causes all sorts of trouble in the van when he pulls a blade and starts cutting on himself and Franklin, which causes the others to boot him out.
With oil prices at an all time high, the use of chainsaws by deranged killers is experiencing a serious decline
Stopping for fuel they discuss their plans with the bloke at the petrol station who kinda tries to warn them away as at the same time he tells them he’s out of motion lotion. The kids press on, stopping at the old home of Franklin and his sisters grandparents. At this point they begin to split up for various stupid reasons and are killed, except for Franklin’s sister. The End.
No really, that’s it. Oh yeah, the killer is part of a family of cannibals including the hitchhiker and the geezer at the petrol station.
Like I said, there’s no such thing as good torture porn, but there is bad torture porn and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is really bad! As TP (Torture Porn) goes there is a surprising lack of gore in Chainsaw and four of the films killings are very quick, which is nice for the victims I suppose. Throughout the film there is no attempt made to relate the main characters to the audience at all and you drift from killing to killing really not giving a shit what happens.
Even with movies like Hostel there’s an attempt at humour or moralising or at least a B-Plot but even these simple devices are missing from Chainsaw or don’t work, for example, was it supposed to be funny to call the guy in the wheelchair Franklin? Like FDR, the US president who was in a wheelchair? Not really all that funny now is it? What is funny (peculiar that is, not ha ha!) is that the director of this pile went on to direct Poltergeist, though he did need Spielberg’s help to get that one right.
Two thumbs down for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.