‘I just can’t take no pleasure in killing.’
Well, what do you want me to say? It’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, isn’t it? If you’re reading a blog on the Video Nasties and you’ve never seen it I’d be quite surprised. One of a handful of designated ‘classic’ horror films alongside The Exorcist and The Shining, the title has permeated deep into popular modern culture. Hell, even my granny would know the title.
All of which means there’s very little left to say about Tobe Hooper’s film. The ultimate goal of this blog is to try and shine a light on some of the forgotten, neglected and misunderstood films of the Nasties. I don’t honestly think I need to sell you on seeing TCM – suffice to say that it’s still as powerful today as it ever was.
From the dread inducing opening that finishes on a transcendently beautiful shot of a desecrated corpse wired to a gravestone, to the apocalyptic intensity of the final dinner scene, Chain Saw holds up, its malevolent power undiminished by age or time.
Some films suffer from being transferred to Blu-Ray, their faults and flaws exposed for all the world in unforgiving high definition – not so here. This is one of those rare films where everything seems to have fallen into place – the setting, the performances, the atonal music, the strangely elegant cinematography. Special mention should be reserved for the razor sharp editing and the production design. There should be some kind of horror IKEA that deals in replicas of the furniture and ornaments of the family home featured here.
That Texas Chain Saw Massacre is featured on the Nasties is no surprise. That it failed to feature alongside the Section 2 Nasties is a surprise. The film had been banned in the UK for 6 years prior to its video release (videos did not have to be certified by the BBFC at the time) due to its disturbing tone, so quite how it avoided prosecution is a mystery. Confusion and double standards within the Video Nasties? Say it ain’t so!