Directed By: Tobe Hooper
Written By: Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper
Here we have reached the creme de la creme of horror flicks. A true classic that should have never been sullied by a remake or multiple spin offs. This movie didn’t need to be remade but simply re-released because the screams would have continued. The blood may have run more red in the remake but there hasn’t been enough advancement in film to recreate what this movie accomplished.
2003’s version offered plenty of bells and whistles but it couldn’t bring the fear like this one did. This movie is about more than a crazy guy wielding a chainsaw and that’s one of the immediate places it is better. Yes Leatherface is in action here, killing the shit out of anybody he encounters, but for me it really gets scary when the damsel in distress is “rescued” by the father. She escapes the metal teeth of the chainsaw only to be bagged and gagged by the sire of the bloodshed.
The remake put all the focus on Leatherface himself but in this movie he is just one of the group. Albeit the one that does the most killing but also the one who cowers in fear when his father scolds him. As crazy and sadistic as the father is he is “just a cook” and the off the hinges brother may take take the cake. He sets the tone in the beginning of the film being eerily and then violently crazy as a hitchhiker the group picks up. That scar across his face makes him more menacing but he doesn’t sit at the top of the crazy food chain. That spot goes to the seemingly dead grandpa who will wake up for a bit of blood sucking and killing.
The grandpa might not have the strength to physically do the killing anymore but with a little help from crazy junior he gives it his best go. The dinner scene is entirely missing from the remake and I think that is really where it failed. The dinner scene is the scariest part of the movie by far. I love the close up shots of the eye as the poor girl freaks out over the situation. She’s tied to a chair with actual arms on it and a dead looking geezer is sucking blood from her finger. Absolutely terrifying and nothing in the remake comes close.
There is so much more to say about this movie but I started this review a week ago and sat on it too long. Soon as Stranger Things 2 dropped Amber and I suddenly had no free time left. So a day late and a dollar short here is what I’ll close out the horror month with. A weak effort that started but never finished. Maybe I’ll revisit this movie next Halloween and give it another go. For now, here’s the movie you should have watched a week ago, it’s worth your time and worth your fear.