IMDb > The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre -- Five friends visiting their grandpa's old house are hunted down and terrorized by a chainsaw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   76,618 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 76% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Kim Henkel (story) and
Tobe Hooper (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 October 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The idyllic summer's day that became a nightmare of fear and blood... [UK Video] See more »
Plot:
Five friends visiting their grandfather's house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
A masterpiece of sensory horror See more (784 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Tobe Hooper 
 
Writing credits
Kim Henkel (story and screenplay) and
Tobe Hooper (story and screenplay)

Produced by
Kim Henkel .... associate producer
Tobe Hooper .... producer
Jay Parsley .... executive producer
Richard Saenz .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Wayne Bell 
Tobe Hooper 
 
Cinematography by
Daniel Pearl 
 
Film Editing by
J. Larry Carroll  (as Larry Carroll)
Sallye Richardson 
 
Art Direction by
Robert A. Burns 
 
Makeup Department
W.E. Barnes .... makeup artist: grandfather
Dorothy J. Pearl .... makeup artist (as Dorothy Pearl)
 
Production Management
Ronald M. Bozman .... production manager (as Ronald Bozman)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sallye Richardson .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Wayne Bell .... boom operator
Wayne Bell .... post-production sound
Jay M. Harding .... dubbing mixer (as Jay Harding)
Paul Harrison .... sound re-recordist
Robert Knudson .... dubbing mixer (as Buzz Knudson)
Ted Nicolaou .... location sound recordist
Jesse Mestas .... commentary re-recordist (uncredited)
Patrick Yacono .... sound re-recording mixer (restorated version) (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Dean W. Miller .... special effects
 
Stunts
Mary Church .... stunts
Perry Lorenz .... stunt driver
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Tobe Hooper .... additional photographer
Lynn Lockwood .... lighting (as Lynn Lochwood)
J. Michael McClary .... camera assistant (as J. Michael Mcclary)
Lou Perryman .... assistant camera
Rod Ponton .... grip
Lynn Scherwitz .... key grip (as Linn Scherwitz)
 
Other crew
George Baetz .... production assistant
Jerry Bellnoski .... production assistant
Mary Church .... script girl
Jim Crow .... production assistant
Paula Eaton .... production assistant
Tom Foote .... production assistant
Paulette Gochnour .... production assistant
Charlie Loving .... production assistant
Sally Nicolau .... production assistant
N.C. Parsley .... production assistant
Robert Pustejowski .... production assistant (as Robert Pustejovski)
David Spaw .... production assistant
Ray Spaw .... production assistant
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Devil of Punishment" - Japan (English title)
See more »
Runtime:
83 min | Germany:75 min (new longer Version) | 88 min (Unrated Edition)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:R | Australia:(Banned) (original rating) | Belgium:16 (video rating) | Brazil:(Banned) (original rating) | Brazil:18 (1998) | Canada:R | Canada:18+ (Quebec) (original rating: 1974) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) (re-rating) (2004) | Chile:18 (original rating) | Chile:(Banned) (re-rating) (1978) | Denmark:15 (video rating) | Finland:K-18 (1996) | Finland:(Banned) (1984) | France:X (original rating) | France:-16 (re-rating) | Germany:18 (re-rating) (2011) | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:(Banned) (original rating) | Iceland:16 (re-rating) | Ireland:(Banned) (original rating) | Ireland:18 (re-rating) | Italy:VM18 | Japan:R-15 | Malaysia:(Banned) | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 | New Zealand:R16 (re-rating) (2007) (uncut) | Norway:(Banned) (video rating) | Norway:18 (re-rating) (1997) (uncut) | Singapore:(Banned) | Singapore:M18 (re-rating) | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (2001) (uncut) | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1994) (cut) (re-rating) (2001) (uncut) | Sweden:(Banned) (1984) | UK:(Banned) (original rating) | UK:R (original rating: 1975) | UK:18 (re-rating) (1999) | USA:R (Approved No. 24009) | West Germany:18 (cut) | West Germany:(Banned) (1985-2011)
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Marilyn Burns' clothing was so drenched in fake blood that it was virtually solid by the last day's shoot.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As the teenagers pull up into the gas station, look at the position of the gas pumps hose and its shadow. In the next shot the gas pumps shadow has vanished and the gas pumps hose is positioned differently.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Narrator:The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
Poco a Poco NoSee more »

FAQ

Wasn't the movie based on a true story?
What injuries occurred on the set? How many were there?
When was this filmed?
See more »
31 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece of sensory horror, 16 August 2008
Author: chaos-rampant from Greece

Who knows out of what strange game of fate or as if the universe conspired upon its creation and everything that came to pass did so that Tobe Hooper would make The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Like a blood spattered, low-budget Orson Welles of 70's exploitation, the immensity of his debut will forever haunt him and his career.

The task of committing TCM to words is a difficult one, not because the proper words don't exist but merely because they can only describe the surface and never convey the essence and the heart and what can only be felt in one's own skin and maybe that of others. Sounds of animals and howling of beasts and the clanking of rustling metal speak TCM's language. The dissonant chord that sounds in the soundtrack as the movie fades from black to flashes of decaying flesh is TCM's lingo and what defines it is disorientation.

Indeed the first shot proper that opens the movie, that of a rotten head and as the camera zooms out we see the whole dead body in a grotuesque posture like some sort of zombified jester sitting atop a gravestone, offers no clue and safe grip for the viewer. After the opening credits roll, we are served an orange sun burning in a blackened sky and that dissolves into the image of a dead armadillo laying on the street. We're 5 minutes into the movie and we're provided no clues of typical genre orientation, no protagonists of any sort. As the eye scans the image for something to cling to, narrative or otherwise, there's nothing there save for decay and death.

And then TCM starts rolling and picks up steam and never stops. Apart from how original or not the concept is (crazed backwoods family terrorizing city kids) it's the approach that makes all the difference. Hooper achieves sensory terror and doom by piling on images and sounds, each of them spilling to the next frame starting an avalanche of horror. A close shot of cattles as the van drives in the background, a seedy gas station, a crazed hitch-hiker the kids pick up, an abandoned house. In the interior shots of the abandoned house the blacks are crushed and we only see silhouettes moving against the textures in the walls and those are juxtaposed with exterior shots where the whites wash out, like some kind of rural hell, a land of some other order that is coming apart under the weight of its own abandonment.

Even when the sensory chaos is broken for a while so that our genre expectations can be fulfilled as the crippled guy Franklin mutters to a couple that leaves the abandoned house to make out "Yeah, see you in an hour or so" (followed by a drone in the score) and we just know he's never gonna see them again, a typically ominous foreshadowing common in slashers, that only lasts for seconds. Then Hooper cuts back to puzzling images, feathers on the ground and some kind of dreamcatcher made of bone (?) and weird buzzing sounds in the score, like otherwordly insects flying unseen. TCM constantly tips its own axis, content to be left out of balance.

The first encounter with notorious chainsaw-wielding Leatherface is as disorienting as anything that comes before it. He appears out of nowhere like a beast in a frenzy and the carnage begins. And for a movie of TCM's reputation there is surprisingly no (or at least little) explicit gore. Yet the violence is startling and raw as the images that preceed its outburst spill into it and add their own touch of the morbid. Eisenstein must have been clairvoyant when he spoke of how powerful montage can be.

We're also given glimpses to Leatherface's tortured, crazed soul, bits of characterization like a gesture and a look of his eyes. Not a psycho killer out of sadistic pleasure perhaps, he looks more like a savage beast defending its territory or a wild dog scared of intruders trespassing in his nest.

Like an avalanche of macabre images that is impossible to stop once it starts, TCM whizzes by in a manic pace. The chase scene where Leatherface hunts down Marilyn Burns, scared out of her wits and howling like a wounded animal, is shot through branches of trees, as if the landscape is conspiring to ensnare the victim and so hunter and hunted run in the fields and inside a house and then back outside while the titular chainsaw is buzzing away in a constant reminder of gruesome death. Even when Hooper overplays his hand (as in the dinner scene) it's all done with deliberation that cannot be ignored, like maybe the director is as insane as the characters he's depicting and he takes great pleasure in basking in their insanity.

TCM simply has to be experienced, no critical analysis can do it justice. Without bucketloads of gore, without the slick look of high budget, it remains one of the most bleak, atmospheric and aurally violent movies of all time. What happened to Tobe Hooper's career after it is anyone's guess, but TCM is good enough to top entire filmographies of other directors. It has been imitated countless times, remade and given sequels and prequels to, but there's something primeval about the original that can't be recaptured.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (784 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I just watched it for the first time today... vengeance66
Hardly Enjoyable These Days iconichorror
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Black Maria Blu-ray Set paulnomad
R.I.P Marilyn Burns... predatorxxxxx
Marilyn and Gunner were actually half-crazed by the end of the shoot mcilroga
This film is not as graphic as its reputation makes it out to be. foreignlanguageenthusias
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre House of 1000 Corpses The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III Psycho
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Horror section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.