7.5/10
114,733
844 user 216 critic

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Not Rated | | Horror | 4 October 1974 (USA)
Trailer
1:39 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Two siblings and three of their friends en route to visit their grandfather's grave in Texas end up falling victim to a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writers:

Kim Henkel (screenplay by), Tobe Hooper (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,603 ( 100)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Halloween (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a mental hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield to kill again.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tony Moran
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The monstrous spirit of a slain janitor seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his untimely death.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A radio host is victimized by the cannibal family as a former Texas Marshall hunts them.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After picking up a traumatized young hitchhiker, five friends find themselves stalked and hunted by a deformed chainsaw-wielding killer and his family of equally psychopathic killers.

Director: Marcus Nispel
Stars: Jessica Biel, Jonathan Tucker, Andrew Bryniarski
The Evil Dead (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.

Director: Sean S. Cunningham
Stars: Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Jeannine Taylor
Evil Dead II (1987)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

Director: Sam Raimi
Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.

Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Stars: Jordana Brewster, Matt Bomer, Diora Baird
Poltergeist (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family's home is haunted by a host of ghosts.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: JoBeth Williams, Heather O'Rourke, Craig T. Nelson
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea, Karl Hardman
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marilyn Burns ... Sally
Allen Danziger ... Jerry
Paul A. Partain ... Franklin
William Vail ... Kirk
Teri McMinn ... Pam
Edwin Neal ... Hitchhiker
Jim Siedow ... Old Man
Gunnar Hansen ... Leatherface
John Dugan ... Grandfather
Robert Courtin Robert Courtin ... Window Washer
William Creamer William Creamer ... Bearded Man
John Henry Faulk ... Storyteller
Jerry Green Jerry Green ... Cowboy
Ed Guinn ... Cattle Truck Driver
Joe Bill Hogan Joe Bill Hogan ... Drunk
Edit

Storyline

En route to visit their grandfather's grave (which has apparently been ritualistically desecrated), five teenagers drive past a slaughterhouse, pick up (and quickly drop) a sinister hitch-hiker, eat some delicious home-cured meat at a roadside gas station, before ending up at the old family home... where they're plunged into a never-ending nightmare as they meet a family of cannibals who more than make up in power tools what they lack in social skills... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For them, an Idyllic summer afternoon became their worst nightmare! [Australian, Video] See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Headcheese See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$30,859,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Vortex See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (new longer Version) | (Unrated Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some urban legends say that the "real" Texas Chainsaw Massacre took place near Poth (a small town about 36 miles southeast of San Antonio). This is false. The film is fictional and based loosely on the life of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein (as is the classic Psycho (1960)). As well as Buffalo Bill in the movie "Silence of the Lambs".. See more »

Goofs

When they get to the gas station early in the film, it constantly changes from overcast skies to the sun brightly shining with each different camera angle. 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, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 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, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare.

The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

AUGUST 18, 1973 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Camp Slaughter (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Poco a Poco No
Los Cyclones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Indisbutably a classic of cinema, and not just horror cinema
16 January 2006 | by tatra-manSee all my reviews

Those who have posted here comparing Tobe Hooper's (one and only) masterpiece with the dreadful remake are presumably young children with no real understanding of cinema. The 1974 film is the antithesis of the slick, MTV-influenced, cynical cash-in mentality that informed the later remake. The fact that the remake's target teen audience (well, at least some of them) appeared to lap it up is just a sad reflection of how far standards have fallen since the heyday of the horror film in the 70's.

But Hooper's CHAINSAW is more than just a classic horror film. With its print in the permanent collection at the NY Museum of Modern Art, it truly is a classic of cinema. I've shown this to Bergman fans, Tarkovsky fans and, yes, horror fans too - none of them have been prepared for its power, its inventiveness, its willingness to push the envelope of what cinema can do. And, with its simple story and powerhouse, unstoppable delivery, it is as open to interpretation as any piece of "modern art" - whether it be from the "vegetarian treatise" angle, or the post-Vietnam traumatised America school of thought. But, as I was on my first (of several) viewings, those I have introduced to this movie have been bowled over by the quality of the film-making, and the filmic techniques (soundtrack, editing, startling images) used by Hooper to capture his "waking nightmare" on screen. It is something I really don't think any other film has quite achieved, though many have tried.

Now, of course, there is a fluke element at work here. Hooper never came close to achieving anything like this again, and many, though not all, of the film's fascinating resonances are a product of the era and the filmmaker's unconscious sensibilities. What he obviously had as a director was the kind of daring to take the visceral power that cinema can deliver so well to the limit, to the the edge of acceptability, skirting on exploitation. That the film is so unrelentingly dark and so unbelievably sadistic in its second half, and yet fascinates even as it traumatises, is a definite testimony to the skill of its director. What could have been sleaze is instead a horrible nightmare experience, sure enough, but one that borders on the transcendental. Should be seen by ALL students of cinema at least once in their lifetime.


155 of 190 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 844 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed