|Title:||The Texas Chainsaw Massacre|
|03.27.14||DVD||This Screening is part of event: The Texas Chainsaw Marathon|
I just finished reading Gunnar Hansen's Chain Saw Confidential about the making of this movie. It inspired me to revisit this one... and fuck it all of them. So, over the course of the next few days or whenever I can fit them in, I will re-watch all the Texas chainsaws... even though it's kind of a bum proposition because I'm starting with the best. I would say I would marathon it but... we're talking about 7 movies plus a DVD documentary that I snagged and it's already 3am... so this will be an exercise in moderation as well as nostalgia.
This first film is magic. It still works. It's such a brutal experience. Watching it again after many years, the pacing had completely stretched in my mind. The chase through the woods was like 15 minutes in my memory as was the dinner scene and the van stuff. Really I thought the movie was those 3 scenes... They're really not that long... they had just stuck so firmly in my brain that they dominated over everything else.
Reading Hansen's book, you kind of get the sense that this happened by accident. I'll have to re-listen to the commentary to hear Hooper talk directly about it, but mostly it feels like an accident too. It's a wonder that the movie came together at all, much less as effectively as it did. And Christ you feel the heat.
So we're off to a good start. Somehow I think my memory has been pretty kind to the next three in the series, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to them.
Side Note: I absolutely love and cherish my DVD copy of this movie. I think it's a Pioneer release of an Elite laserdisc because there's lots of mentions in the credits. It's a fantastic disc full of comprehensive extra footage with contextual introductions and trailers for the next three films and a great group commentary in addition to some fancy digital transfer and new stereo mix of the soundtrack (although the original mono is also available). It really reminds me of what was so great about DVDs (and by extension laserdiscs) back in the early days before the studios figured out how to ruin them. Love it.