Why is is the Texas Chainsaw Massacre reputed to be so gruesome?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by StephenA, Jan 21, 2002.

  1. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I've seen it, and wondered why so many people considered it so gruesome. To me it was the atmosphere that made it scary. It seems like the original Night of the Living Dead suffered with a similar gruesome tag. Both are about atmosphere more than anything. The Exorcist to me was more gruesome.
     
  2. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I find the very "atmosphere" of the film to be quite gruesome indeed. If by "gruesome" you mean GORY, then I see where you're coming from. While TCM certainly isn't the bloodiest horror movie out there, I'd definitely rank it among the most disturbing.

    I think it's one of the best horror movies ever made.
     
  3. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Yea, I meant gory. It definately isn't very gory. The atmosphere is a sensory overload. I wish horror movies of today looked to the movies like Psycho, TCM, the original NOTLD, Rosemary's Baby, Halloween, etc for the atmosphere. Gore and such don't make a horror, movie, atmosphere does. You don't always have to show explicit stuff to make a movie scary. I find gore to be more of a shock value than a scare.
     
  4. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    Also, many thought this was based on a true story, and that's why it freaked them out. It wasn't. But actually, from what little I know, it was inspired in part by a killer named Ed Gein. I want even begin to tell you what he did. Sick! If you want to know, just do a search.

    As for gruesome, it was definitely gruesome. Not gory, but gruesome.
     
  5. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    I already know about Ed Gein. I think Psycho took inspiration from him too.
     
  6. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    I agree...gruesome stuff...and truely disturbing. Much like Last House on the Left...not all that gory...hell, even when I finished watching LHotL, I thought..."That wasn't all that bad" ...but I couldn't sleep at all that night. Crazy stuff.
     
  7. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I really think a lot of it has to do with the name. People that haven't seen it just assume it's a gore fest and dismiss it. But I agree, easily one of the best horror films ever made.
     
  8. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    People psychologically fill in the holes to make them think it's more gory than it is.

    There was a great documentary in the early nineties about it. They asked hundreds of people leaving a screening of TCM and asked them what the worst part was. The overwhelming choice was

    the meat hook scene

    with most people talking about how gory that was. When if fact no gore was shown, and Tobe Hooper cut away before the actual gore. The film was just so all around disturbing that people's minds filled in the blanks and tricked them into seeing it.
     
  9. Ernesto Santos

    Ernesto Santos Stunt Coordinator

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    I remember seeing this in the theater when I was about 13 or 14. It made me feel sick after watching it. I have never had the desire to see it again. I see it on the DVD shelves and I always pass it by quickly.

    On a separate note: Aparently this "legend" was said to have taken place in the Texas Hill Country. Anybody who has been in that area knows it is the heart of Texas B-B-Q country with many small towns that have Q joints or butcher shops that make there own sausage. Although I love B-B-Q just like any other Texan this movie always sticks in my mind when I go out to places like Kruez Meat Market in Lockhart.
     
  10. chris rick

    chris rick Second Unit

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    Am I seriously the only one who thinks that this movie blows? It is not scary, and even for a b movie acting wise, it sucks...suspiria...now that is atmosphere...this film is pure garbage, and to even mention it in the same breath as notld, halloween, or the excorcist is a damn joke...it is a b cult movie at best, and it's not even a good one at that....not that that's a bad thing...but this film is a joke...not scary, not atmospheric....although leatherface is cool!
     
  11. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    The tone of this film is very gruesome. Having the audience show empathy is the biggest clincher in this film because the second you put yourself in Sally's shoes, it's all over from there. Sally's lone struggle to stay alive (and all that screaming!), the stereotype of women being weak, and the claustrophobia added to our misery. To be trapped in a creepy house with creepy people trying to kill and eat you while one of them looks like a monster is terrifying. I still have my "Texas Chainsaw" nightmares every once in a while.

    When the film came out in the theaters, people had to be rushed to the hospital because they were fainting, etc.

    This is why I feel that the film is regarded as gruesome. Not because they show a bucket of blood and some intestines, but because of the situation placed upon one girl, the shear bizzarness of the people and place, and the isolation of BFE Texas.
     
  12. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    While not gruesome in the strictest sense, I think the film is very intense. Is Psycho a great horror film? No, it is a great suspense film. TCM (not Turner Classic Movies [​IMG] ) got its reputation during its showing at drive-in theaters (that's where I firat saw it) where visual accuracy is not the best.
    Also, your mind can play tricks on you - the meat hook
    scene is an example of what you see is not what you think you see. In another classic misinterpretation, many thought that the chainsaw scene in Scarface was gruesome, but it is never shown. It's all an illusion created by clever photography, editing and sound design.
    If you buy or rent it, check out the commentary by Hooper and Gunner Hansen (Leatherface) - it's fascinating to hear their account of making the film, and the torturous conditions of shooting in the house.
    My most uncomfortable moment is actually in the van when Franklin talks about killing cattle and they cut to pictures of the cattle. (I'm not a vegetarian by the way, or involved with PETA, for the sake of this point). It's a combination of these elements and my imagining the actual activities of a slaughterhouse that make it uncomfortable.
    p.s. when I grow up, I'm going to Bovine University [​IMG]
     

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