Horror movies have really changed over the years. Long ago horror movies were more about what you don't see. They gave you an idea of what is going on but you had to picture it for yourself. Even the slasher movies were not overly gory. In 1974 this probably was equivalent to Hostel, but your imagination can still be much worse than what you actually see in this movie.
Today movies Like this one are cheesy, horribly acted, and just goofy, but I love them. This is one of several Classic horror movies that I just love. Every year I watch this or the remake in the month of October. It gets me in the Halloween spirit. Just take a look at how different this is from movies today.
So here is the low down on this movie. It opens with a decomposed corpse that we are led to believe has been part of a grave robbery. The background news report voice over helps bring a creepy factor. Then the credits begin to roll with this spilled blood look that is over exposed and this sets the tone for the whole movie. Then we slide into the same basic horror movie mistake formula. First big mistake is a van full of hippie stoners take in a creepy looking hitchhiker. Not only does this hitchhiker like to cut himself but he has his very own bag of crazy. One thing that doesn't fit the traditional horror movie mistakes is when Pam see Leatherface for the first time she doesn't go running up the stairs next to her. She actually runs outside, or tries to at least.
Now lets talk about what a horror movie should be. This movie is what it should be, low production value, iconic characters, and they show very little of what is going on. We may see Leatherface wielding a chainsaw after braless coeds but there isn't this over blown amount of chunky blood flying everywhere. The camera goes into these weird close ups so we can't see the carnage. The close ups do get a little lame from time to time. At one point the camera get so close that all you can see are blood vessels in the girls eye.
There is a pretty interesting story behind the family but most of it is left up to us the viewer to fill in the blanks. Some of the makeup and effects in this movie are really lame. Leatherface's human skin mask is really goofy and the Grandpa looks like a decomposed version of the Old Six Flags guy from the commercials.
I love this movie and even though it has its moments of sheer goofiness it is a fun movie to watch for Halloween. Not very scary since I seem to have become desensitized with all the horror movies I have seen, but with the level of realistic violence in video games and television shows it is easy to get desensitized.
Since the RIP challenge goes on through the end of the month so I will be including this in my peril on the screen reviews.