Or, in which I bleat helplessly and incoherently along the lines of "Why haven't I seen this movie before?" and "How did I come to love, say, 'Cabin Fever' without having seen this movie?" Oh dear God in heaven. Last night Art Boy and I sat down and watched "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" ... he is super cool and has seen it many times, but it was my first. Wow, people.
First of all, it's BEAUTIFUL. Visually, "Picnic at Hanging Rock" has nothing on this film. People buy special cameras to get this kind of saturated visual effect. It has the look and feel of late summer. My favorite bit is a couple of shots through a screen door, which is all full of dust that catches the light from the setting sun... it looks so gauzy and dreamlike. This movie feels like being outside, wearing shorts and worrying about mosquitoes, in the late summer.
And yeah, it's scary. The sense of dread builds as the kids in the van listen to newscasts about horrible things happening around the world, then read their scary horoscopes (Saturn is evil!), then pick up a creepy hitchhiker... then knock on the door of an innocent-looking farmhouse... And then, of course, you have Leatherface lunging out of the dark with a chainsaw. Yikes!
And it's just hilarious. Art Boy and I both loved how, when you get a sense of the family dynamics, Leatherface is kind of the fuckup. The other cannibals keep yelling at him, and they can't even walk around their own kitchen without shoving each other. My favorite part (I think) is when Pam sits up shrieking in the freezer and a slightly exasperated Leatherface shoves her back down and slams the door. No more of Pam!
There are three movies I've watched and immediately turned to the person next to me and said "Let's watch it again": Last of the Mohicans, The Fellowship of the Ring, and this movie.