Tobe Hooper – The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

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The year is 1974. A group of five close friends are heading through the back roads of Texas en route to their grandfather’s potentially vandalized grave. Among them are Sally Hardesty, and her invalid brother Franklin. They encounter an unpleasant hitchhiker (Neal) who slashes both himself & Franklin with a wicked-looking knife. The others manage to eject the hitchhiker from the vehicle, but shortly after wards, they are forced to stop & wander over to a small, sinister clapboard house nearby in hopes for gas. What none of them realize is that this house is the home of the ghoulish Leatherface (Hansen) and his evil, demented family of cannibalistic psychopaths. One at a time, the teens are murdered by the evil Leatherface in horrifying ways. Sally soon finds herself an involuntary guest at Leatherface’s home, and flees into the night to escape the demented cannibal and his loudly-buzzing chainsaw. Can she escape the grim fate that befell her friends & brother? Based on the terrifying true story of Ed Gein Continue reading

Tobe Hooper – Eaten Alive (1977)

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Description: A wild mix of surreal fantasy and grindhouse splatterfest, Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hooper’s 1976 sophomore feature pits an all-star cast against the homicidal owner of a backwoods hotel and his pet crocodile, with expectedly bloody results. Veteran character actor Neville Brand gives a memorably eccentric performance as the deranged hotelier, whose unpredictable rages frequently end in the violent death of his guests; Mel Ferrer is the inquisitive father of one victim, Robert Englund is a lusty local yokel, and William Finley and Marilyn Burns (Chainsaw’s heroine) are a married couple on the verge of a meltdown who make the mistake of renting a room from Brand. Naturally, Brand’s homicidal impulses get the better of him, and the film’s finale nicely echoes the sheer bedlam of Chainsaw’s final act, with all parties (including Stuart Whitman as a very laid-back sheriff) struggling to escape Brand and his croc with all body parts intact. While Eaten Alive never hits the same nerve-jangling heights of terror as its predecessor, Hooper does bring considerable style and verve to its crazy-quilt story, most notably in its garish lighting scheme, which suggests the exaggerated panels of ’50s horror comics. And horror fans who don’t mind a dash of black humor with their grue will appreciate Brand’s stream of consciousness mutterings, as well as the cat-and-mouse game conducted by Finley and Burns’ daughter (Kyle Richards) and the monster croc under the hotel. Continue reading