100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

100 Days of Horror Day Fifteen - "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre!"

Oh my god am I tired.

Yesterday was my birthday and just about every damn person I ever wanted to see in my life was here last night - past and present. I swear, I can think of maybe five people that weren't here that I would have wanted to see, but that's all. And it showed me how cool and eclectic a group of friends I really have. And sexy ... damn they are sexy.

We also had a full house for "House of 1,000 Corpses," which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. People were whooping and hollering and cackling and it was one good fucking time.

So excuse the brevity of today's entry, as I am in recovery. But I am still watching these damn movies! In fact I am watching today's entry as I type! The Skinny below!

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1970): Directed by Tobe Hooper. Starring Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Gunnar Hansen,

The Skinny: Like “Psycho,” this is one of those movies that has become such an icon that even though most people recognize elements of the film, they have no idea what it’s really about. “Massacre” follows a young girl and her friend as they return to her hometown to investigate the vandalism of her grandfather’s grave. After they pick up a strange hitchhiker, they find themselves lost near a seemingly abandoned farm. In reality, the family living there are savage backwoods cannibals.

What’s Good: It could be argued that “Massacre” influenced horror films for the next 30-plus years. It introduced slasher staples like a hulking, seemingly unstoppable antagonist, the casting of unknown actors, a shoestring budget production. Plus there’s the element of power tools and farm equipment as the instruments of death. And director Tobe Hooper – who marketed the film with the tagline “the film you are about to see is based on true events” – treats the material like a documentary. The action just happen, and often times, the camera is static until it’s time for the next scene. The great thing about the movie, however, is the way it never answers any questions. You get the feeling that this has been going on for quite some time and it is gonna keep right on happening after the movie is through.

What’s Bad: Well, some of the above elements – the cheap budget and unknown talent – are enough to turn most people off. And for a film called the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” there is very little graphic violence – in fact, it’s more disturbing than anything. People are hanged on meat hooks and bashed in the head with hammers, but not with the splatter of blood and chunky brain matter that its descendants would soon show.

Why We Like It: It’s a classic. There are elements to this production that virtually every aspiring “serious” horror director has tried to replicate: the family of freaks, the casual dialogue, the unstoppable monster, the carnal violence, et cetera. But Hooper did it best and all others have been a pale comparison. Certain elements like the use of freaky sounds on the score and the flash shots of defiled corpses and bone-scattered floors never fails to creep me out.

Memorable Stuff: The first time we see killer Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) when he charges from a hidden door, gibbering and screaming nonsense is jarring and unforgettable. And Edwin Nash’s hitchhiker freak is every kind driver’s nightmare – some weird asshole with disturbing stories and a straight razor.