That Scene From ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ (1974)

“Hey, have you seen this movie? What did you think about THAT SCENE?!” We have all used that phrase at one point during our discussions of movies with the other person’s eyebrows raising, “Oh yea, THAT SCENE!” You go on to pick that memorable scene apart by listing what you loved or didn’t like, how it made you feel and the impression it left on you. 

In this series, we will do just that. We will take a scene from a movie and discuss its impact on us. Some of these scenes may be frightening, weird, iconic, controversial, hilarious and everything in between. Let us know your impression of the scene and the impact it left on you the first time you watched it down below in the comments. Enjoy!

 *Warning: May Contain Spoilers*

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Scene: Sally’s Escape

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is regarded as one of the best horror movies of all-time and it deserves all the acclaim it receives. On a low budget, Tobe Hooper was able to craft a visceral and almost too real horror for most people back in 1974. TCM starts with a quiet, slow-building opening about a group of friends who pick up the wrong hitchhiker and then stumbles across the wrong house while on a road trip. That slow opening build eventually gives way to one of the most heart-stopping finales in movie history.

After experiencing horror upon horror and with her friends all killed by the sadistic Sawyer family, Sally is able to break loose and desperately limps away from the Sawyer household as the hitchhiker and chainsaw-wielding Leatherface in hot pursuit. The hitchhiker catches up to her as she makes it to the road and begins slicing her back with his razor but is then run over by a semi-truck.  Leatherface is able to catch up by now and chases Sally as she dives into the back of a passing truck as it speeds away leaving Leatherface in the dust frantically swinging his chainsaw.

Tobe Hooper’s direction superbly milks this sequence for maximum impact, from Sally’s maniacal laughing when she makes her escape, to the unforgettable final image of the chainsaw swinging around. The less-is-more approach to sound also helps: the mere buzzing of the chainsaw is enough to get the pulse racing.

Author: Vincent Kane

I hate things.