A companion piece to Deathline. Inspired use of freaky sounds; here the flash of a camera bulb is a forlorn whimper; last gasp of a dying creature. A forboding. Fragmented glimpses of cadavers; death and decay. A harbinger of the events about to unfold onscreen and also a hint of the fairly restrained hand employed by first time director Tobe Hooper throughout belying the films sensationalistic drive in title.
In childhood circles, both this comic horror classic and The Exorcist(1973) were spoken about in hushed, reverent tones. Both films had been censored, banned and withdrawn from exhibition and distribution in the 1980’s. This only served to fuel our young, fevered over active imaginations. We heard tales from our parents abut the Exorcist causing people to faint and vomit but The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Well surely this was the bloodiest, most vile, morally reprehensible horror film ever committed to film. Come on, the title alone said it all.
Second hand whispers made it legend,underground, dangerous. And then sometime in the early 21st Century, the Irish Censor relented and granted it a release from it’s purgatory. Which was disappointing on a personal level. The forbidden mystique around all but vanished.
You see, I had purchased VHS copies of TCM and Oliver Stones’ Natural Born Killers in Sydney,Australia (also banned by the Censors) whilst on vacation there in ’99, thinking that my credibility level amongst my peers would soar due to the allure surrounding both works. But a couple of years later, they were both granted certificates and were soon available to rent and buy everywhere. My stock went down and…. I recovered needless to say.