Behind the Chainsaw

In the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Bray reviews Chain Saw Confidential, a behind-the-scenes look at the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which Bray calls “one of the most gruesome movies ever made.” I wouldn’t know since the version I saw starred Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey—which turned out to be Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

Nevertheless, author Gunnar Hansen, who was the original Leatherface, gets into the gore: Lots of animal parts and dead animals were involved in the 1974 cult classic. Meanwhile, an actress compared the experience of doing hard-core horror to hard-core porn.

Bray elaborates,

Hard-core horror is like hard-core porn, because both are obsessed with the human body. One seeks to titillate the adolescent mind, the other to terrify and torment it, but the two genres are premised on young people’s fascinated shame about their own bodies. Certainly the movie’s most famous and lauded shot—both Steven Spielberg and Oliver Stone congratulated cinematographer Daniel Pearl on it—is the one in which the camera hunkers down low, trains in on Pam’s tight shorts and follows her bottom into the house of slaughter.

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