Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And Another Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Question: How can you tell it's gettin' close to Halloween?

Answer: When you start seeing movie trailers on television every
half-hour for a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

So, how many does this new/old TCM movie make? Five, at last count.

Did you know that the TCM character of Leatherface was loosely based on the gruesome real-life story of Ed Gein? So were Norman Bates in Psycho, and Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs. And, you can surely count on at least one amateur actor at every commercial Haunted House to be wielding a chain-less saw, chasing kids into a crying frenzy.

I did see the original 1974 version when it first came out, at a local drive-in theater. Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies were meant for such venues, you know. Sittin' in a parked car out in a pasture-turned-picture show on a dark moonless night with a long walk to the ladies room makes a perfect setting for a scary movie (with the added bonus of getting to huddle together under a blanket).

I can't see the same allure with today's version of a TCM; bunched up next to idiots with cellphone games beeping, a couple who just HAD to bring a baby with colic, and teenagers kicking the back of your seat constantly. Seems like this is pretty much the standard ambiance at any theater these days. Oh, and don't forget to add Dolby sound so loud it can make your ears bleed and your butt vibrate.

Maybe I am just a curmudgeon who stills thinks Hitchcock rules, but when was the last time you were really scared by a movie?


Trace said...

Hitchcock does indeed RULE! The reason I think stuff isn't so scary anymore is because we have seen so much; and the crap(please excuse my candor)they put out there now leaves nothing to the imagination. It is sick, instead of scary. I go for the mystery in a thing. The mystery is what puts the scare in me and I miss all those kinds of artistic thrillers.

joared said...

I'm with you -- I'll take Hitchcock any day, trading in today's blood and guts realism for his suspense. Imagination is what he stimulated, and maybe too many just don't want to bother imagining any more.

The last movie I saw was a year ago at one of the few remaining drive-in's so my granddaughter could have that "drive-in" experience her mother had as a girl, from the back of a station wagon with the whole family. The movie was some second or third edition of "Cheaper By The Dozen," I think, or something similar.

As for a movie in a theater, it's been several years, was the movie with Anthony Hopkins as a butler, with whats-her-name, the British actress. You know who I mean! ;-)

Thanks to the Dolby sound intensity in those theaters, the Audiologists of the world will continue to have more and more clients. I stuff my ears, if I've forgotten my ear plugs when I've been in one of those loud theaters.

But, frankly, I've lost interest in the fare they offer. Our little town will soon have an Independent Film Theatre, and I do look forward to what they'll show...just hope they keep the loudness level down.

bill said...

I still prefer to see movies in theaters; although I confess that I seldom do anymore. Usually the sound levels go down once the previews are over; but that would depend on what feature you are watching I guess. The crowds are really pretty well-behaved at the films I like. Of course TCM is not going to draw that same crowd, and it never did.

As for scary films, try An Inconvenient Truth. The DVD is out now. It may not be thrilling the way TCM is, but I would be surprised if you were not scared by it.

DarkoV said...

I was never a fan of the Blood, Gore, & Vitals movies. Partially, that was due to the high decibel yelling and screaming that came from the non-Dolbyized audience. The other part had to do with the number of times that the build-up/violent act/screams & shouts scenario went through. I tend to like one long build-up, on convincing act of horror, and finally some logical, not deus-ex-machina ending.

For me Cape Fear is a great example. And I love both the newer Robert DeNiro version as well as the older Robert Mitchum movie.

About Robert Mitchum. Definitely one of our most underrated actors. Catch him here, here, here, and here.

Eric said...

Go rent "The Grudge." Start watching it at midnight on Halloween. See what it's like to go a solid week without sleeping.

Hitchcock, schmitchcock.

Trace said...

I saw "The Grudge"; the first one that came out. It did scare the bejeezus out of me. I think the reason it was so enticing is because of the location of the movie--Japan. It was rather intense. Looks like the second one may be also. It wasn't blood and guts and torture horror. Like I said, those I find distasteful.

goldenlucyd said...

I'm a devout Hitchcockian m'self...though I've never felt quite the same about his classics since I watched High Anxiety.
Squirmed and shivered deliciously in the original Cape Fear with Robert Mitchum (didn't care for the obviousness of the remake---not enough left to the imagination.) Another creepy favorite is The Haunting with Claire Bloom. The original, certainly not the laughable reprise with Owen Wilson!
Oh, and don't forget the original Nosferatu.
PS I look forward to hearing that Texas twang at Ronni's phone party.

Anonymous said...

I had a chainsaw stolen once. Right out of the shed in my back yard. But that's OK. I got a NEW and BETTER chainsaw. One that is longer, more powerful and starts easier. I guess the point is, new chainsaws are cool. New movies about old chainsaw-wielding fiends? Notsomuch.

- T-bone

SpookyRach said...

Yeah, I think TCM has been done to death.

hee hee.