Number 5 of My Top 31 Horror Movies : The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a bunch of psychopaths whilst travelling to visit a family grave : The very first adult horror movie I watched was Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE : I was twelve years of age and I remember sneaking over a friends house, inserting this battered video tape and being terrorised by these cannibalistic serial killers led by Gunnar Hansen’s terrifying Leatherface and the house of horrors he lived in : I’ve since watched Texas pretty much every year since and although it’s suprisingly not that bloody it’s the look of authenticity of what takes place in that farm house, especially the infamous dinner scene that really did a number on me : watching Marilyn Burn’s Sally tied to that chair screaming hysterically, the extreme close up of her twitching eyeball, the manic laughing of the depraved family sat around the table and the total insanity of what’s happening is incredibly unsettling : it’s the only horror movie on the list that makes me feel queasy, uneasy & downright afraid right from the gecko, from the creepy hitchhiker & his antics, the bringing down of Grandpa played by John Dugan and that hammer scene to Pam played by the brilliant Teri McMinn who stumbles into the room full of feathers & bones mostly human but some are animal, the camera taking us on a tour of the carnage that Pam sees before her, the big chicken housed in the smallest of cages, the skulls & tools that were used to mutilate it’s victims, this is nasty, unflinching horror at it’s sweet mercy best : due it’s very low budget the cast was mainly unknown and Gunnar Hansen wore the same Leatherface outfit for the film’s four week shoot, the lack of a score as such and Daniel Pearl’s low angle, handheld at times raw photography gives The Texas Chain Saw Massacre it’s realism and makes Tobe Hooper’s influential horror one of the fines low-budget exploitation movies that’s ever been ★★★★★
TOBE HOOPER (1943-2017) – directed one of the truly great films of our time, and in my eyes the scariest, most brutal raw ride into terror that i’ve witnessed – THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE stills gives me chills as it did when I first came across it as kid watching it on video over a friends whilst his parents were at work – I was HORRIFIED it gave me NIGHTMARES but it also started my love affair with all things horror – you will be missed but your legacy of horror such as TEXAS, THE FUN HOUSE, SALEM’S LOT, LIFEFORCE and POLTERGEIST will continue to entertain and inspire a new legion of fans forever…..
Sadly another year for us at Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando has come to an end but what another fabulous event Michael Aiello and his team at Universal has put together for us fans of this scary at times terrifying yearly event – HHN26 is our third straight and we always purchase the Frequent Fear Plus to maximize our nights in the park (this year we visited the event 5 times) – the 2 live shows are always entertaining, the scare actors on the streets and in the houses are mind blowing all acting their particular role with dedication and tireless energy and each year we continue to marvel at the attention to detail on the props, the devilish makeup, the smells and overall appearance in transforming a sound stage into one of our worst nightmares – yes it’s sad that another HHN has come to an end but thankfully my mind is full of lots of cool, disturbing memories that will tide me over for another year – I have posted below my Top 9 Houses of this years event, not purely based on scares but also appearance, all 9 were epic in different ways but the Texas and Halloween houses were just mouth watering, blood curdling fun and for me deserved top marks – we always try to view each house 4 times and this time round in some case we managed 5 so we were able to take more of the scares at different times and admire some of the interior more than if you just visited the house only the once – again a huge thanks to Mike, his creative team and the scare actors and performers at this years Orlando Event – see you all next year….
Since I started collecting movies back around the age of fifteen (1986) I became fascinated by the Horror Genre, I loved watching the Hammer House of Horror films and started watching Hardcore Horror (well it was back then) from the likes of Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero these guys for me were the bees knees, the majority of their films have aged will and still terrify to this day – looking around at the modern crop of filmmakers I wonder how many of them truly stand out and make you white with fright or scare you enough to keep the lights on at bedtime? In recent years too many of the Horror Past Masters have turned to mediocre material to ignite their horror spark and have failed miserably – Wes Craven the guy who brought us Freddy Krueger in the early 80’s and who in 1996 re-invented the horror genre with his slasher flick SCREAM is one such example, his recent films Cursed, Red Eye, My Soul to Take and Scream 4 have been average at best and sadly the same can be said about Argento and Carpenter their movies in the late 70s and 80s are some of the best of the genre but in recent years it’s been a downhill slide – so WHO amongst the modern filmmakers are impressing in the scare department?
Over the last ten years my horror taste-buds have being actively looking for new exciting talent, filmmakers that can scare me, turn me on and elevate my heart rate to the point of explosion – during this period I have come up with 6 exciting movie directors, each with their own unique style and approach to the horror genre and each one of them at some point have managed to scare the bejesus out of me – from Left-Right and in no particular order we have JAMES WAN (Saw, Insidious & The Conjuring) I’m sure you will agree this guys creepy ass dolls are enough to scare anyone half to death, his imagination and camera work makes the hairs on the back of your next stand up – up next is ROB ZOMBIE (Devils Rejects, House of a 1000 corpses & The Lords of Salem) Zombie delivers hard hitting violent horror movies, if your squeamish & easily upset then don’t watch – onto one of my favorites, South Korean KIM JEE-WOON (Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw the Devil) these two films terrified me on so many different levels – next up MARCUS DUNSTAN (The Collector & The Collection) a surprise maybe but this guy is still only 38 and the two movies he’s directed have been blood curdling fun – next on the list NEIL MARSHALL (Dog Soldiers & The Descent) another modern filmmaker who’s violent & brutal horror will terrify and at the end of each you will have to retrieve your heart from your mouth – and lastly to SCOTT DERRICKSON (Sinister & The Exorcism of Emily Rose) Derrickson is a talented writer but an even better horror director – his 2012 horror Sinister is one of the best Supernatural movies in recent years….
Whether or not in twenty years time we will be talking about any of these filmmakers in the same light as Fulci, Bava, Argento, Carpenter, Craven, Hooper and Romero is debatable but with the old guard starting to fade a new chapter in the movie world of terror has begun….