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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Who will survive and what will be left of them? 

Year: 1974 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

There are few movies that everyone knows something about, but this is definitely one of them. What you might know is that chainsaws figure quite heavily in the movie, and you might also know that it was banned by the British Board of Film Classification when it was first released. So what else do you need to know. Well, for a start it's probably not a good date movie...

The plot has all the classic elements of the staple horror movie fare - five teenagers stop to pick up a freaky hitchhiker whom they later chuck out of the car. They then explore old decrepit houses, which is never a good move. To cut a long story short (OK maybe "cut" is a bad word to use) Sally is pursued until she reaches the 'can't-take-it-any-more' stage (see: Sydney Prescott, Scream (1996)), leaps out of a window and makes a last ditch attempt at escaping the disturbed people of Texas. Does she make it? Do any of the others? There's only one way to find out!

This might well be your first chance to see the movie as it was banned by the BBFC in 1975. The press release issued stated that 'The Board's conclusion, after careful consideration, was that any possible harm that might arise in terms of the effect upon a modern audience would be more than sufficiently countered by the unrealistic, even absurd, nature of the action itself.' So, if you fancy a peak at the film that rattled the board in 1975, now's your chance.

It is obvious to state that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a classic - it has so many elements that have remained completely influential over the past three decades. And it is also obvious to state that this movie is also the director's genre of choice (see: Poltergeist, Salem's Lot and The Sacrifice), but does the movie justify all the attention heaped upon it? I'm not sure - that's one for you to work out. If you can stop screaming long enough. But for now, I'll leave you with a word from the BBFC's report: 'It is worth emphasising that there is no explicit sexual element in the film, and relatively little visible violence.' So that's alright then isn't it?

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Screenings of this film:

1999/2000 Autumn Term (35mm)
2002/2003 Autumn Term (35mm)