The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses for Mod Movie Monday!

house-chainsaw-postersContinuing our Creature Double Feature series from now until Halloween…Here’s two of the most horrific films ever made:

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, 1974


House of 1000 Corpses, 2003

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was done on a shoestring budget by a group of mostly inexperienced film makers who wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before 1974: A truly gruesome horror film. Because of the low budget and other factors…like the type of film they got cheap, the fact that the couldn’t afford plastic prop bones and were trying to get a PG rating…the film turned out to be an extremely realistic, disturbing movie with visuals that will stick in your brain for years.

Texast Chainsaw Massacre
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

House of 1000 Corpses is Rob Zombie’s ode to Chainsaw. Using digital technology and an additional 25 years of film-making expertise, he recreated the style right down to the over-exposed daylight scenes and realistically insane characters…just  not with a low budget. Chainsaw was over-the-top and disturbing in 1974…Corpses blows by it without any stops, quintupling the gore, blood, insanity and fantasy in such a realistic way you’ll be believing in monsters by the end.

House of 1000 Corpses
House of 1000 Corpses

There are more similarities between these two movies than just the style. Chainsaw is about a group of young friends traveling through Texas that get unintentionally drawn into world of a family of insane, inbred wackadoos that torture, kill, etc etc. Corpses is about a group of young friends traveling to discover the truth behind the legend of famed murderer, who unintentionally get drawn into…ok, you get the picture. The main difference between the two is how Zombie went all out, with dead cheerleaders, carnival freaks, intense violence and gallons of blood, whereas Chainsaw is more focused, more direct and down to earth about the horrors.

Texast Chainsaw Massacre
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Some interesting notes on Chainsaw: Because of the low budge the film makers couldn’t afford plastic prop skeletons. Instead, they bought real human skeletons and bones from India. There are also a lot of animal bones, feathers, etc. in the film. These are real. They acquired remains from animal shelters and burned the carcasses in the back yard where they were filming. The black cloud of smoke and the stench caused the sheriff to close off the highway near the filming location, and almost got the film closed down with it. Oh, and by the way…the money used to make this film was basically laundered from the profits of Deep Throat. Ain’t life crazy?

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

My take: I didn’t get to see chainsaw until I was in my 20s. I’m glad I didn’t see it sooner. I’m pretty sure I would have had nightmares for years. I was actually afraid…yes, afraid…to see Corpses in the movies when it came out. I had to psych myself up for months to watch it on DVD, and it still disturbed the hell out of me. The imagery is so intense, so out there that unless you’re a seasoned horror film addict it will probably blow your mind.

A funny note: I actually saw Texas Chainsaw II on HBO not long after it came out in the early 1980s. It was nothing like the original. The fact that they had a decent budget worked against them, and it just turned out to be another run-of-the-mill 80s slasher flick. HOWEVER…I just happened to be watching while making a pot of my famous Texas Chili for an upcoming Halloween party. Here’s the funny part: Chainsaw II is about the nuts using human meat to make Chili for a Chili contest, and as I was mixing up my Chili, they were mixing up theirs. Needless to say, I’ve served Texas Chainsaw Chili at every Halloween party since.

House of 1000 Corpses
House of 1000 Corpses

Food & Booze: Well, what else…Chili. Made with people, if you can murder yourself some young chicks. For drinks I’d recommend a nice Chianti. As for Corpses…you’re not going to want to eat anything while watching this flick. If anything, you’ll want to have a bucket handy.

-Spooky Tiki Chris reporting from the barbecue pit behind the smokeshack at Tiki Lounge Talk, the hep & happenin’ joint for Halloween-lovin’ kats and kittens.

4 Replies to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and House of 1000 Corpses for Mod Movie Monday!

  1. I have seen a lot of horror and love Halloween more than just about anything, and TCM is probably my favourite horror film, but while I do sort of enjoy Ho1000C as a guilty pleasure, it’s a bad movie. Really bad. The acting is atrocious and the directing is essentially Rob Zombie trying to recreate TCM with the volume turned up to 11.

    It is undoubtedly his best film, but that’s like saying, “That was the best bowel movement I’ve ever had!” Zombie has yet to prove himself to be anything other than a fan with a huge budget. And money can’t buy talent.

    I know that’s just my opinion, but I love the original TCM (almost walked out of the “remake”), and I really like your idea of serving chili whilst watching it.

    1. Acting? There was acting? I was honestly so creeped out by the visuals that I didn’t even pay attention to the acting.

      “the directing is essentially Rob Zombie trying to recreate TCM with the volume turned up to 11.” I never thought of it that way, but I guess you’re right. Still, it’s perfect to play on a big screen TV in the background of a Halloween party.

      Your opinion is always welcome here, Potato. Hope to hear from you on more upcoming movie posts.

      1. Well, thank you. I’ve been a reader for a while, but once Halloween enters the fray, I talk.

        I love putting on a movie at Halloween parties in the background, but I like to turn the volume off so people don’t zone out at a movie and ignore each other. What I’ve done is put the 1932 movie Freaks on with the volume off because people are so weirded out by the visuals they all talk to each other about it.

        I wish there was an equivalent for, say, tiki parties. Part of me thinks it’s best to just turn the TV off completely as they’d have done in the ’60s, but it’s nice sometimes to have some added visuals.

        For getting people together for watching some madcap mod mayhem, your lists have been great so far.

        1. Oh, I agree, sound off during a party. Nothing wrecks a party faster than people watching TV. As for something to have on during a Tiki party…I haven’t found anything yet that fits the mood, so the TV stays off 🙂
          Thanks again! CP

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