Hooper The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) ("Look what your brother…
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
death scenes brutal and quick
5 minutes in, peeing in a can and falling: use of grass to cover his lower half: camera behind to show him falling, orients us away form him; the use of a low angle shooting up, highlights legs and groin
the teens in the car: stereotypical 70s vapid teens (astrology, etc)
no one pays attention to Franklin: open shirt, sweating, angry.
the hitchhiker "What's he look like" "he's going to stink" "He's weird looking"; use of extreme long shot to emphasize isolation, nothingness in TX,
recurring theme of bodies as meat; commodification doesn't make us feel good; "My family's always been in meat" (is it sexual?); class exploitation
extreme long shots to orient us to rural TX: alienating people, mysterious gross people, camera works to objectify/repulse us from rural space. Hicksploitation (exploiting people in rural, empoverished spaces)
gas station (full shot to zoom out extreme long) use of disability to solidify classist notions
the mechanization of labor takes away jobs, post-industrial hellscape; pull yourself up by your bootstraps: "cost of electricity is enough to almost drive a man out of business"
calls out the systematic violence of economic exploitation; the killing people to eat them v. dog eat dog world
the use of closeups and extreme close ups
scene in gas station, too close to Sally's head, hits the camera; violence effects film in reality
makes the violence intimate
"Look what your brother did to the door [...] no pride in your home"--feels real Southern
the home is cluttered with body parts (made into chair)
the normalcy on the outside then nightmare furniture
the low angle to make the hose loom, instills fear
mix of human and animals lives calls attention to waste, humanity, and the borders of the human
Hooper's film as anti-meat industry/pro-veg "Franklin, I like meat"
Dinner scene 1:11:40: diegetic fly noises, clanking of silver wear: grosses us out; extreme close up of Sally.
Leatherface in makeup, across from family patriarch; also non-verbal
gendered division of labor
POV shot from Sally which orients us to the table
zoom out, Sally's hand and the hand chair:
references the Southern values of family, but what if it's always already a nightmare? Family dinners suck
The ending: child-like Leather face --just vibing; dancing to noise of chain saw; the montage of Sally's scream-laugh and the chainsaw. Fun in torture?
What's up in '74
Vietnam War? war time and economics
questions of gender roles and normative femininity during war?
Ed Gein and cross-dressing (yikes, fuels anti-queer sentiments); tying queerness to mental disorders/pathology