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The Curator of Schlock #112 by Jeff Shuster

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Back when movie titles made sense. Quantum of Solace? What does that even mean?

TexasF

Hey, umm, I forgot to do a cannibalism movie for Thanksgiving so your getting it on Black Friday. I know my loyal readers will be busy pepper spraying each other for $3.99 flash drives at Office Depot, but I shall carry on despite this. (Apparently Black Friday on the Internet begins at 3 AM on Thanksgiving morning so I’m going to shove my face into a pumpkin pie and scream real loud.)

So yeah, today we’ll be discussing the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not that stupid remake where Jessica Biel takes on Leatherface. I remember when I first looked into getting the DVD back in 1998 and my mom freaked out screaming, “How can you buy a movie about those people!” Huh? I thought the movie was made up, but the trailer says the story is true, so I guess Leatherface is still out there.

Who is Leatherface? Just some guy who wears human skin masks and eats people.

TexasA

He also has a chainsaw that he kills people with.

TexasB

The hero of our movie is an invalid named Franklin (Paul Partain.)

TexasE

We don’t like Franklin because he whines and thinks headcheese tastes good, and we laugh when bad things happen to him like when a truck knocks Franklin out his wheelchair while he’s trying to take a leak. His sister Sally (Marilyn Burns) is with him along with assortment of hippies. I think there all trying to go to Franklin’s grandfather’s house way out in the middle of Nowhere, Texas. 

One of the hippies spots a disgusting hitchhiker on the side of the road and demands that they “Pick him up. He’ll asphyxiate out there!” This is ill-advised considering the hitchhiker takes Franklin’s knife away from him so he can slice his own palm open for larfs.

TexasD

The hippies don’t seem too amused by this, so the hitchhiker takes Franklin’s picture and asks for two dollars for the photograph. No one wants to pay for the photo since “It’s not a very good picture.” The hitchhiker takes photograph back, lays it on piece of tinfoil, places some gunpowder on top of the picture, strikes a match, and sparks fly everywhere. The hippies scream. The hitchhiker pulls out a straight razor and cuts deep into Franklin’s arm. It’s at this point that the hippies kick him (the hitchhiker, not Franklin) out of the van. One of them says, “I have a good mind to call a cop.”

Why start making rationale decisions now?

They stop for gas at a gas station that is out of gas. They decide to continue on to Franklin’s grandfather’s house. One of the hippies hears a generator running from a house nearby. He figures they must have some gas he can purchase so he waltzes right up to the house and walks in. Then Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) clocks him across the face with a hammer. One hippy after another keeps going into the house and Leatherface keeps killing them in fascinatingly gruesome ways. I have mixed feelings on this since the hippies are technically trespassing.

A man’s home is his castle after all. 

TexasC

 Five Things I Learned from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

  1. Headcheese isn’t really cheese. 
  2. Don’t pick up hitchhikers.
  3. Don’t walk into other peoples’ houses uninvited. 
  4. Don’t walk into other peoples’ house uninvited when those people are cannibals.
  5. If you find human teeth strewn about the front porch, maybe don’t enter the house.

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Jeffrey Shuster 3

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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