For those who don't know me...well, you probably aren't reading this post. For those who do know me, you might or might not realize that Halloween is my favorite holiday. In the spirit of that fast approaching and ghoulishly delightful night (remember - it's the only time of year we can use the word "ghoulish," so don't hold back), I'd like to unveil my pick for the number one horror movie of all time. Actually, Ben, you might be pleased to learn that your fellow countrymen got it right.
Yes, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
reigns supreme, lording its mighty Saw over all the other monsters of the genre. I'm not going to spend valuable Muckspace elaborating on the whys and wherefores of this proclamation...not yet, anyway...but I would like to elaborate by way of another, perhaps equally as bold, opinion on the matter: not only is Chainsaw
the greatest horror movie ever made, but it also contains the single greatest ending in the history of the genre, and one of the greatest in the history of cinema.
The visceral impact of the final shot leaves one stunned by a cocktail of emotions: terror, relief, confusion, fear, pathos and awe. And we can go deeper still. What would Freud, for instance, have said about the image of a deformed mamma's boy, wildly slinging around his phallic weapon in frustration after having failed to penetrate the nubile body of young Marilyn Burns? To me, though, the scene is so great simply because it captures the essence of true cinematic horror. I'm planning a follow up post to expound on that notion, but until then I'll leave you with a little teaser: