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Texas Chainsaw Massacre

two dolls sit on swings in the middle of a desolate town
Posted on June 19, 2022

10 Scary Small Towns in US Horror

Guest Post

The culture wars in US politics have become fixated on the rural-urban divide ever since rural voters in just the right mix of states elected Donald Trump to the Presidency in 2016, launching a thousand ethnographic think-pieces in big city news outlets about the worldview of small-town white folks who had long been overlooked by mainstream media.

But anxieties about rural America have long animated a certain corner of the US horror tradition, in stories about seemingly wholesome small towns hiding dark secrets behind their façade of normalcy. Or stories of decrepit small towns where the people and communities left behind by globalization and urbanization have turned monstrous and vengeful, at least in horror films. Read more

Posted on March 12, 2015

Seeing and Slaughtering in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Dawn Keetley

Horror films have long been recognized for their ability to reflect troubling social and political concerns: it’s one of the many things that makes horror films valuable, makes them more than just a reveling in shock and gore. The most powerful horror films, moreover, continue to engage with social issues well after their particular moment of production. Tobe Hooper’s 1974 film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, does exactly this. While the film is certainly on one level about the cataclysmic events of the late 1960s and early 1970s, it is also about the politics of meat-eating and industrial slaughter, both of which remain compelling issues in 2015.

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